Abbie asks us: what are a few tips for keeping reception costs down? And Rachel wants to know: is it acceptable to do a punch and cake reception only?
Since these questions fell under the same category, we thought it was easy enough to answer them both at the same time:
First off, this is your wedding and more than likely, your budget. Even if someone else is footing the bill, being budget-conscious is still important (unless you’re Ivanka Trump, of course). A punch & cake or appetizer-only reception is perfectly acceptable, but keep the timing in mind. Do not offer punch and cake at lunch or dinner time when guests will be really hungry and expecting a meal, but instead plan it for late afternoon (think 2-4pm) or evening (after 8pm). Also, make it apparent on the invitation – Ceremony begins at 1:30pm, punch, cake, and dancing to follow from 2-4pm.
Other tips for keeping costs down:
Recruit friends and family with mad skills. If you know someone who makes delicious cakes or desserts, loves arranging flowers, or makes a mean bbq and doesn’t do it professionally (key, because that is their livelihood), ask them if they would consider helping for a nominal fee if you buy the raw materials (ingredients, flowers, etc). Depending on how close you are to them, they may even offer their services as your wedding gift.
Be your own DJ. With iPads or iPods and wireless speakers, you can easily create hours and hours of your favorite songs. Bridebird has pulled together a whole range of playlists and a primer on being your own DJ that you can use as is or as a starting point.
Lower your bar tab. While an open bar sounds great when you’re a guest, the reality is quite different when you’re paying the bill. Instead, consider keeping it simple and eliminate hard alcohol altogether and offer wine (one red, one white) and beer, then have glasses of sparkling wine poured right before you cut the cake. If you really want hard alcohol, another option is to offer one signature cocktail for a set period of time, like the hour between the ceremony and dinner when the wedding party is having their photos taken.
Remember, this is your day and you want it to be special, but you don’t have to break the bank to make it happen.
Did you find a creative way to save money at your wedding? Let us know in the comments!