Talk to your caterer.
Always go through a tasting to make sure that the food would be great. You should be handed the complete list of the menu, the ingredients, and all inclusions of your catering package. For example, would the dinnerware, linens, and table napkins be included?
Be clear about the caterer’s policy and the charges. Don’t forget to ask if your caterer bakes wedding cakes as well. You may be able to save your budget if you’ll order your wedding cake from the same caterer.
Buffet-style dinners are great, especially for outdoor receptions. It allows guests to mingle with each other, choose only the food they want, and get only what they can eat. It also saves you from serving the traditional 5-course dinner.
Consider putting together a combination of one or two Food Stations such as an Appetizer Table, Beverages Table, Desserts Table along with your Main Dishes. For the main meals, it’s best to have servers for your guests. If you did not hire caterers, assign some people to do the serving.
Don’t be afraid to go casual.
A wedding reception doesn’t always have to be formal. If you’re on a budget, stay away from the traditional black-tie dinners. Instead, choose a more casual theme especially for garden or beach weddings.
Save more on your food budget by not choosing a dinner reception. Before setting the time of your wedding, consider your budget. Brunch, lunch, and a mid-afternoon reception would cost so much less than serving dinner.
For an outdoor reception, never forget to set up a tent just in case it rains or the sun gets too hot. Rent a canopy that is large enough to serve as a shelter for all your guests.
Say them with flowers.
Flowers easily add warmth, elegance, beauty and brightness to any place. Whether it’s an outdoor or indoor reception, decorate them with flowers. Flowers can be very expensive during the holidays and when they’re not in season. Ask florists in advance on what possible flowers are in season for the month of your wedding.
Roses may be the most in demand flowers for a wedding but don’t forget to use other varieties as well. For example, Gerbera, Chrysanthemums and Daisies are wonderful for floral arrangements.
My favorites are Malaysian Mums – these adorable, vibrant blooms come in white, different shades of pink, red, orange, yellow and Lime Green. Statis is also an ideal variety that can fill up those vases without breaking your budget. If you live in Manila, Dangwa is a market haven for affordable fresh flowers.
You may also talk to flower shop owners or flower vendors to buy lose rose petals at a cheap price. If you tell them that you’re in a budget, you may even get those lovely petals for free. Fresh rose petals can be scattered in the center of your table or on the aisle of your reception venue for that elegant, romantic effect.
Scented and decorated candles can be unnecessarily expensive. Buy plain white or colored over-sized candles, tie a dainty lace or ribbon around them and place them beside your centerpieces. For the sweet-smelling scent, scatter a bunch of fresh rose petals around it and you’re all set.
Balloons are also an inexpensive way to add drama to your reception venue. Order a bunch of plain white balloons or balloons in the motif of your wedding, group them together, and leave them floating on the floor, by the lawn or by the pool.
Plain, clear glasses or bowls are great wedding centerpieces. You can simply fill them with stems of flowers or fill a bowl with water and let flowers or candles float.
You can buy these from Walmart, Target or K-mart or supermarkets at a cheap price. Look for low-cost yet pretty centerpiece ideas online that you can try.
Beauty, Hope, Patience and Love.
To assign tables, why not use words that are related to the occasion instead of the old numbering style? Print these words in white cards and you can stick them on the wine bottles served to each table.
Do you have your own budget-saving wedding reception tips? Feel free to share it by leaving a comment.