Wedding receptions can make your night and break your wallet. I wanted to post this topic to get some affordable wedding reception ideas, that don't scream to your visitor, "cheap nuts and mints" but also not to scream, "Shrimp Cocktails and fancy dumplings." I will be doing some research on the topic, but wondered if anyone had some ideas, recipes, tips, etc. on how to make my wedding reception taste and look good without the phenomenal price tag.
One idea to save money is combining venues with caterers (or rentals, or whatever). Look through <a href="http://www.gatheringguide.com/ec/event_venues_wedding_sites.html">http://www.gatheringguide.com/ec/event_venues_wedding_sites.html</a> to see what venues offer package deals, and then you might be able to afford more flashy things for less money.
Mocksville, NC 27028
Congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding. Weddings do not have to break the bank. There are alot of places in most cities and/or towns that will allow you to host a reception there for a very reasonable cost. One town near me allows people to use the town square, complete with gazeebo and stage for dancing, at a minimal cost. Parks often have shelters or special gardens that can be used as well. Also, consider alternate days of the week. Friday evening or Sunday weddings usually cost alot less, as do weddings off season (Jan-March, August & Nov - Dec here). Remember that a nice chicken dish is going to cost alot less than a lobster one, and most people are just as happy with the chicken. A carving station might be a good idea if your location and/or caterer offer it. Also, a wedding that is at an \"in between\" time can allow you to offer a small plate or cold plate meal (ie. smaller portions and/or ssnwhiches and finger food).
As far as cakes go, the sheet cake idea is a great way to cut costs down. As a decorator that specializes in weddings, I can say that about 1/2 of our clients add sheet cakes to a smaller wedding cake so everyone gets a piece, but a reasonable budget can be maintained. We once did a cake for 350 for about $500 by using a tiered cake for about 100 people and large round cakes decorated to match surrounding it on the table. Another idea that I am really fond of is using smaller 6\" cakes on each table for your guests. I\'m not sure about in your area, but we charge anywhere from $20 up per cake. This usually works out to be less than the cost of a traditional cake, and serves as table centerpieces as well. If you are creating much of the reception food yourselves, try asking family members if any of them feel up to the task. Making something that is closer to a birthday cake is alot less daunting for someone than preparing a traditional tiered cake. I hope these ideas help, and best of luck.
I have stumbled upon a few recipes and tips that have helped me plan for my wedding. One of the most successful foods that I have seen used many times is that of a yummy sheet cake. Now, the trick is taking the very inexpensive sheet cake (have 12 - 24 relatives each bring one or two sheet cakes to the reception center the morning of the reception) and then you make the creamy topping I have posted below, and fresh raspberry sweetened sauce on the top of that (or any fruit you desire). It looks good and tastes amazing. I had someone ask me how expensive they thought the cake must have been.
Here are the recipes:
1 White Cake Mix of your choice. ($cheap)
Make the cake in a sheet cake pan, so that it is thinner than the average cake.
Whip Cream, Cream Cheese, (optional cottage cheese), and anything else that would taste good in the creamy mixture ($1 - $2 per cake)
You can buy this sweet raspberry sauce stuff pre-made in package ($1.50 - $2.50 per cake)
There you have it. I will find the exact recipe and come back and post it, but it makes a lot of delicious good-looking cake and then you can top it with crushed gram-crackers, candy bars or whatever you prefer. Besides, if people only come for the food, then they aren't good friends anyways right?