Structure Your Wedding Reception To Save Some Cash

According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding is nearly $30,000. And when you break down the wedding into parts, from dress to cake to engagement ring, the most expensive thing is the reception venue. It's little wonder that many people are looking for ways to save money on their receptions!

Whether your budget is large or small and your dream venue is a barn or a church, changing the structure of your wedding and reception is one good way to save a little cash – and maybe to be able to afford your dream honeymoon, too.

Morning Wedding, Lunch Reception

While most people think of the wedding reception as a dinner and dancing affair, there's no reason why you can't get married in the morning and have a lunchtime reception. Serving lunch is much less expensive than dinner, especially since it involves much less (if any) alcohol. Plus, you can avoid the embarrassment of drunken relatives and get going on your honeymoon a little bit sooner!

Small Reception, Big Party

Rather than inviting hundreds of people to your reception, why not make it a more intimate affair? By limiting the guest list to close family and friends, you can rent a smaller space, and you'll have less food and drink to provide as well. Then, after your honeymoon, consider having a big but casual get-together – think outdoor barbecue or family-reunion-style potluck. You'll be saving yourself money, and the friends and family who come to the second party will be able to have fun without having to splurge on formal wear.

Combined Venues, Shorter Reception

Many wedding reception venues also have the facilities for holding a wedding, whether it's a church with a meeting hall or an outdoor space that can simply be used for both. By having your wedding and reception in the same place, you may be able to get a deal on the rental. In addition, your guests can go from wedding to reception without having to drive anywhere – which also makes it easy for you to get some of them to help set up the reception.

You may have noticed this from weddings that you've attended: people often leave receptions early, and the last part of the reception is often made up of only a few stragglers. Shortening the reception by an hour saves you a little bit of money on the rental of your reception venue, and it's unlikely anyone will mind. Plus, if you combine your venues, the fact that the wedding leads right into the reception will ensure that it doesn't feel "short."