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Cheap Wedding Reception Ideas

You have come to the right place if you are looking for fantastic wedding reception ideas on a budget wedding.

We have so many unique ideas for how to have a cheap wedding and reception. 

You got through the I Do’s without a hitch.

You are now wearing the perfect wedding engagement ring, and it’s time to start planning your dream wedding. 

Unfortunately, weddings are expensive. 

And if you are on a tight budget, the only way to get through is to find alternative cheap wedding ideas

Aunt Sally was crying tears of happiness, the best man didn’t drop the rings; it went off without a hitch (mini fist bump, yes)!

Now the best part.

The Party!

Now we know you want to throw the biggest party EVER, but you also don’t want to blow your wedding budget on just one day.

There is no point in spending your life earnings on something that will only occur once. 

But you also want to enjoy it as it is the one time you will ever have a wedding. 

I get it. 

So many of you have questions. 

Here is one I got from a bride-to-be:

How can I make a cheap wedding look expensive?

Lucky for you, we have plenty of budget wedding reception ideas to share with you. 

Grab your wedding journal, as I will be looking at sharing the following:

  • Cheap but classy wedding reception ideas

  • Cheap places to have a wedding reception

  • Ideas for small weddings on a budget

Whether you are planning a cheap wedding or are looking for affordable wedding reception ideas, we have you covered. 

And like any other wedding, savvy couples know that planning any low-budget wedding reception requires a functioning budget.  

A quick wedding budget checklist such as this one will help you determine if you can afford a destination wedding, but at the end of the day, I truly recommend our Ultimate Wedding Budget bundle.

Grab this wedding budget spreadsheet printable to help meet all your wedding planning needs. Here's how to make a wedding budget that's perfect for you, without skimping on the fun stuff. Check our printable Wedding Budget Templates!

It’s designed to meet all your wedding planning needs and ensure you cover all your wedding expenses, leaving little to no surprises. 

Making a budget for your  wedding reception can also help you avoid spending more than you planned.

You need to keep reading to know more about how you can have the perfect wedding reception on a budget wedding.

Having a cheap wedding is an excellent way to save money that you can put towards other things such as a house or a savings account. 

Having a cheap wedding is an excellent way to save money that you can put towards other things such as a house or a savings account. 

But we would also like you to have the wedding of your dreams. 

We’ve put together a few ways to make your wedding reception ideas a unique experience for you and your guests without spending so much money.

I also suggest grabbing the money-saving challenges to save for your wedding!

Check out our list of simple wedding reception ideas on a budget below

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10 Epic wedding reception ideas on a budget

Planning a wedding in itself can be stressful and challenging.

Coming with unique wedding reception ideas that fit within your wedding budget is something else.

We decided to feature this post full of unique and awesome budget-friendly DIY wedding reception ideas you can use to save money. 

Before starting your wedding plans, you need to create a wedding budget that works. 

An excellent wedding budget will ensure you do not spend the money you may or may not have on your big day. 

To find a reasonable working budget, I suggest you grab this one. 

And if you haven’t started saving for your DIY wedding yet, you need these wedding-saving trackers

1. Consider Cheap Wedding Reception Venues

You will need an affordable wedding venue to afford a wedding reception on a budget. 

Before choosing your wedding venue or booking any wedding vendor, you should grab our vendor payment tracker today!

Planning a simple wedding reception on a budget will require you to stick to your wedding budget as much as possible, and tracking it will ensure that you are not overspending. 

Having a chic $10 000 wedding budget can quickly disappear if you are not careful. 

Before you book your wedding venue, I suggest visiting a few places to find the perfect scenic location.

You want to find cheap wedding reception halls that can cater to your needs. 

I recommend booking only one venue to save money on your wedding venue!

This means hosting both your wedding reception and ceremony in one location.

For cheap wedding reception venues, consider alternative ideas such as:

  • School halls
  • Community centres
  • Churches
  • Clubhouses

These are the perfect DIY wedding venue ideas. 

There are honestly a lot of unique alternative wedding venues to choose from. 

Go ahead and look up cheap places to have a wedding reception. 

Look up some in your area. 

I am sure you will come up with cheap reception venue ideas you can explore further to host your big day. 

2. Reception food ideas on a budget

Food and drinks eat up most of the wedding budget.

You will save a lot of cash if you can cut costs without sacrificing quality. 

Because you are planning a wedding reception on a budget, you must come up with a menu you can afford while keeping guests in mind. 

Choosing which foods to serve at your wedding is always an important decision.

Don’t forget to work with your caterer or wedding venue to plan inexpensive wedding reception food you can serve your guests. 

They are the best people to come up with excellent reception food ideas that could work with your budget. 

If ways to cut wedding food costs:

Simple, cheap wedding ideas like these can save you money. 

Read this next post if you want cheap wedding reception food ideas!

It’s packed with plenty of fantastic tips you can use for your wedding reception ideas on a budget!

3. Wedding reception decorations on a budget

Finding creative wedding reception ideas that won’t do a number on your wallets is what we strive to share with you.

Decorations can cost an arm and a leg, depending on what you want. 

Flowers alone are expensive – just look at these luxurious wedding centrepieces. 

Each cost easily up to $800 per table.  

For example, you can DIY your wedding decor from the dollar store right here to help you save more for your winter wedding.

You can also use these fantastic Ikea wedding ideas to help you decorate your wedding reception on a budget. 

It’s packed with unique DIY wedding ideas on a budget, perfect for frugal brides.

4. DIY your wedding reception songs

If you are looking for great wedding reception ideas that are cheap, I suggest involving your guests.

Before your wedding day has even come around, get your guests involved in your wedding celebrations by asking them to request a wedding song for the night’s playlist on their RSVP invitations.

It will make your guests feel like they have been able to contribute to the night and get excited when they hear their song gets played on the night.

Grab our wedding song list to ensure you can keep your wedding songs organized. 

These wedding reception ideas work well if you plan on using your iPod or music system.

Have a good friend designated to look after the music if you genuinely can not afford a DJ. 

And these DIY wedding signage are perfect for getting guests on the dance floor. 

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5. Wedding Hashtags

This is it if you want fun wedding reception ideas that cost little to no money.

Have a board at the entrance to your reception with a hashtag for guests to use on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

It’s a great way to connect with everyone and find all the pictures taken the next day. Think about creating a Snapchat filter too.

Several apps allow you to create personal filters for Snapchat. 

Your guests will love being able to use it on the night of your big day.

You have to be creative when coming up with DIY wedding reception ideas. 

Stuck on coming up with unique Hashtags for your day? 

Use this wedding hashtag generator right now. 

They are entirely free to use. 

6. Photo booth opportunities

There is no question that photo booths are a big hit at every wedding.

Your guests will love it! 

Ensure to have places set up around the venue for people to take pictures.

Photo booths are a great idea but hiring them can be a bit pricey so stick to more budget-friendly options. 

For cheap wedding entertainment, consider DIYing your wedding photo booth. 

Making them at home will cost you nothing but your time.

Like hanging a large polaroid frame with your names and the wedding date from a tree outside, made from just a stiff piece of card and a sharpie!

The photos can also double as gift favours

Places to get DIY photo booth Props and accessories for all your DIY Wedding reception ideas:

 If you want your guests to have the time of their lives at your wedding, a photo booth will surely bring out their silly sides, holding a ‘censored’ sign over their heads.

The aftermath of the booth will keep you laughing for many years to come.

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7. Cheap Wedding Reception Kids Area

Your wedding reception is a time for dancing, speeches, drinking and enjoying.

Kiddies are just balls of energy, and unless you channel their energy into something fun that they can do, they will get bored easily.

Your young guests need a little more kid-friendly entertainment at your reception to keep them occupied.

I love kids, and if you have some at your reception, they deserve to have a little fun.

Coming up with unique wedding reception ideas for kids can be difficult.

But we have a few in mind. 

Provide an outdoor games section set out just for them and a buffet with more kid-friendly foods and snacks.

They will love being able to have a dance on the dance floor with the adults but also to go and have fun by themselves with the activities set out, and all the parents will love you for it.

You can find plenty of kid games on Amazon for your DIY wedding reception ideas. 

Fun Wedding Ideas for Kids -These kid-friendly wedding ideas are super easy to coordinate and extra fun for kids to try in a group or individually.

Wedding reception kid activities! Fun Wedding Ideas for Kids -These kid-friendly wedding ideas are super easy to coordinate and extra fun for kids to try in a group or individually.

Photographer: Jillian Mitchell

Cute wedding reception kid area! Wedding reception kid activities! Fun Wedding Ideas for Kids -These kid-friendly wedding ideas are super easy to coordinate and extra fun for kids to try in a group or individually.

Photographer: Elleni Toumpas

8. Mr & Mrs. Wedding Edition

Why not play this fun newlywed game if you have some time to spare at your wedding reception?

The Wedding Shoe Game is one of the most popular wedding reception games because it’s not just hilarious for the couple and guests—it’s also simple in concept and suitable for all ages.

It’s an excellent idea for those looking for cheap wedding options to entertain guests.

This is a great way to have fun on your big day and keep everyone entertained!

But how can you save a lot of money on additional entertainment?

I suggest playing fun wedding games. 

It will fit right in with your DIY wedding reception ideas on a budget. 

Playing this fun game is easy and cheap to do. 

All you need to play are two chairs, a list of shoe game questions, and the couple and their shoes.

Place the chairs back-to-back for the Bride and Groom to sit on, and use your shoes to answer the questions.

Designate a person to ask questions, such as the DJ, maid of honour or the best man. 

Get your guests even more involved by asking them to put their questions into the mix.

This will undoubtedly have everyone crying with laughter by the end of the game, if not by the first question!

Don’t worry, we have a great list of questions for the newlywed game that you can read here

You will save thousands if you find more unique wedding reception activities that don’t involve spending any money. 

This game shouldn’t; cost you a penny except for printing the questions. 

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Wedding Image Source

9. DIY wedding entertainment ideas on a budget

Great entertainment is one of the critical elements of any memorable wedding!

This can get expensive fairly quickly, especially if you are looking for fantastic wedding reception ideas on a budget wedding.

Overall, wedding planning is expensive, and finding cheap ways to entertain your guests is crucial.

That’s why we came up with simple wedding reception ideas any couple could do for their day. 

Offering entertainment alternatives are guaranteed to get guests mingling. 

When considering alternative entertainment for your wedding, pick something that speaks to your event’s theme. 

Wedding reception games, like the bride and groom trivia we suggest above, are always fun and are extremely low-cost. 

Examples of more wedding reception activities on a budget:

Scavenger hunts, trivia games, Jenga, mad libs and puzzles are great ideas for you. 

You can play wedding bingo, or I spy during dinner. 

These are always a hit during dinner instead of long boring speeches. 

You can also hire a magician to work the room with card tricks for your drinks reception.

Another fun wedding entertainment idea during the reception is hosting an award ceremony. 

Host one during your speeches and cover as many people as possible… from the best-dressed guest to the best man.

Wedding receptions are not only for dinners, a little dancing, and polite conversations. 

Games are fun and affordable for everyone. 


10. Use wedding sparklers

Sparklers are showing up at almost every wedding these days, and that’s because there are one of the best ideas for wedding receptions on a budget.

Using sparkles is a cheap and easy wedding idea for frugal couples. 

Sparklers always seem to make photos more interesting.

If this is what you are going for, we recommend using sparklers.

‘Sparkler send-offs’ became popular in the US a few years ago, and now we’re seeing more and more of them at weddings worldwide. 

End your big day on a high note with a firework display or fun sparklers you’ll never forget.

It’ll bring your whole evening full circle.

If you want ideas to make your wedding unique, consider using sparklers.

Celebrate the end of the night with sparklers for everyone.

This is one of the most popular wedding reception ideas out there.

Have personalized matchboxes for lighting them; they can be something for your guests to take home as a souvenir.

They also make for great photo opportunities for both the guests taking pictures and for more professional photos.

Seriously, who doesn’t love sparklers?

You can find affordable sparkles on Amazon. 

Honestly, sparklers can be a fabulous addition to your big day for looking for affordable wedding reception ideas on a budget.

Be sure to ask your venue if they allow sparklers. 

Some don’t.

Consider signing up on Amazon for your wedding registry today!

Did you love our DIY wedding reception ideas?

If we missed any other cool and unique DIY wedding reception ideas, ensure to share them below. 

We would love to hear your frugal wedding ideas and possibly add them to the list. 

I am sure other couples would love to learn from you. 

Don’t forget to join our Wedding club for more tips on DIY Wedding Reception Ideas. 


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10 Beautiful Unique Wedding Reception Ideas On A Budget