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10 Money Saving Alternatives for Your Wedding Celebration

Saving Money at a Wedding Reception
Weddings don’t have to be traditional. In fact, non-traditional weddings are a great way to save some cash while creating an unforgettable event. Breaking from tradition frees you to personalize each and every aspect of your wedding reception without disappointing your guests’ preconceived expectations. Using these tips, you can cut costs without seeming stingy or haphazard.

1. Different Kind of Venue

A reception hall or large hotel may not be the most cost-effective choice. Think about theaters, outdoor areas, beaches, backyards, and any other space that is large enough to accommodate all of your guests. Aside from being cheaper, your beyond the pale wedding venue has another important bonus: you avoid having your wedding reception at the exact same location as someone else’s. This always invites comparison and definitely makes the day less memorable - especially when everyone and their cousin gets married at that very same venue. Break the mold and stand out.

2. Brunch

Why get married by the dark of night, when you can say your vows underneath warm sunshine? Plan a sunrise ceremony followed by a delicious brunch. Brunch is often less expensive than dinner, but still packs an impressive brunch. You’ll also love the way that your photos turn out when taken in natural sunlight!

3. Barbeque or Picnic

Give the formal attire the old heave-ho. Plan a picnic at a local park, in your backyard, or at a picturesque location. You can also opt for a lavish barbeque filled with flowers, water, and plenty of great food. Oftentimes, a low key casual affair that’s been snazzed up can feel more special (and be less costly) than a formal event that’s been subjected to the budget ax.

4. Dessert First

A late afternoon ceremony followed by a buffet of tasty treats is the perfect way to start your marriage. Plan a dessert buffet for guests instead of dinner, lunch, or brunch.

5. Clam Bake

If you’re lucky enough to live near a great beach, don’t surpass Mother Nature. Plan a rustic clam bake complete with decadent wedding cake and a massive bonfire. Nobody will forget a wedding that includes fresh seafood! This is an awesome treat for out of town guests.

6. Cocktail Hour

Plan a cocktail hour for guests following a reception. Your guests can mingle, sip champagne, and take part in your special day the cocktail way. After that, you can choose to transition to a limited or cash bar during and after dinner.

7. Reserve a Restaurant

If your guest list is small enough, you can reserve one room at a restaurant instead of a traditional venue. Your evening meal won’t include any DJ or live band, but you will have an intimate dinner with your beloved friends and family members. And isn’t that better than rushing around to every table, kissing obscure relatives on the cheek during your big day?

8. Muse About Museums

Museums make excellent venues. Look around you for a museum that is large enough to accommodate guests, and ask a curator about hosting an event inside of your chosen museum. You’ll find that most museums are inexpensive, while still providing a great location. (Caveat: Ensure that they allow red wine and flash photography.)

9. Cruise the Night Away

Check out the price of a harbor cruise (provided you have a harbor near you). Cruise ships are exciting and romantic, but booking a small reception room onboard a cruise ship won’t cost you a fortune. Ulterior benefit: wimps can’t duck out early-and anyone who can’t commit to the full night of fun won’t even bother attending.

10. Carnival or Casino Night

If you’re into gambling or having fun, you can plan an outdoor carnival or casino night. Hire some jugglers, put up a few slot machines, and get ready to have lots of fun!
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