Wedding receptions don't have to cost a fortune. Many
families are on tight budgets
these days, limiting the parents' ability to contribute
financially and placing much of
the burden of wedding expenses on young couples who are just
starting out in life and
on limited budgets themselves.
When planning a wedding reception, location is key. Depending
on how many people are
invited, you may need a sizable place to have the reception.
Weather permitting, your
wedding reception could be held in someone's back yard or at a
local park. My own
wedding ceremony and reception were held at a local park in a
specially reserved area
(including gazebo) that cost only about $60 for the entire day.
My mother and I recently
hosted a wedding reception for my sister in our mobile home
park's club house. A $150
deposit was required, but the deposit was returned after we
cleaned up and left the club
house the way we found it. We had full access to a fully
equipped kitchen, sitting area,
tables, chairs, and restrooms for an entire day. Everything we
needed was right there
and didn't cost us a dime.
Decorations that can be used after the reception is over more
than pay for themselves.
For my sister's reception we created beautiful centerpieces for
the tables by buying
some glass Pyrex cereal bowls ($1 each at a local outlet mall)
and placing green glass
marbles from the craft store in the bottom of each. We then
filled the bowls half way
with water and placed a white rose- shaped floating candle in
each. These attractive
centerpieces were very easy to assemble in just a minute or two
and in addition to
lending their candlelight to the room made a wonderful
inexpensive gift for the bride
and groom--a complete set of matching cereal bowls!
Food also doesn't have to require too much effort or added
expense. My own wedding
reception was a pot luck luncheon. My mother provided the
sandwich rolls, sliced meat
and cheeses, and condiments, and close friends and family members
were asked to bring
side dishes and salads. My husband's aunt made the most
beautiful multi-tiered wedding
cake for us, and our expense was minimal! No one went away
My sister's reception was more of a sit-down affair, but still
did not cost us a fortune.
Knowing the reception would take place in October, we thought
that it was taking place
close enough to the holidays to have a Thanksgiving-style dinner.
Most of our relatives
don't have the opportunity to see one another during the holidays
anyway, and we knew this
would be a great opportunity to get everyone together and spend
some time visiting and
eating a wonderful meal.
My husband barbecued a turkey, my mom baked a ham, and we
again asked close friends and
family members to bring their favorite holiday salads and side
dishes. The dinner was
a huge success. A family friend made the wedding cake and let us
borrow her punch bowl.
The wedding cake included the cake top that had adorned our own
parents' wedding cake
more than 30 years ago. This was a surprise for my sister, as
was the crystal cake plate
that had been a wedding gift to our parents from a great
All of our family's wedding receptions have been huge
successes, and while requiring
a lot of effort on the part of many friends and family members,
have never cost any
one of us more than $100 or so. When planning your next wedding
reception, don't focus
on the lavishness of the event, focus on creating a memorable day
that will live on in
your family's memories for years to come.
If you'd like some ideas to get you started, I found some neat
web sites you might
want to take a look at. The Wedding Crafts Page
is a compilation of links to do-it-yourself wedding crafts,
centerpieces, flowers, albums and keepsakes, and much more.
has some great ideas
for wedding favors, and here's a great article about cutting
costs, including some
great ideas for different food themes.
Originally published at Suite 101. Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of
What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick
easy dinner ideas. For recipes, tips to organize your home, home
decorating, crafts, holiday hints and more, visit Creative
Homemaking at http://www.creativehomemaking.com.
When thinking about affordable wedding receptions you should also
remember to look into affordable
diamond rings. Even though it's the most important
jewelry you'll buy for years you don't want to go into debt
when shopping for
engagement rings. So learn more about
diamond prices and look into great
wedding rings today!
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