Planning A Wedding On A Small Budget- From Details to Reception

Once the dress, the location, and the reception are taken care of, all that’s left is to spruce up the venues for the wedding and the reception.

While a wedding, in general, can cost a great deal of money, little things such as flowers, decorations, and reception favors can quickly increase the amount of money a bride and groom spend on their big day. However, there are ways to spruce up the wedding site and reception venue without going over budget or going broke.


If the wedding and reception are going to be indoors, consider the style of the venue before buying flowers. Is the church already ornately decorated? Does the reception hall already have a decorating scheme? If so, then going crazy with extra decorations may make the venue look overdone and cost a lot of unnecessary money. If there are already flowers, don’t purchase an entirely new set because flowers are an expected part of a wedding budget.

If the wedding and reception are outdoors, look for venues that are naturally decorated. If there are flower gardens all around, simply purchase flowers for the bridal party and the bride and groom. Keep in mind personal flower gardens, and if the bride or groom prefers, cut flowers fresh from a family flower garden and use those, or create bouquets and settings by using fabric flowers. The flowers can also be kept after the wedding as a keepsake for the bride and groom.


When it comes to decorations, take a look at the possibilities that are already around the house. Is a reception hall decorated with white twinkle lights what the bride and groom want? If so, dig them out of the attic and get them cleaned up for the big day. Are big bows on the ends of the pews in order? If so, get ribbon or tulle from a party planning store and have someone help make them instead of purchasing them premade.

Centerpieces for the reception can also pull double duty as wedding favors. Candles floating in a small glass dish with colored stones at the bottom can be an elegant yet inexpensive way to decorate and help guests commemorate the occasion. If a bride and groom are looking for something a little more fun, substitute the dishes for decorative martini glasses. Encourage guests to take the centerpieces home with them as favors instead of having them put in boxes and stored away.

A wedding and reception can look great while still staying within a budget. Creativity and a little ingenuity can go a long way and save a bride and groom money while still commemorating the occasion in a special way.

Planning a Wedding Reception on a Budget

With all the expenses involved in wedding planning, throwing an expensive reception afterward can really break the bank. Budget wedding receptions don’t have to look cheap or tacky: brides just have to know where to pare down their expenses.

Save Money on the Wedding Reception Location

Wedding reception hotels and halls may feel glamorous, but they are usually also the most expensive. Consider holding the wedding reception in another location. For example:

 If someone in the bride or groom's circle of friends or family has a large yard, then it may make sense to consider a backyard wedding reception.
 If the cultural hall or lobby of the bride and groom's church is large enough, they could reserve the space for the reception at a much lower (or even free) cost.
 Area parks are great outdoor wedding reception locations. Reserving a shelter at an outdoor park or garden for the evening will usually be much less expensive than renting a reception hall.

Save Money by Having a Small Wedding Reception

The more guests that are invited to a reception, the more it ends up costing the bride and groom. The number of guests depends on how much space and food there will be, all of which will cost money. The fewer the number of guests, the more inexpensive the wedding reception can be.

It’s hard not to feel obligated to invite every acquaintance or distant relative, but brides shouldn’t feel pressured to invite more people than they can afford. Keeping the reception small and intimate has other benefits. Brides could also send out wedding announcements to those who won’t be invited to the reception, just so people know they weren’t forgotten.

Save Money with DIY Reception Music

Hiring a professional DJ is one cost that can be reduced or eliminated altogether for a budget wedding reception. With a playlist of appropriate wedding reception music downloaded to a laptop or iPod, couples can rent a speaker system and appoint a friend or family member to be an amateur DJ for the evening.

Save Money by Having a Wedding Reception Buffet

Catered wedding reception banquets can cost $30 a plate or more. A good way to ease the financial burden of wedding reception food (aside from again, inviting fewer guests) is to serve food buffet-style.

Brides interested in a cheap wedding reception buffet can either have friends and family cook homemade dishes, or they can hire professionals to prepare and display the buffet food. Though more expensive, hiring wedding caterers for the buffet is more cost-effective than hiring a per-plate catered dinner. Plus, the caterer provides all the serving ware and dishes.

Wedding receptions can cost as much or as little as brides want them to. Inexpensive weddings are possible when brides consider the wedding reception location, guest list, music, and food.