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7 Ways to Have a Great Reception Without Breaking the Bank

Michael Evans, owner of Helga’s Caterers, knows how to put on a beautiful event and keep things in check on the financial side. He is a regular contributor to this website’s blog and a Guest Writer for Brides & Weddings of Northern Virginia.

Looking to save on that wedding reception? Take Michael’s ideas and put the $$$ in the bank! The best part about these tips? Your guests won’t even know the difference!

#1 Ask your venue if you can provide your own booze. This gives you the opportunity to shop around for the best prices and the flexibility to provide various types and tiers on both liquor and mixers. Signature cocktails are always a hit and are a great way to show your unique style.

#3 Nix the champagne toast. You not only save on the cost of champagne, but also on equipment rentals.

#4 Get creative with your meal service. Plated sit-down dinners are the most expensive style of service. Choose a variety of food stations or a buffet and on food and staffing expenses.

#5 Sunday Funday. Many venues and vendors offer discounted rates compared to the prices found for prime time Saturday events. Similarly, avoiding the peak wedding season in general (April – October) is a great way to find discounts from your favorite places and people. Alternatively, hosting a morning brunch reception or a cocktail reception in the early afternoon can help to decrease reception costs, especially when compared to traditional Saturday evenings.

#6 Choose flowers and ceremony décor that can be re-purposed at the reception. Consider using hanging arrangements along the aisle then as centerpieces during the reception, or bridesmaids’ bouquets as decoration for the cake table. For additional savings, use flowers that are in season.!

#7 Sweet Savings. Get creative and opt for less conventional (and less expensive) desserts like pies, donuts, or cupcakes. If you want to maintain the cake cutting tradition, have a smaller tiered cake on display at the reception, and have additional sheet cakes in the back. You can maintain tradition and still serve a variety of flavors.

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