This is how we Roll – Styles of Reception

Consider one of these alternative styles of reception. Not only will they save you a FORTUNE, they'll set you apart from the crowd and make your big day the special event of the year!

Champagne Breakfast

  • An early morning ceremony is the perfect way to kick-start your married life. Many hotels and restaurants run very classy high-end breakfast occasions and allow you to spend a whole day being the perfect bride rather than just an evening. You can even get an early start on your honeymoon – be on the plane by lunch time!

Brunch Brilliance

  • Just like a breakfast reception, a classy brunch will not only be much less expensive, but an elegant and memorable time setting for relaxing and celebrating! The timing means people will be happier eating lighter meals and drinking less alcohol too.

Picnic Perfect

  • There has always been something romantic about a picnic. I don't necessarily mean having your guests bring their own sandwiches along, but white (or patterned) picnic rugs set out in a beautiful garden (again, always think of friends or family who have a great garden) or a private corner of a public park or botanical garden look amazing. Serve light finger foods and decorate liberally with living plants (pots of flowers, ferns etc) as well as cut flowers.

High Tea – High Society

  • Prim, proper and incredibly chic, high-tea functions are making a comeback across the globe. Traditionally held at 4pm, these tea sittings are all about fine china, dainty treats and elegant surrounds. A restaurant or hotel that offers these will more than likely do a great price per head for a large booking – as long as you avoid that 'wedding' word when calling around to get prices!

Afternoon Delight

  • If you love the idea of having an afternoon wedding (great light for photos and much less expensive for food and beverages!) but a high tea isn't your thing – how about just shifting your dream wedding to an afternoon rather than an evening function? The time slot is so much more forgiving for both you and your guests. You have all morning to enjoy getting ready and your older (and your very young) guests will appreciate not being out late at night. Factor in that the food for an afternoon wedding will be much lighter and less expensive than an evening meal, your guests will only be drinking a fraction of the alcohol they would have at night and you will have saved a huge amount of money and made a lot of your guests really happy. Even if you throw in a sumptuous room-service dinner for yourselves that night, it's a lot of money left in your pocket to spend as you'd like.

Buffet All the Way

  • But what if you have your heart set on letting your guests loose on a buffet dinner? How can you best manage a buffet to not cost you far too much? One tip is to steer your choices towards simpler and more popular food. People are a little tired of the old 'roast beef or fish' routine. Ask the chef about their more creative options and don't be afraid to look into pasta and rice based modern dishes. A good chef and catering company will be happy to work with your wishes. Be honest with them about how much you'd like to spend and get them to make suggestions that work with your budget, not what they'd like you to spend. The biggest tip I have seen yield the greatest results is less about what food is served but more about how it is served. The old-fashioned idea about a giant platter of food from which the guests serve themselves is flawed in a few ways. One, guests see an enormous amount of food and put more on their plate that they would normally eat – an over-full tummy or wasted food is wasted money. Two, a 'help yourself' style arrangement always opens you up to the disastrous possibility that the early guests to the buffet could take more than expected or pick the best from the trays, leaving a 2nd class meal or maybe no meal at all for the later guests to the buffet. For this reason, I'd strongly consider having the food served directly to the guests, or smaller buffet selections at each table rather than one for the entire celebration. The number one tip of course is to not be afraid to haggle politely with per-head prices quoted to you by wedding centers. Their very generous profit margins means that they have a lot of 'wiggle room' to discount if they wish. Even if you can only get the per-head price dropped by $2 per head, even a small wedding reception will have saved $100!


  • Rather than setting a room of hungry people loose on a buffet that will most likely cost you a fortune, consider pre-arranging a set menu with the chef at your location. Give him a very set price per-head and ask him to come up with a few meals (ideally one meat/one chicken or fish/one vegetarian) and entree suggestions. Not only do you set a limit on how much the guests will eat, you will also ensure that all of your guests have a hot meal and no queuing at the buffet. Like the buffet options above, get your chef to work out some modern and affordable dishes to get your per-head price even lower.

The Happiest of Happy Hours

  • What's important to you about your wedding reception? If the key things that you want from your party is a fun atmosphere, great drinks and dancing – why not have a cocktail reception? Not only are they fun, but the informal setting allows guests to mingle freely and meet new people – as well as busting a few moves on the dance floor! Serve a range of hot and cold finger foods (friends and family can do this for next to nothing!) and get the bartenders to make up a spectacular looking but not overly potent (you don't want to topple Grandma!) personalized cocktail and give it a zippy name. Most local bars will allow you to rent either part of or all of the bar and set a bar tab and/or list of allowable drinks to serve. My biggest tip for cocktail receptions? Close the bar for alcoholic drinks about 1-2 hours before the end of the reception. Not only will it limit costs, it'll mean your guests will have danced off more of their champagne before having to drive home! If you and your partner are party people – celebrate it! Great savings and a great time to be had by all!

Sunset Sweet

  • Sunset is a universally romantic time of day. And what better day to share the romance with your friends and family? Plan an occasion to revel in the sunset and celebrate the end of 'your' day. Whether its a simple cocktail reception in a location with a great view of the setting sun, or a bonfire on the beach after a sea-side wedding, sunset calls for cooling drinks, light comfort food and an overwhelming sense of peace.

Sweets under the Stars

  • One of my favorite reception ideas is the 'Midnight Sweet' style gathering. Rather than a dinner, the guests gather for a buffet of desserts, coffees and drinks later in the evening. Good music and a dance floor are vital components. The bride and groom are either married at the gathering or were married in a smaller ceremony early in the day. A great idea is to get family members to each bring the dessert that they are famous for. Think Nana's apple pie, Aunt June's Chocolate Chip Ice cream and the sugar rush will have guests smiling at the memories forever.

Next Page - Page 17: Save Money on the Wedding Cake.



Page 01: Welcome / Donate & Link Info / Feedback.
Page 02: Intro to Low Budget Wedding Ebook.
Page 03: Priorities / The Budget.
Page 04: Save Money on Your Wedding Dress Pt. 1.
Page 05: Saving Money on the Wedding Dress Pt. 2.
Page 06: Save money on wedding accessories, hair, and make up.
Page 07: Save on Veils, Stockings, Lingerie, the Extras And the Garter.
Page 08: Save Money on Wedding Mensware.
Page 09: Saving Money for Your Bridesmaids.
Page 10: Save Money on Your Wedding Celebrant.
Page 11: Save Money on Wedding Ceremony Locations.
Page 12: Saving Money on Wedding Decorations.
Page 13: Save Money on the Wedding Rings.
Page 14: Save Money on Wedding Transportation.
Page 15: Save Money on Wedding Photography And Video.
Page 16: Save Money on Wedding Reception / Location.
Page 17: Save Money on the Wedding Cake.
Page 18: Save Money on Wedding Music and Entertainment.
Page 19: Save Money on Wedding Flowers.
Page 20: Save Money on Centerpieces and Wedding Thank You Gifts.
Page 21: FAQs from our valued visitors/readers.
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