The Budgeting Bride: Venue to Menu


Have you noticed that once a proposal is accepted, the questions that follow get more complicated?  You have to say “yes” to a dress and then you have to answer  “How do we  pay for the day?”  One day at a time, right?  Well, let’s start with the obvious.  After you whittle down your guest list, look at  the two largest expenses – the venue and the menu. Many couples are now opting for a more reasonable financial approach.  Here are some cost saving tips to consider:




  • Rent a house or lodge for the wedding.  This works well for destination wedding.
  • A place where the wedding and the reception can both be accommodated.  You will save on transportation costs.



  • A hotel which offers a package deal (food, decorations, hotel accommodations etc..)
  • Get married on a dock and then host a dinner cruise.


  • Get married at home,  at a friend’s home or a place that has a special meaning to you.
  • Consider getting married on campus.
  • Find a venue that does not require you to use their vendors.
  • Municipal parks, historic churches and beaches  can be good options. Your favorite restaurant might accommodate you as well.





A courthouse wedding can also be endearing.  Your friends and family can witness and then meet you at a separate location for a small and  elegant reception.














  •  Have a brunch
  •  Have a themed menu (jazz night club scene where they serve salad, chicken and waffles)
  •  DIY platters of salad and veggies and purchased meat dishes for a backyard wedding.
  • Consider renting food trucks.


  • Ask to substitute cheaper cuts of meat in the menu.
  • Have a barbeque.
  • Buffet style can usually be more cost-effective than formal, sit-down service, saving approximately 20 to 30%.
  • Have dessert or hors d’oeuvres only.
  • Offer a baked potato bar. Provide a large variety of toppings.
  • Just have a cocktail reception with cake.
  • Add an ‘action stations’ where people can watch while they cook.




  Look for our next article on wedding confections entitled “Let Them Eat Cake?”
#wedding planning, #brides, #wedding receptions

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