How can you save money on your reception?

Venue costs are a significant part of any wedding budget, usually because food and drinks are being provided to all of your guests for a significant amount of time.  The equivalent cost at a restaurant or using external caterers would also be substantial.  Nevertheless, there are ways you can spend prudently.  Here are some ideas.

Use your wedding cake as dessert.  It can still be served individually, but the cost charged by the venue should be less.  Just make sure you supply a large enough cake to ensure everyone receives an adequate portion.

Pay for drinks on consumption.  If you do not believe your guests are likely to drink much alcohol you should arrange with your venue to remove the costs of alcohol from the package and reduce the price accordingly, but then provide a tab so alcohol can still be made available and paid on consumption.  Non-alcoholic drinks should still be provided, including tea and coffee.

Only provide two courses.  Most people only eat a main course and dessert every day of the week for their evening meal.  Removing an entree or soup course should save some money without risking your guests going home hungry.

These options will not be suitable for everyone, but may prompt some thinking.