deciding to do a 'cheap' reception advice

posted 2 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
851 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013


KapOct18:  I think you will be ok as long as you have enough food, enough beverages and a comfortable enviroment for your guests.  Also, if you decide on a picnic I think it would be wise to tell your guests your plan so that they dress accordingly

Post # 3
2704 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

KapOct18:  We’re doing ‘cheap’ too. We were going to have a big fancy wedding at a country club… then we bought a house, plus some people on our guest list started getting sick. Ultimately some things are more important like having our loved ones there with us and being able to put the money into our house than into one day.

We moved the wedding up a YEAR and we’re having it in my home town church, then reception in the hall across the street. We’re DIY-ing most of the decor, and having a late ceremony with app/dessert reception. We’ll save a couple grand by not having a formal sitdown, the hall wouldn’t accomodate everyone anyways. We’re making 95% of the desserts for the dessert bar and purchasing a lot of the stuff for the ‘stations’ ourselves. (ie s’mores bar).

It’ll be a lot more work than just having the wedding in a banquet hall and having someone else do all the set up/tear down, but it will be more personal and save us a ton of money. And I PROMISE it won’t look trashy, I’m super excited for it!

There’s a lot of really cute ‘picnic’ wedding reception things you can do. My advice, start DIY-ing now!

<h1 class=”commentDescriptionContent”>At this picnic wedding guests were assigned blankets and baskets rather than reception tables. So unique!!</h1>


Post # 4
3430 posts
Sugar bee

We went cheap wedidng (justice of the peace) and reception route.  We had ours at sports bar and had a wonderful time with everyone that came out and celebrated with us.  I think it totaled 800?

Post # 5
3668 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

As long as your guests are fed and have something to drink and somewhere to sit, it should be fine.

Post # 6
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I’ve been to many lovely, inexpensive receptions.  My favourites were where they had stations (a relative scoopping out ice cream, or making fresh waffles).  It only seemed “trashy” when they didn’t have enough food or I never received a thank you card.

Post # 7
121 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Honestly, my sister has a plan for a wedding that sounds great to me (and I just had a big fancy wedding). She is going to ask guests to bring food/wine/dessert in lieu of gifts. She wants a potluck wedding. Its not for everyone, but it would certainly reduce the cost. Add an ipod playlist and all you need is a venue and some decor!

Post # 8
1099 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

We’re doing a reception on the cheaper side as well. Our venue is my family farm, we are renting tables and chairs, food will either be catered by a local restaurant or a food truck we havent decided yet, we’re buying our own alcohol, the cake will be on the small side because I’ll be doing a sweets table (most of which I’ll be making myself), the decor will be seasonal items (fall), my dads paying for half my dress and I’m splurging a little on hair and make up. Our biggest cost will be the photographer at $2000. We’re wanting to spend most of the money on our honeymoon so we’re going the cheap route as well. I’m thinking we’ll spend around $5k.

ETA: And no DJ, we’ll be hooking up some speakers my FI’s Mac for the music. As well as doing a late night bonfire with s’more for a late night snack.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  SkinnyLatte17.
Post # 9
1666 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

KapOct18:  Just want to point out: make sure to have a plan for inclement weather! Last thing you want is a bunch of soaking wet guests!

Otherwise, I think it’s a really lovely and sweet idea. We can’t get away with that because Grandma has super bad allergies (and having her comfortable is important to us), so I’m a bit jealous to be honest. 🙂

Post # 10
2395 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

As long as you have food and drinks for people that are appropriate for the time of day, it’s all good!  By time of day I mean don’t just have cake and punch for a wedding that starts at 6pm since that would fall around dinner time.  A picnic sounds great though!  

I would caution you NOT to have a potluck (not that you said you were going to) – there are so many things that can go wrong, and people shouldn’t have to cater a party you’re hosting.

Post # 11
2064 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

KapOct18:  ive been to a lot of potluck weddings. one i went to, sent us a card to write the recpie on it. that way they can keep a book with who and what they brought 😉 i thought it was really sweet! another couple i know did a picnic wedding and she wore a tea dress. it was such a cute wedding!!  she had a umbrella instead of a bouqet. and lots of bubbles. 😉

Post # 12
4441 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

KapOct18:  We recently attended a wedding that was obviously on the frugal side, instead of dancing they had lawn games.  I thought it would be terrible (I like to dance!!) but in reality it was awesome, instead of blaring music we got to spend time talking to DH’s friends who we now only see once a year at weddings.  When I think back on that wedding I definitely do not think “trashy.”

Post # 13
567 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

We are doing a church wedding followed by a dinner only reception at an irish restaurant and pub. I have mixed feelings about it, but we have a tight budget and at the end of the day we will still be just as married as if we had a big expensive bash.

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