Money-saving reception ideas

A wedding reception can account for up to half of your overall wedding budget, depending on the style of wedding reception you choose.  Being a major budget item, it makes sense to try to reduce your expenditure in this area with some money-saving wedding ideas.

Do you have a money-saving wedding reception idea? Let us know what it is so we can add it to our list.

Select a venue that doesn't charge a hire fee

Some venues do not charge a hire fee at all.  Other hotels and restaurants charge a hire fee that works on a sliding scale with your food and beverage spend, i.e. the more you spend on catering, the less your venue hire will be.

With this approach once you reach a certain amount (minimum spend) on catering then you will not pay any hire fee at all.  It's a great money-saving wedding tip, provided that the minimum spend is realistic for the size of your wedding reception and the catering requirements you had in mind.

Garden wedding receptionOpt for a venue that doesn't require much decoration

It's easy to spend a small fortune on decorations and theming, particularly if you choose a marquee or hall for your wedding reception.  Instead, choose a venue that has stylish decor and work your wedding theme in with the furnishings and decorations that are part of the overall interior design.

Host a cocktail reception instead of a banquet

Possibly the biggest money-saving wedding idea is to host a cocktail party-style reception, serving canapés rather than the much larger expense of serving your wedding guests a two- or three-course dinner.  Because a cocktail party requires less space than a banquet, you may even save some money by only needing to hire the smaller area.  

Have your wedding on a Friday or Sunday

The most popular time to be married is on Saturday afternoon or evening.  Because of fierce competition for Saturday wedding dates, venues often impose a higher minimum spend on Saturday.  Our money-saving wedding suggestion is to marry on a Friday or Sunday, or even mid-week.  The reduction on a venue's minimum spend will save you thousands of dollars.

Cocktail wedding receptionLimit your beverage selection

It isn't necessary to have an open bar for your wedding reception.  One money-saving wedding idea is not to serve spirits at all.  Alternatively, you could serve them only for the first hour, or you could opt to serve only a signature drink (such as your favorite cocktail) instead.

Limiting the choice of wines available to your guests eliminates the possibility of them requesting expensive premium wines.  Also, many venues will charge for beverages by the bottle rather than the glass, so preselecting the wines for your wedding reception (one white, one red, one sparkling) will prevent you from being left paying for numerous opened bottles at the end of the night.