Planning a First-Rate Reception on a Shoe String

Getting into debt to pay for your wedding is foolish! It is a terrible way to start your life together yet it happens all the time. It’s okay to let your fantasy guide you if parents or a rich uncle are cheerfully picking up the tab, but for most young couples, cost is the biggest consideration when planning a wedding. 

The wedding reception is usually the most expensive item in your budget and one you will have to look at carefully. Ask your parents for idea’s or your groom-to-be if you are both sharing the cost. With a little research and a few good idea’s you can have the reception you deserve without breaking the bank.

After deciding on your theme and having a rough idea of the number of persons on your guest list you will want to start your research to find the perfect location for your reception. To save money, stay away from hotels, fancy restaurants or resorts. Make plans well in advance so you can negotiate and get the best price. Be honest, let the person know what you want and what you can afford.

Look for unusual or overlooked location sites. A casual outdoor barbecue site with picnic tables at a ranch or park could be lovely. Check listings for private or student chefs who are available to cook for parties. Negotiate fees. Recruit friends to bartend in shifts. Serve the best beer you can afford instead of champagne.  Ask your talented friends to sing or play the guitar.

Your own or a friends back yard or patio can all be a great place for a small brunch or an afternoon tea reception. Rent a party tent or two and some chairs. Play your favorite CD’s. Work out a menu that is both appealing and affordable.  Serve champagne only for the toast and wine or juices with the meal. Let wedding cake be your desert.

By avoiding expensive location sites and per plate food costs, you will be able to maintain your budget and maybe even have a little money left over. Don’t forget to select some unique decorations for your setting. Even if you had great bridal shower favors you will still want to surprise your guests with wedding favors. With a little imagination and a few hours, you can make your favors and save even more.

Now that you’ve stayed within your budget and saved money too, you’ll have some left over to pay for the honeymoon or use as a down-payment for your new home. And because of your imagination and excellent planning, no one will ever know that you’re wedding reception was staged on a shoe string.