Once the ceremony is over, it’s party time! The reception is the part of the wedding day where your personality can truly shine through. Now that you’ve made one of the biggest life changes, it’s time to celebrate with friends and family. But how do you make sure that the party of a lifetime doesn’t financially set you back for a lifetime? Here are a few money saving tips to enjoy a sumptuous reception without breaking the bank:
Get married on any day…except Saturday! Saturday wins the vote for the most popular wedding day, but if you choose to get married on a Thursday, for instance, you can often slice your reception budget in half! Reception venues look for ways to book clients on non-traditional days, so if you don’t mind celebrating with your nearest and dearest during the week, you can save thousands off the cost of your reception. Huge bonus: you get to enjoy your reception with those who truly love you enough to take off during the week to celebrate your special day.
Consider original reception venues. Reception halls aren’t the only places to hold a reception. Thinking out of the box and holding your reception in a non-traditional location is a great way to celebrate your wedding with a more flexible budget. Plenty of couples are setting up their receptions in botanical gardens, historical libraries, museums, aquariums, state parks, even at theme parks! Off-season summer camps offer sprawling locations for wedding receptions and are experts at making the most of indoor and outdoor spaces. If you loved your alma mater, many colleges and universities have gorgeous wedding spaces for receptions and as alumni you can probably get a serious discount. With a trusted wedding planner by your side, any location can be dolled up for the most elegant and memorable of receptions.
Pay in cash…up front. What?!!!! I know, I know, settle down. Now that you’ve picked yourself up off the floor think about it logically. Cash is king. Lay-a-way plans always cost more. Paying in installments puts power in the hands of your reception venue. If you show up at the reception venue of your dreams with your checkbook in hand and the ability to pay the entire bill as you sign the contract, you hold all the chips. If you are able to pay for your reception all at once, you have a powerful negotiation tool that can save you thousands. Just make sure that your funds are actually in place and that you have a detailed refund policy should something go wrong.
Read the contract fully before you sign. If you have picked your wedding reception venue, read through all of the details of your contract before you sign it. We are all so used to agreeing to contracts to avoid the tediousness of reading through all the legalities. Your wedding reception venue is a pretty expensive purchase and the contract might include a whole host of extra costs that are not necessary. Is the extra $5.00 per dripless candle lighting fee indispensable? Is it so imperative that you have a washroom attendant handing out finger towels to guests for 5 hours? Look through the contract for wasteful costs that aren’t your style and don’t be afraid to negotiate them out of your price plan. Don’t just accept the package the way the venue presents it, tailor your reception to your style and needs before you sign on the dotted line.
Go small and then go big. If you love the intimacy of a small wedding but have a huge group of family and friends, consider having two receptions. Enjoy a small but stylish wedding reception with your immediate family and closest friends at your choice location, a fabulous restaurant for instance, and then throw a huge bash after your return from your honeymoon to celebrate with the rest of your crew. A party usually carries a smaller price tag than a wedding reception, but it can be just as beautiful and fun. If you feel like dressing up in your wedding finery again for pictures, go for it! You’ll feel more relaxed having enjoyed married life a bit before introducing yourselves as the new Mr. and Mrs. at your post wedding party! Or consider going small with an exclusive wedding brunch before the wedding ceremony and making your post wedding celebration a large cocktail party with drinks, dancing and dessert. Seriously, isn’t that all you really want enjoy at a wedding reception anyway?
Wedding receptions are the epitome of joyous celebrations. There are so many ways to enjoy celebrating your marriage to your beloved. Whether you want the traditional wedding reception package or you are open to trying out different venues, remember to stay true to who you are as a couple. Life does continue after the party of a lifetime. If you plan your wedding reception wisely, you can think back with fondness over your post “I do” party.