The wedding industry is at an all-time boom, with more than 2.5 million U.S. couples choosing to tie the knot each year (and spending a collective $40 billion in the process!) Fortunately, there are a number of fun reception activities that won't break the bank. Reception trends come and go as quickly as fashion styles, but there are several recent that have demonstrated some tenacious staying power. Read on to learn more about three inexpensive reception activities or features that are here to stay.
Many modern brides are opting for a more fun, personal gift for their guests rather than the more traditional favors like Jordan almonds or mints. Having a rented photobooth available allows your guests to take a variety of silly, fun, or romantic pictures and have a lasting reminder of your special day. These photobooths are generally available for relatively short-term rentals of a few hours, or you may opt to keep it all evening or weekend. You can even bring (or ask guests to bring) fun props to help liven up the party.
The pictures taken will be posted online or emailed to guests, with physical copies available for an additional fee for those who request them.
Hors d'oeuvres or cocktail hours
One of the biggest reception expenses is food and drink -- a sit-down meal and open bar can run into the hundreds of dollars per guest, depending on the catering costs. Some couples have instead opted to move the reception an hour or two earlier and serve a variety of hors d'oeuvres or appetizers and beer or wine rather than paying for a full dinner and liquor. Because these appetizers are usually able to be ordered a la carte, rather than ordering a specific entree, side, and dessert for each guests, you'll be able to serve the same number of guests approximately the same amount of food and alcohol while substantially reducing your catering costs.
Having only a reception
Because so many couples cohabitate for years prior to tying the knot, some have opted to have a small, private wedding and spend their entire budget on wedding receptions, rather than planning and paying for two separate events. This can allow the couple to expand their guest list while keeping costs low by not having to pay to rent a separate ceremony venue or spend money on bridesmaids or groomsmen attire and transportation.