Save on Your Reception
This article was sent in our Cost-Effective Bride Newsletter
on February 12, 2001. If you would like to receive helpful
articles and money-saving tips for your wedding, subscribe here.
Save on Your Reception
The most expensive part about a wedding is usually the
reception. Many couples are trying some very creative
ideas to keep the expense of a nice reception to a
minimum. Here are some ideas I have heard in the past
couple of months and some that I looked into for my own
You may not realize it, but a lot of caterers and
facilities have great discounts for Friday and Sunday
receptions (not to mention receptions in the middle of
the week!) Often, they book their Saturdays very far
in advance, but are just dying for the Friday and
Sunday business. A great way to cut off a large chunk
of your budget would be to get married on a Friday
evening or a Sunday afternoon. Ask your caterer or
reception facility what kind of discounts they offer
for the flexible bride.
A great time of year for a Sunday wedding is Memorial
Day weekend or Labor Day weekend. That way, you can
get married on Sunday, but for the majority of your
guests, it is like a Saturday - because they don't have
to work on Monday. Plus, this gives your guests extra
travel time or visiting time. You can plan a gift
opening for Monday and see your distant relatives
again. If you are close to an Aunt or Uncle, you could
even ask them to host this for you to reduce your (and
your parent's) stress. In 2002, July 4th will be on a
Thursday - another great time to get married, since
many people will also get Friday off of work (or
wouldn't be unhappy at the idea of making your wedding
an extended visit).
Something that is gaining a lot of popularity is the
brunch reception. Couples are getting married in the
AM and following it with an intimate brunch. Don't be
fooled, though. If you want to be extravagant, you can
spend just as much money on a brunch as you can on a
dinner. If you choose to make the menu light however,
this can significantly reduce your costs.
Also gaining popularity is an hors d'oeuvres reception.
A lot of fancy bite-sized sandwiches, mushrooms, and
shrimp is less expensive than an entire meal. This
works especially well for evening weddings. There is
something romantic about getting married when the
lights are low. If your church just happens to have a
nice hall in it, or grassy area outside, you could get
married at 8:00 PM (indoors or out) and invite your
guests to remain for some mingling or dancing.
Another great idea, is to check out public parks and
attractions in your area. I live in the Milwaukee
area, and when we were getting married we looked into
both the Milwaukee County Zoo and the Milwaukee Domes
as places to hold our reception. Both of these ideas
were exciting to me because they were so different.
Plus, they were very inexpensive! Both required the
hiring of a caterer, but the small facility costs would
have been worth it. Call your parks office, or a city
administrator for more information. (For the record,
we didn't go with either of these because one couldn't
fit all 300 of our guests and the other did not have
our date available. Oh well!)
Well, I hope I have given you some food for thought for
a less expensive reception. If you have other ideas or
have been to a really cool wedding, I would love to
hear about it! Just drop me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you are experiencing a wonderful time of
engagement and that all of your plans are successful!
Kelly Kons, Editor