Top 10 Budget Wedding Reception Ideas for New England Brides

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming. There are so many details that need to be taken care of in a short amount of time. Even if you take the standard 12 months to plan a New England wedding, it might still seem like you’ll never get it all done. Many couples are opting to splurge on a beautiful location for their wedding reception in the Boston area while choosing to save money on decorations, entertainment, and other standard items to host a budget wedding reception. Once you choose the location, you can work with the on-site event coordinator to select reception menu ideas, pick out a theme, and send out invitations for your special day.

#1 – Consider a Package Deal
One of the easiest ways to host a budget wedding reception is to ask the venue about package deals. For example, The Crystal Room in Milford, Massachusetts has a Custom Wedding Package that includes the things that couples need most to plan a beautiful wedding celebration. Linens, table numbers, cake cutting services, cake enhancements, a champagne toast for all guests, a four course plated meal, and included preparation services with a personal event coordinator, are just some of the things that are included.

#2 – Nix the DJ
Do you honestly need a DJ for your New England wedding reception? Many couples are opting to have a friend step up and act as emcee to announce them when they arrive for the party and to play a set playlist from a mp3 player or another type of portable sound system. It can save you a lot of money and frustration in having to deal with another vendor.

#3 – Alternative Desserts
Instead of spending thousands on a cake that you will barely taste, consider getting a smaller cake, a different kind of cake, cupcakes, or other desserts instead. Some couples plan a budget wedding reception with a tower of cupcakes, an ice cream bar, or platters of tiny cheesecakes instead of the traditional white cake and buttercream extravaganza.

#4 – No Open Bar
Another significant expense can be hosting an open bar. One way to get around it without having to deal with grumpy guests when they discover it’s a “dry” wedding is to have custom cocktails. They can be non-alcoholic or contain alcohol, but you can work with the venue staff to create a special drink that goes with your theme. Some couples may choose Shirley Temples and Arnold Palmers for a family-oriented wedding, while others may want fancy martinis or tropical drinks for their celebration.

#5 – Photographer
Everyone wants wedding photos to remember their special day, but that doesn’t mean you have to hire the most expensive and well-known photographer for your wedding reception in the Boston area. Consider hiring a friend, family member, co-worker, or a recommended individual who is just getting started and might not cost as much. Or you can even hire the pro for the ceremony and get a photo booth from the venue for the reception.

#6 – Flowers
Couples can easily spend thousands for a typical New England wedding. However, you can choose to use flowers sparingly in your decorations, visit local farmers markets to get fresh blooms for tables, or even consider mixing real flowers in with artificial. Bulk flowers can be ordered from warehouse stores in do-it-yourself bouquet kits to save even more.

#7 – Decorations
Choose your decorations based on your theme. If you pick a theme that is fun and has a lot of options, it will be a lot easier. A 1940s era theme can be a lot of fun with lots of great vintage items mixed in for good measure. A beach theme is pretty easy and provides lots of options for table decorations, cake toppers, and favors. Select something that reflects your personality and just go with it!

#8 – The Dress
Set a budget for your wedding dress, just as you would reception menu ideas or decorations. Spend some time looking online or in bridal magazines at ideas and try alternative options for getting what you want at a price you can afford. Many brides immediately sell their dresses at a big loss right after the wedding on websites like or even through consignments at local dress shops.

#9 – Hair and Makeup
Another last-minute cost that a lot of people don’t think about ahead of time is hair and makeup for the bride and bridal party. Consider booking a stylist for a few hours that is near the venue and go to the shop instead of having them come to your home or the site. It will save you a lot, and you can schedule bridesmaids and other bridal party members to come in one at a time throughout the morning.

#10 – Favors
Don’t go overboard on the favors. While it is nice to give a gift of thanks to everyone who attends, most weddings end up with boxes of favors that get left behind. Simple glasses with your initials and the wedding date etched in them are a simple, yet elegant idea. Wine glasses, champagne glasses, rocks glasses, or even mason jars can be used for this effect. Fill them with colorful candies that match your wedding colors – or nothing at all.

Visit The Crystal Room in Milford, MA
If you are planning a New England wedding and are looking for the right venue to host your wedding reception in the Boston area, make sure to visit The Crystal Room. Located just a minute off the I-495 in Milford, Massachusetts, The Crystal Room is a great alternative to the crowded city venues near the coast. Plenty of ample parking for you and your guests, a beautiful ballroom, excellent staff, and all of the amenities you could ever want. Give us a call at 508-478-7800 and speak with one of our event coordinators to start planning your special celebration today.