Although a wedding is really about the ceremony, for many of your guests, the real wedding begins at the reception. For the bride and groom, the reception is usually when they get to relax and let loose as well, but the planning of the reception is anything but relaxing, especially if you’re trying to stick to a strict budget
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to save money on fun, elegant, and memorable decor. Here are ten inexpensive wedding reception decoration ideas.
Use White Christmas Lights
Many people use white Christmas lights all year round on their back porches as a simple and elegant decoration. And these lights can make a beautiful addition to any wedding reception venues. They can be hung from the ceiling, around tables, around the cake, or in potted plants. If you don’t want to use Christmas lights, consider lanterns instead.
Seat covers can be expensive to rent and a lot of work to make. Instead of using seat covers, get some beautiful wide ribbon to tie on the backs of the chairs to add some elegance and spruce things up. Ribbon is a cheap alternative compared to fancy seat covers. Enlist the help of friends to get the ribbons cut and tied for the big day.
Add a Water Feature
A nice addition to the entrance of your reception would be a water fountain. It could even be a small one that you have in your home that sits on a table. The sound of a water fountain is so refreshing, and it would be nice for your guests to listen to as they can finally relax at the reception.
Feathers are a big trend in wedding decor. Buy them in bulk from a craft store and create large feather wreaths to hang on the walls or add them to centerpieces of flowers for an elegant (and inexpensive) look.
Decorate with Food
The wedding food and drink menu you choose and the way it’s arranged on platters can add lots of pizzazz to your big day. Huge and assorted apothecary jars of candy on the dessert bar create a festive mood, while gorgeous trays and farm fresh cheeses and rustic bread can instantly make the party have a more organic feel.
There’s nothing more romantic than a dim room lit only by the glow of hundreds of candles. And luckily, candles are inexpensive.
Cover with Fabric
You can get yards of your favorite fabrics at a craft store and use it for everything from covering tables to draping from the ceiling (i.e. sheer fabrics work well for this and create a romantic atmosphere). Get creative with material to create a soft, intimate atmosphere.
Have a Picnic
I was at an outdoor wedding once where reception “tables” were just blankets and pillows on the ground and each blanket had its own picnic basket filled with goodies and wine. It was fun, classy, and unique – not to mention much cheaper than a formal affair with chairs.
Display Your Engagement Photos
Your guests will love to look at your engagement photographs, and your reception is the perfect place to display them. In fact, your reception may be the only place that some of your guests will ever get to see your engagement photos. And while you’re at it, bring some of your favorite pictures of you and your spouse-to-be to show at the reception. If you are unsure about displaying them in frames or in a collage, consider creating a slide show for reception entertainment.
Have Fun with Flowers
I went to a wedding once that had some large flower displays. They looked like large flower balls. They were elegant, eye-catching, and memorable. To be honest, I don’t remember any decorations other than the flower balls from this wedding. While these displays looked professionally made, a bride and groom could make these flower balls themselves by getting large styrofoam balls (at a craft store like Michael’s) and inserting the stems of the flowers into them. These would be inexpensive to make as long as you either used silk flowers or ordered your flowers from an online wholesaler to save money on wedding flower arrangements.