Everyone is looking to cut costs right now, and that includes brides and future grooms.

While a wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event and you still deserve a wonderful party to celebrate, there are ways to do it without breaking your budget.

Over the course of the last generation, the big Saturday night banquet with an aperitif and a cocktail beforehand has become the default wedding reception. However, there are several other types of fun and creative receptions that cost much less. I say it’s time to go back to some of these wedding day parties that used to be quite common before Saturday night pre-reception dinner became the standard.

Having a separate reception cocktail party will definitely cut your costs. Serving a selection of stale and / or stationary hors d’oeuvres instead of a full meal lowers your catering bill. If you are using a place that requires rent, that bill will be lower as well. Smaller tables (and tablecloths) are required, and there is no need for a full table, or expensive floral and buffet centerpieces.

Evening receptions also cut costs, as people generally stay fewer hours and drink less, saving on labor and alcohol costs. Have a brunch reception, afternoon tea, cheese, fruit and dessert reception, or even a picnic outside for the big guest list. If a couple still feels the need for the expensive dinner, have an exclusive gathering later in the evening for an intimate group of close family and friends.

These types of receptions give a couple the opportunity to be much more creative with their food choices (no rubber chicken and overcooked or overcooked mixed vegetable food). And as a bonus, your guests can appreciate the opportunity to move better and mingle, too.

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