Skip to main content

Post content has been hidden

To unblock this content, please click here

Just Said Yes September 2023

diy reception

Jane, on September 18, 2023 at 10:44 AM Posted in Do It Yourself 0 3
How do I throw together a last minute reception on a very low budget?


Latest activity by Michelle, on September 20, 2023 at 4:55 PM
  • Keri
    Keri ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content
    Maybe at a brewery? Or a pavilion in a park?
    • Reply
  • H
    Master July 2019
    Hannah ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content
    Park pavilions, community centers, and places like VFWs and American Legions all have relatively inexpensive event spaces. Italian, Mexican, and BBQ tend to be cheap catering options.
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    • Hide content
    A local parks department owned venue or community center is nearly always the cheapest venue option. They have a full kitchen with tables and chairs included in the rental price and they let you bring in any licensed vendors and that allows you to stick with low cost options and still come in way under the cost of an all inclusive. For food and beverages, look into drop off catering from your favorite casual restaurant or your favorite pizza place. Costco food court has full size pizza sold very inexpensively that can be ordered the day before and picked up right before it is ready to set up. Beverages (soda, coffee, lemonade) can be purchased in bulk at Costco too. Cake and coffee in the mid afternoon is still socially acceptable and used to be the norm in a number of social circles and families. Don’t feel that you need to move your wedding to brunch in order to save money. The same goes for dry weddings, and it is ok to not serve alcohol if you are on a strict budget, and you don’t have to move it to brunch. In some social circles, if the couple served beer/wine only, that would be wasted money because not everyone drinks those even if the internet says that is the bare minimum of proper hosting, which it is not. If someone won’t celebrate with you because you have limited funds in general and/or choose to not serve alcohol, that is a them problem.

    A grocery store cake and flowers are a great budget choice. They are often tastier than a regular wedding bakery and no one will know unless you tell them that the flowers are sourced from the grocery store. Some of them even have in store florists who can make centerpieces too. Fresh flowers from a grocery store or a wholesale florist open to the public if you are in a major city are environmentally friendly being biodegradable which faux (silks, wood, etc) are not, and they actually cost less than faux flowers more often than not.
    Only decide who are your ride or die closest people. For some, that is best friends, and others it’s parents and siblings. Not everyone has the same relationship so it doesn’t work for all couples to invite relatives if there is no relationship with them, when they would rather have best friends in attendance. Make sure that partners are invited by name and that you acknowledge them if you have never met them or if they don’t meet a societal “requirement” of engaged at minimum before they “earn” an invite. Do not invite anyone out of obligation who would be attending to make other people happy but you would rather they don’t attend. Keep bridesmaids and groomsmen to a minimum and do not invest in proposal boxes which are expensive and go straight to the trash. Ask them in a regular conversation and get a thank you gift like you would buy for their birthday. Avoid wedding related stuff that will be largely ignored or thrown away.
    Skip favors and anything that is not important to you as a couple. Don’t get a cheap alternative of something, because that doesn’t save any money.
    The other vendors can be sourced from has full sets of invites that cost less than a single a single card without envelope sold separately on Zazzle. And you can even customize how you like. Save the dates existed for decades and earlier and were sent by word of mouth, either in person or over the phone and it costs nothing. Also, contrary to popular belief, purchasing items such as linens, dishes, vases, etc is usually not economical compared to renting. Unless you regularly host large parties in your home, most items purchased for a wedding are one time use and either thrown away or resold and not everyone cares for used items. It’s also much more environmentally friendly to rent. Most signage is not necessary and won’t be read except for buffet tent cards telling what each dish is and any potential allergens and a bar menu.
    Be very careful with DIY because it actually doesn’t save any money the majority of the time. What a number of people don’t realize is that DIY entails a lot of time, energy and patience that not everyone has or realizes is involved and it must be factored at minimum wage per hour in addition to cost of supplies. There is so much more labor and sanity involved: many are making crafts for the first time ever and don’t realize they don’t have the patience or skills for what they want, and then each step has to be considered as time. From the beginning when you start making the craft or you are purchasing the items, transportation to and from the venue, setup and tear down, any steaming that may be needed, cleaning the items to photograph/list, and the entire process of selling them, with no guarantee that someone will buy them in the end. Paying a rental company or vendor with staff included is much cheaper because their rate is lower and they still make a living wage and profit.

    A popular trend post Covid is to have an elopement and then a vow renewal with reception afterwards. In some social circles, that is seen as rude because the couples choose to not acknowledge that the event guests are invited to is symbolic and not legal, so that hurts many feelings even if no one says anything to the couple. The reception/party is where the majority of the expense is. It costs money to feed and water your guests, whereas it doesn’t cost anything per person at the ceremony, yet couples believe that the prices are opposite in reality.
    A couple other trends that became popular post-Covid due to celebrity influence on Instagram, who have no concept of reality, are the reception dress and the couple paying all expenses for guests. Reception dresses are common and expected in Asian cultures but they are not a thing in Western weddings. Also, a wedding dress is an item that is worn one day out of your life for 4-6 hours or however long your wedding lasts and they have a hefty price tag to match. It’s not economical for many brides, especially when the all inclusive venues are pushed on them that have limited time allowed for the festivities and not a lot of time to change into a second or third outfit without taking precious time away from guests who you may not see often. Coupled with so many saying they didn’t get to interact with or greet their guests. The other celebrity influenced trend that only they can afford, is erroneously considered impolite if you don’t follow through and there is no etiquette book anywhere that says this is expected or required, is for the couple to cover all costs for guests. That includes everything from airfare to rental cars/Ubers to lodging, meals, clothing and beyond. This is not and and never has been the responsibility of the couple to cover this, whether it is a local or destination wedding.
    If you have bridesmaids and groomsmen, they are responsible for paying for their own clothing and accessories. You can offer to pay for hair/makeup but it’s not required unless you have a specific look you are not budging on.

    You can make it work, and people get married every day with extremely limited funds. But you have to get creative and stick to your boundaries. Don’t let anyone anywhere say that you can’t get married unless you spend $25-30k base.
    • Reply

You voted for . Add a comment 👇


Related articles

WeddingWire celebrates love ...and so does everyone on our site! Learn more


WeddingWire article topics