Don’t Blow Your Budget on the Reception! | St. Simons Island Wedding Planner

If you’re not careful, your wedding reception has the potential to blow your wedding budget completely out the door with the food, refreshments, or meal you want to serve. The biggest factor depends on how many guests will be attending. You don’t always have to follow tradition, though.  You can combine the traditional with new ideas of your own.  The main idea is to have a memorable, fun, and exciting wedding reception and stay within a reasonable budget!

If you are thinking of an early afternoon wedding, try having desserts at your reception!  A dessert buffet works great for an early afternoon wedding reception and you can serve an assortment of desserts including all kinds of pastries, cookies, candies, small cakes, truffles, along with coffee and punch. And the best part is that you probably have friends or relatives who love to bake and could offer their delicious treats.

An outdoor reception for a summer wedding is also lots of fun. You could have a picnic, BBQ, or a low country boil in a park or even in your own back yard. Picnic themes are easy too!  You could include the traditional picnic foods such as salads, fried chicken, corn on the cob, green beans, rolls and also some inexpensive desserts and a tea, lemonade, and soft drinks.  And of course you can always serve beer and wine, as well.   For a BBQ, the options are plentiful from steaks to chicken and kabobs. And of course, the coastal theme of a low country boil is always popular and can be done very inexpensively.

One of my all time favorites is a tea party reception and is perfect for an afternoon reception. It fits well within most budgets and you could include a variety of teas, coffees and maybe even a little champagne or wine for drinks. For food you could have small cakes, tarts, finger sandwiches and toasted Panini with brouchetta.  I love that!

An evening reception usually calls for a buffet…..and a buffet can work well as long as there are a variety of foods to choose from. Some of the less expensive choices may be soup, rice, potatoes, pasta, bread, an assortment of vegetables or salad, sliced turkey, cabbage rolls, or roasted chicken and some simple desserts. A buffet may be more expensive, but still considered within a reasonable budget if you are having many guests at your reception.


If a dinner buffet is still more than you want to spend, you can keep it simple by having a variety of sliced meats and cheeses. Make sure you have an assortment of bread and crackers and also fruits such as strawberries, grapes, kiwi, pineapple, and sliced apples with dip. You could also add some side salads, such as pasta salad, bean salad, and potato salad, and other favorites.  And of course, tea, lemonade, and coffee are always perfect! 


An evening wedding reception doesn’t necessarily have to be a buffet dinner.  It can also be much easier than you would think!  You could serve non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks along with garnishes. Light foods such as raw veggies with dips, a variety of nuts, chips and salsa, cheese and crackers, and cocktail wieners are great orderves’ that are not will not blow your budget..

Whatever you decide to do, just be sure and do your homework.  It will all work out beautifully!  It always does!

For more information, please visit my website at or shoot me and e-mail and  You may also call me at 912-638-8706.  I look forward to hearing from you!


4 thoughts on “Don’t Blow Your Budget on the Reception! | St. Simons Island Wedding Planner

  1. I agree. I had a couple pieces of cucumber at my wedding reception. I don’t remember that part at all. All I remember is what I see in photos.

    Though I’m partial, photography is the area where you should not skimp. 🙂

  2. I keep getting these types of confirmations about the budgeting and as long as i cater to most of the diff taste of my guest i should be fine , thanks for the confirm that i am on the right track. My husband is a chef, but he thinks catering instaead of an old fashioned cookout with trimmings , would take the stress off , but he’s chosen both and hasn’t made up his mind yet ! The restaurant where he works caters and he says he can get a discount ! Should i worry ?

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