It is a fact that there are many ways to spend money when planning a wedding reception. However, it only takes an extra ounce of creativity to save as much as you can without sacrificing quality or making noticeable cuts on your budget. Here are some ideas that can help you trim your budget that will still yield beautiful results for your wedding party.
1. Economize on your cocktail bar by using a variety of drinks. There is a wider choice range now at different prices to choose from. Instead of serving strictly red and white wine or champagnes, offer a varied selection which can include, chardonnays and sauvignon blancs to zinfandels and cabernets. You can add a choice of sparkling waters and juices to satisfy guests who prefer non-alcoholic drinks.
2. For a brunch or afternoon reception, serve guests a champagne punch during the cocktail hour. It’s elegant and economical.
3. Take note that an outdoor wedding may cost more than a church or indoor wedding. Everything must be rented, beginning with the tent, power generator, dance floors, tables and chairs, down to the linens and utensils. It is always more cost-effective to rent a full-service hall, club or restaurant that can provide you with everything right on the premises.
4. Your decorating budget may benefit if you host wedding near the end of the year that takes place anytime from the Thanksgiving through the new year. Halls, clubs, and restaurants and hotels are already dressed up for the holidays, providing your wedding with a built-in beautiful backdrop.
5. More and more couples are cost cutting on wedding favors. There are many types of wedding favors than cost less than one dollar each—such as herb-filled sachets, different colored mints, shot glasses, or low-priced pens with your names among many others.
6. A three-hour reception can be just as wonderful and memorable as a longer four- or five-hour party—and more affordable. Get a friend or relative who can organize a good smooth-running entertaining program and you can save more. If you have musician or performer friends or relatives who are really close to you try asking them to grace your event as their wedding gift to you.
7. Stick to your budget and be aware that the reception expenses usually amounts to half of the total cost of the wedding. Since the Saturday night sit-down dinner or lavish buffet is the most expensive option, consider other more economical alternatives such as brunch, lunch or tea. Prices from Monday night through Friday nights and weekends during the first quarter of the year are often considerably less.
8. If your budget will not allow a four- or five-course meal, choose fewer courses and an excellent entrée. A multi-dish cocktail hour and a Viennese table with endless sweets are nice, but not as important as a tasty appetizer, a quality entrée that is beautifully prepared, and a delicious wedding cake.
9. While shopping around for sites, consider renting a bed-and-breakfast inn for your wedding and reception venue. Such affordable, romantic settings offer guest accommodations and wedding suites all at the same location.
10. Be careful about agreeing to meet your reception site’s minimum required guest count. If the contract calls for a minimum of 200 and only 150 attend, you’ll still be charged for the 50 who did not show up. Calculate as accurately as possible to save yourself money.
11. Ask about a cap on menu price increases when planning a wedding a year in advance. With the steady rise of food prices, the final price quotes from a caterer should come three months before the event, and increase should be 10 percent. You must take into account when determining your financial priorities.