Tips For Cutting Wedding Reception Costs


Even a simple meal, catered for a hundred guests, can run into the thousands of dollars, so saving money and shaving costs becomes important very quickly when you’re planning a reception. Cutting expenses and implementing budget reception ideas can be really tough, but it’s possible to save a ton of money with these helpful tips.

1. Cutting Appetizer Costs

There are a lot of ways to cut the costs associated with serving appetizers.  Some good budget reception ideas for the appetizer table are:

  • Supply the appetizers yourself – Find great recipes (available online) for elegant, low-cost appetizers that can be made before the wedding, frozen and then thawed and heated for the reception.
  • Forego the wait staff –Just serve the appetizers buffet-style and skip the expense of wait staff.
  • Keep it simple – The appetizers won’t be the stars of your reception, so they don’t have to be intricate and elegant to serve their purpose. A nice meat, cheese, fruit and cracker bar will be a hit your guests are sure to love.


2. Cutting Bar Costs

Almost every reception has a bar, even if it’s just a bar serving soda and other non-alcoholic iced beverages.  Here are some great budget reception ideas for saving money on beverages:

  • Supply your own beverages (aka BYOB) – When you’re looking over venues for your reception, make sure to ask if you can bring your own beverages (BYOB). Providing your own liquor and beer can save lots of money over the high prices charged by venues providing the same beverages.
  • Limit bar availability – If the reception is scheduled to last several hours, only have barred access during part of the time.
  • Limit beverage choices – Another way to limit bar availability is to limit what is served. You may choose to serve only lighter drinks such as beer and wine, rather than those containing hard liquor; or you may choose to serve only non-alcoholic beverages, greatly reducing your cost.


3. Cutting Meal Costs

There are lots of ways to implement budget reception ideas during the main meal, too.  Some of these are:

  • Skip the sit-down – Instead of having a formal, sit-down meal, serve heavy appetizers.
  • Outsource the catering – Catering prices from your venue may be very high; you could save a load of money by bringing in catering from another source.
  • Order pizza – If you and your future spouse love pizza (or submarine sandwiches or Chinese or any other kind of take-out), why not order some of your favorites as your reception food? It’ll impart a fun atmosphere and lighten the mood of your reception.


4. It’s Worth A Thought

Your reception doesn’t have to break your budget to be lots of fun and a great party to celebrate the start of your married life.  By saving money with budget reception ideas, you’ll have more for important things like the honeymoon, or a down-payment on your new home.