Just like the ceremony site, you can decorate the reception site on a budget. Take the tips from the ceremony site and combine them with a few of these ideas for wedding reception decorations to get the reception area of your dreams while having a wedding on a budget.
Wedding Reception Decorations For A Wedding on a Budget
Decide on a theme or style for your wedding reception decorations.
Rustic wedding reception decorations
If you are having a rustic style wedding, use picnic tables or folding tables decked with checkered cloths. Place glass jars (you can save these from various pasta sauces you buy over the months and have friends and family do the same, or find mason jars for about 25¢ each at thrift stores) in the center and fill with bouquets of wildflowers filled in with twigs.
Related: Rustic Wedding Ideas on a Budget
Chic wedding reception decorations
For a chic yet inexpensive reception, borrow vases in various sizes and neutral colors (or glass) from friends and family and fill them with flowers. You can get bouquets of roses at the supermarket for $6-$15 each.
Then, get old picture frames from a thrift shop and spray paint them off-white or black. Fill them with floral or checkered scrapbook paper. Cut out numbers from cardstock in white and glue it to the center.
Casual wedding reception decorations
The best way to keep things casual is to keep them simple. Make the centerpieces easy by getting small milk vases from thrift stores and filling them with one or two flowers.
If that's too simple, you can dress this up by adding candles to the base or wrapping books in brown wrapping paper and placing the vases on top of them.
Related: How to Save Money on the Your Wedding Ceremony Decor
Upscale wedding reception decorations
Upscale weddings do not have to be expensive. The best way to make something feel upscale when it isn't is to paint it in neutral and metallic hues.
If you want a simple, yet very elegant wedding, take glass jars and paint them black. Then dip them in gold or silver glitter. Fill with white flowers and add a few all pieces of grass.
Whimsical wedding reception decorations
Whimsical weddings have so much potential to be cheap, fun, and beautiful and if you are planning one you have so many options you can choose from.
Oversized bowls, bowls of fruit, balloons, and other unexpected pieces can make the centerpieces fun and eye-catching.
Related: Save Money on the Wedding Venue – 17 Cheap Wedding Venue Ideas
Romantic wedding reception decorations
Weddings are about romance, and if you are particularly romantic, try having a tea party style reception.
Take teapots (borrow and buy cheap) in different sizes and shapes and fill them to overflowing with flowers that match your bouquet.
A Few More Wedding on a Budget Tips
Get Cashback – Remember when you shop online for wedding items (and even in store!) use Ebates for cashback. They even have special wedding cashback offers!
Use Gift Cards – Make sure to save up your free Amazon gift cards to get items for your wedding too!
Skip the Wedding Items – Anything labeled for a wedding is going to cost more so skip the wedding aisle in the stores and shop down the other decor aisles.
Related: 12 Ways to Save Money on Wedding Flowers
Don't Get Married on a Saturday – Everyone seems to want to get married on a Saturday! Because of this, it will cost you more to rent a space on a Saturday. Pick a different day. I went a far as to get married on a Wednesday midday.
No, I'm not joking I got the venue for 1/4 the price. Great idea right? I have to be honest we didn't have a choice it was the only day hubby was able to get off to get married (him being in the Navy and all at the time)
Skip Meal Time – If you plan your reception around a meal it the food will cost you more. Plan your reception for say 2 pm, then you can serve snacks and even have a dessert bar instead of a meal and you can get out earlier to travel for your honeymoon!
There are even more ideas in our book!
Kara Cardinal says
As a wife of a Navy veteran, I appreciate what you are doing with giving brides inexpensive ideas for their weddings. As a planner, it’s not realistic to have a wedding for $1,500. You didn’t include food and drinks. That alone would cost at a very, very minimum $1,500 if you can find a caterer willing to drastically drop their prices. I would put somewhere on your site that food and drink would be extra. Have a wonderful day!
Danielle, The Frugal Navy Wife says
This is actually one post in a series of posts about this topic (seen here https://www.thefrugalnavywife.com/category/frugal-living/wedding-frugal-living/ ) This post actually covers un conventional food choices https://www.thefrugalnavywife.com/2013/10/wedding-week-the-food-and-favors-feeding-guests-great-food-without-breaking-the-bank/
Nice ideas with creativity it can be done….Sorry Kara C. but I am in the midst of planning my own budget wedding for about
$750 AND that is for fifty people and it includes everything! It can be done if you have the DIY skills and helpful friends. Here’s how: free backyard venue, friend photographer, handmade paper flowers, dishes, vases, flatware owned or bought from thrift store, Christmas string lights, sewing wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses, , making simple entrees and several salads , waiter friend doing food service, cheap chair and table, and linen rentals from craigslist , I am an illustrator so just the printing price of invite suite, menus etc… list goes on…
Danielle is only trying to be helpful. If you don’t need the help she’s offering, why did you even come to her page? That also goes for Mrs. Kara-the-wedding-planner up top. You both came here to do nothing but pass judgements. If you have better ideas, go make your own page.
Hi love the suggestions, really gave me more inspiration.
I know it can be done I helped a friend cut costs to get the exact centrepieces she wanted for $10 a table instead of $50 pertable and a dress in the style she wanted but had the bit of colour she wanted for $150 instead of $2000.
When my mother had me help her do hers, she gathered prices and photos for every thing she wanted and it would have been $20,000 but when I searched I was able to do her wedding for $2000, and this was before I started using Pinterest where I found a link to this blog.
My sister and brother want me to help them do it for there weddings
some great ideas im doing my wedding all myself the only thing we are paying big money on is photography and wedding dress but im getting it made by a lady who is just starting up not sure on price yet but keeping it as low as possible and in regards to other comments its totally possible im doing it thankyou for so many helpful tips
Ashley Wallace says
I am interested in planning a very low budget rustic barn wedding. Any ideas? Possibly 150 people