9 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding Reception

A table at a wedding reception set with teal plates and wildflowers.

Weddings are such an exciting event in the life of any bride or groom-to-be, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t pricy. These monumental events can run you a pretty penny, but there are luckily many different ways to change that. Use the below ideas as methods of saving money on your wedding reception to avoid spending an arm and a leg on at least this particular part of your big day.

1. Be Strategic with Food, Flowers, and Drinks

When you’re choosing food, flowers, and drinks for your wedding reception, be strategic in what you pick to save some money. Choose things that are in season and easy to attain at that time of year in order to bring down the cost of these items. Also consider choosing products that are locally attainable to further mitigate costs. This is also a way to make your wedding more sustainable and eco-friendly, which is definitely a plus.

2. Reuse Ceremony Decor

A florist carrying a plant up stairs.

You likely will have ceremony decor as a part of your wedding, but that doesn’t mean you can’t repurpose it to be used at your wedding reception! Make the most of these flowers and decor pieces by asking your wedding coordinator to move it during cocktail hour from the ceremony location to the reception area, helping you to cut down on reception florals and decor cost overall.

3. Simplify Drinks

Serving cocktails at your wedding reception can be quite costly. Try simplifying things to save some green; serve only beer and wine for a lessened bill and offer only a few options of each to save further.

4. Have a Small Cake

A small wedding cake surrounded by candles.

A small wedding cake can save you a surprising amount of money. Getting something small to use as part of the cake cutting ceremony while serving regular sheet cake to guests is a great way to save some money. Plus, guests won’t even know the difference! Another way to save money on your cake is to opt for buttercream instead of fondant, as it’s a more cost-effective option.

5. Don’t Print Individual Escort Cards

Escort cards are nice to have, but they can be a large and unnecessary expense. Instead of opting to give each guest a card that they’ll likely throw out anyway, have one master list on display for guests to look up their table number. This can be displayed on an easel and easily (and inexpensively) printed in an elegant fashion.

6. Make Food Casual

A cook in a food truck at a wedding.

A way to majorly save during your wedding reception is to offer more casual food options. Instead of a plated dinner, you can go with stations or a buffet for something more cost-effective. If you want to cut down costs even more, you can do something untraditional like food trucks, which could save a lot of money.

7. Use a Framed Menu

If you want to put menus on your reception tables, you can save some money by framing one menu per table instead of having them printed for every place setting.

8. Create Simple Centerpieces

A table decorated with candles at a wedding reception.

Instead of large and extravagant centerpieces, opt for something smaller and more understated. Colored bud vases with large blooms or centerpieces that rely more heavily on candles instead of flowers are more affordable options. You could also do larger centerpieces on half the tables and more cost-effective pieces on the other half to cut your centerpiece cost somewhat.

9. Hire a DJ

Having entertainment at your wedding reception is likely a must-have, but that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank to facilitate it. Opt for a DJ instead of a band as it’s usually a more cost-effective measure. If you feel inclined, save even more money on entertainment by making your own playlist and connecting it to speakers for your reception.

As you can see, there are many ways to save money on your wedding reception, without significantly changing your event!

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