Inexpensive wedding reception ideas, used correctly, can enhance your wedding as well as help you stay within your budget. You can make inexpensive choices that are still elegant and classy without looking cheap.

The key is to make subtle changes that don’t stand out and won’t be recognized by the average wedding guest. Set a budget and stay within it using the three ideas listed below.

Here are 3 inexpensive wedding reception ideas:

Eliminate Non-Essentials

There are several areas of wedding planning that are not essential and can be reduced or cut completely. Do a full inventory of everything related to your wedding including your vendors.

Then decide what is absolutely essential and what can possibly be cut. For example, most likely you will want to have photos of your special day, so a photographer would be considered essential.

However, for other things like a videographer or a Rolls Royce you will have to decide how important and essential they are to you. Some of the decisions will be tough but necessary.

Do you really need an extra bouquet to toss at the reception? Or, will your guests really care if you don’t have a sit down dinner?

Get Creative

Thinking inexpensively means thinking creatively. Cocktail wedding receptions are usually a lot of fun for your guests, and if you choose wisely they can also be less expensive than a sit down meal.

Instead of having an open bar, consider serving wine and beer only. You can also have a signature wedding drink served also which will cut down on expenses but still offer your guests another choice at the bar.

Candles make great decorations, can be used as wedding centerpieces and create a great atmosphere. They will also fit nicely into your budget.

Choose flowers that are in season, or consider silk flowers. Many silk flowers are just as beautiful as real, and they typically cost a lot less.

Do Your Homework

There is no reason to pay full price for many things related to your wedding, especially when the economy is bad. Shop around for things like wedding favors and invitations. The Internet is a great tool that allows you to do a lot of research in a short amount of time.

Many websites have clearance sections, and smaller bridal stores will typically cut prices to move stock. Try to time your shopping at the turn of the seasons as last years models will be moved out for newer items.

For vendors, going with the cheapest option is often not the best approach. Research and talk to a range of different vendors and weigh other factors like experience, references and quality of work when making important vendor decisions.