A budget wedding reception doesn't mean you can't have an enjoyable and beautiful event. There are many ways to save money on the reception without looking cheap or giving up on the things that are most important to you. The following tips can help you save cash on one of the most major expenses — the venue — so you can focus your budget elsewhere.
Tip #1: Look for a low cost venue
Most receptions are held at banquet halls, but those at hotels or in banquet and conference centers can be beyond your budget. Instead, look for smaller venues, such as community centers or church banquet halls. These often cost less overall, plus you won't be required to use their in-house services for catering or serving like you might have to at a hotel.
Tip #2: Ask about extras
Not all small banquet halls are created equal. Make sure the one you choose allows kitchen access; otherwise, you will have to pay the caterers extra to bring their own methods to cook or heat the food on site. Many smaller venues also provide tables and chairs, although keep in mind that the number may be limited. Even so, this will save you on some rentals.
Tip #3: Rent your linens
Linens aren't usually provided by small banquet halls, and if they are, your choices will be limited and you will likely have to wash them afterward. In this case it can be cost effective to rent tablecloths, skirts, and other linens. You can even rent chair covers, which is less expensive than renting chairs and can make the ugly folding chairs provided by some banquet halls much more wedding-friendly. Linens aren't very expensive to rent, yet they can make the most humble hall into the perfect dream wedding locale.
Tip #4: Know the prohibitions and rules
Many church banquet halls, for example, prohibit alcohol on the premises. This can actually be a good thing if you aren't much of a drinker, since alcohol can be a major chunk of your budget. Other halls may have insurance requirements, so you will need to pay a small extra fee for event insurance. Make sure you know everything that is allowed as well as what is not so you don't chance extra fees or forfeiture of the deposit.
Tour banquet halls in your area, such as Divine Hall of Grace, to find the one that will work best for your ideal wedding.