We're getting married on Saturday (!) and instead of name places for each person I have made badges, with the name of each guest and an interesting fact about them.
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I need ideas on how to transform a church gym to an elegant yet inexpensive wedding reception.
Heather from Murray, KY
Balloons are a really cheap way to bring fun to a hall. Fill the balloon and let them hang from the walls and celling. Make "trees" with them and tie together and put on the dance floor.
I think I would cover the things that make the room look gym-y. Balloon clusters and crepe paper could cover the basketball baskets. You could rent carpeting for the lines on the floor. Using dimmed lighting would cut the game-day glare.
I was in your shoes not to long ago! My reception hall had bad lighting and the floors needed refinished. I know it's hard to stay on a budget, but sometimes if you rent a couple of eye-catching items, it can draw everyone's attention and all you need to supplement are simple table decorations. I rented a backlit lattice for the cake table and lights in toulle that hung from the ceiling. That made the reception hall. All I put on the tables were cylinder vases with a floating candle and a candle ring at the bottom. I bought all of that at a $1 store. If the gym can't raise the basketball goals just hang a little toulle and borrow some Christmas lights and you will have an elegant looking cascade to frame the room.
I've seen some beautiful lighting indoors with the "icicle" lights people use at Christmas time. I dont' know if there are poles you can string them to, or not.
Use tobacco canvas that you can purchase at your local farm supply store. It is very inexpensive and can be a beautiful way to transform a large area like a gym. Use ivy and white Christmas lights with the canvas in a creative way and you will have a setting lovely enough for any formal gathering.
Cover a hula hoop in white satin ribbon. Then attach the lights all around the hoop. The hoop could be hung from wire, attached to whatever is available in the ceiling, like rafters.
I need help trying to do an affordable wedding reception. Please help.
By sheena from Shreveport
My son recently became engaged to a woman from another state. They plan a formal ceremony in that state, however we want to throw a "NJ" reception the following weekend for our NJ family. We must keep the cost down because the bride's family has offered to pay for both and are on a tight budget (as we are, too). Any creative ideas? The guest count will probably be approx 60 - 75 max. No sitdown dinner is necessary, but a festive/nice atmosphere with food will be required.
By ee926 from NJ (North)
You do what you can afford to do. Decorations can be limited to balloon bouguets and a few silk flowers and pillar candles on the bridal table. Hang a few crepe paper streamers from the ceiling. You don't need a dance. Loud music makes it hard for people to visit. For food all that is absolutely necessary is cake, coffee, tea, and punch. If you think more is necessary, use small size buns and make some kind of meat spread for them, or have a couple slow cookers with sloppy joes in them and a plate of buns beside the cookers, then a couple kinds of chips and pickles.
If you did a 2pm or a 7pm reception you could just have hors d'oevres, cake, and beverages.
As an professional wedding planner of over 10 years I think a cocktail style reception would be perfect. If you have the space this could be done at home. Rent hyboy tables (they are inexpensive) and use buffet stations to allow guests to nibble, mingle & dance. Create a sweetheart table for the bridal couple.
Opt for heavier hors d'oevres, cream/cheese soups and use sauces. Dress up your food choices by paying close attention to their presentation. If you want to scale back on cake, opt for a cupcake tree, with a small cake on top to be cut by the couple.
If you want to serve alcohol, opt for a couple of signature drinks in the wedding colors. Look for recipes that only call for one alcohol and use mixers for the rest. Again, use the appropriate glasses and dress them up with colored sugar around the rim, or accent with fruit, edible flowers, charms, etc.
Make sure to carry over the wedding couples wedding colors into your decor. Renting lines for the tables is well worth the money. Simple arrangements or candles are large enough for the hyboy cocktail tables. Scattered arrangements on pedestals around the room will bring warmth to the atmosphere. Use inexpensive floor spot lights to create drama. If you will be outside, consider hung paper lanterns in the wedding colors.
Make sure to have a small bouquet for the bride and a boutonniere for the groom. Encourage them to wear their formal attire or a more causal version. Provide boutonnieres and corsages for parents.
For additional seating opt to create some lounge areas, by using your existing furniture, or rent simple benches. Slipcovers are a great way to bring all the colors together.
I hope this information helps. For more ideas just email me. Congratulations and best wishes in your planning.
I am 50 years old and getting married for 2nd time. We are on a budget. Any ideas on what I can wear? How can I cut costs? There are only about 20 people going and we have a budget of about 500 pounds.
By pillows from England, UK
Hi. I borrowed a wedding dress for my wedding. But, you might check with your local Thrift Stores. I always see inexpensive but beautiful dresses there. I put my wedding together with a tight budget in less than 4 months. I did all the flowers, food, favors and invitations myself. Saved a lot of money that way. I splurged on getting my hair done, but otherwise did everything myself. It really wasn't that stressful. Nobody knew I did it myself until after the wedding. I had people asking who catered and did the flowers! That was the best part. Knowing everything looked and tasted professionally done. Good luck with your wedding and marriage!
I don't know if they have "Prom" & "homecoming" in Britain (when high school girls get dressed up in formals) because I found a lovely full-length white prom dress & wore it as a wedding gown & it only cost me $80... I ordered my wedding cake from a grocery store for far less money than a bakery or a specialty cake store. For the party afterwords, my mom asked her closest friends to make h'orderves & snacks (pot-luck style) so we had a little something to eat & instead of expensive champagne or wine, we got a keg of beer & everyone was happy! You will have to rent a hall, but sometime you can rent the basement of a church. I used inexpensive crape-paper in colors that matched my cake to decorate with & give the place a little color. I bought my wedding bouquet flowers at a grocery store & made my own bouquet.
I'm a firm believer in dumping many of the "you have to do it this way" mentality of weddings, especially in this economy. Since it's a second wedding, would you be open to the idea of having the meal as "pot luck?" Everyone has a wonderful recipe they make. Ask your guests to make their favorite dish to pass and bring the recipe as a gift to couple. This way, it becomes a real celebration with family and friends who truly love you and your new husband.
Is there any way that I do a wedding reception for under $1,500.00, including hall, DJ, decorations and maybe fit in a caterer in that list? Please respond. I'm trying to do for the summer. Thanks
Weddings can easily get expensive very quickly. Help keep the cost of your wedding down by planning an inexpensive wedding reception. This is a page about inexpensive wedding reception ideas.
Trying to stick with a $1,000 wedding reception budget is a challenge. So I knew I had to be "extra creative" with reception refreshments so we didn't come across as cheap. I decided to have a pretzel bar.
Keeping the decorating costs down and creating an elegant setting can be a challenge in a gymnasium. This is a page about wedding reception in a church's gym.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
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