At Home Reception on budget

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
2657 posts
Sugar bee

We’re doing a backyard reception too.  We’ll have 60-80 guests and it will be a dinner reception.  So far our budget is $1200 for tent and all other rentals, $500 for booze, and $500 for decor.  We haven’t started catering yet, but from our research we’re planning on a budget of $3000 – $4000 for a buffet dinner.  I budget very conservatively, BTW, so we may end up coming below on several things.  

The nice thing about home weddings is that you have total flexibility, which means you’re going to have an easier time sticking with a smaller budget.  You could do lots of DIY decor, you can buy your own beer and wine, you could choose to make your own appetizers for cocktail hour, or you could bring in a cheaper caterer because you don’t have to deal with approved caterer lists.  

Post # 4
843 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Historic Chapel

@ontbride:  I haven’t had my weeding yet but we are planning a small intimate vintage backyard wedding. We are very much on a budget so a lot of my decor will come from fleamarkets, and thrift stores. We have a total of 30 guest, we will be doing both reception and ceremony in our backyard. It will be a buffet style dinner, my mom will probably do most of the cooking since is such a small group (all fammily and friends) everyone in my family drinks beer so we will be buying a few kegs of beer and a signature drink (mojitos) so we will just buy the bottles and pre mix it the night before. Theres just so many ideas i cant even write them all lol but doing internet research and pinetrest has given great ideas on decor for a budget! Good Luck

Post # 6
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@ontbride:  If you cut out what we spent renting the beach house for our wedding, our wedding budget is only $2500 ($5K including the beach house rental for the week of the wedding.)

How many people did you have? we have invited about 80 but we’re expecting 50-60 to actually attend

Was it indoors or outdoors? outdoors

Was it lunch, dinner or h’orderves? dinner, BBQ buffet from local BBQ restaurant

*Rentals can be a budget killer so make sure to reserve a portion of the budget for the ones you have to have and figure out where you can cut the budget elsewhere.

Post # 7
843 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Historic Chapel

@ontbride:  Well the wedding is in September and the ceremony is going to start at 6pm (we kind of want it to be a little dark because I want candles down the isle) we will be hanging some lights on the reception side so we won’t be renting a tent, whether here in Florida is nice around that time of year so it shouldnt be a problem.

I’m going to divide the backyard in thre sections to the right I’m going to have a make believe chapel, thats where the reception will be. Than the middle of the backyard we are renting a dance floor (small one) his side of the family probably wont dance, but my family loves too, so we dont need a huge dance floor, because of this same reason we will probably just create a wedding playlist in my ipod with just songs we would love to listen and dance to in our wedding day. Finally the left side of the yard will be the reception. I’m renting 3 round tables that will hold 10 people each and then a square table for FI and I (we dont have any bridesmaids or best mans) I found a great deal on tables a chairs will all probably be like 200 dollars with delivery and pick up included. As for the food Im just thinking I want to buy some old looking barrels(thrift store or garage sales) and put a big wodden pannel on top and make it the food table. Since our wedding is vintage antique we can use all sorts of old use stuff that people dont even want (which is good because it will be cheap!)

I dont know if you quite get my ideas like I do, I mean I can picture the whole thing in my head! lol but here are some inspiration pics of what I’m hoping to achieve!

The aisle will look something like this.

At the end of the isle I want something like this. If not it could also just be big picture frames that can look like windows.

I want a littl esection like this for smokers, since we have a lot of them. Like you can see is all used old stuff so anyone might be able to lend me some.

I love this! I could put some food or even my wedding cake.

Reception would be something like this but much smaller ofcourse.

Ok I could go on and on theres just so many options!!! lol I got a whole binder full of thing I like that way when I’m ready to go on the hunt I cant just look at it.

Post # 8
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL


Are you renting a tent for your backyard wedding, or are you going to have it inside if the weather is bad?

Do you have to rent a lot of stuff for the reception? We are just renting tables and chairs.  We decided not to rent a tent (the wedding will be inside the beach house if it rains) or linens (we ordered paper tablecloths and napkins) or plates or cups or utensils (all plastic.)  We are going for a casual Beach BBQ that we just happen to get married at.

Are you going to have a dance type thing (dj or ipod) etc We are using Spotify playlists; we had to purchase external speakers and a cordless microphone (for announcing us) to boost the sound so everyone can hear the music.

Post # 9
1774 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

We are having our at home reception later this month.

How many people did you have? We sent out 100 invitations. Very few have RSVP’ we could be expecting anywhere from 50 to 200..

Was it indoors or outdoors? Outdoors

Was it lunch, dinner or h’orderves? Late lunch/early dinner

Post # 10
285 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

We are not renting a tent because we are already at $3K in rentals (tables, chairs, benches, speakers, linens, and lighting). The rental company is coming out to string up the lighting and take it down which is where about $800-900 of that comes from. 


We hired a caterer to provide a chicken dish, side items, salad, rolls in a buffet and our friends are roasting a whole pig. The caterer worked out to $1400. 


The thing about home weddings is they aren’t ALWAYS cheaper because of all things you have to bring in that would be provided elsewhere. We are hoping to save some money with a DIY open beer/wine bar and cupcakes instead of a cake.  Here’s some photos of another wedding our rental company did (this is exactly what I asked them to do in my yard):



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