Personalise your wedding reception (& cut costs too!)

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One of the most important days of your life is your wedding day. It’s just one day of celebration, yet we spend more money on this than many of us earn in a whole year. A few short hours costing thousands seems a little excessive. So is there a way to maximise the experience while shrinking that cost down to sensible proportions? Absolutely. Everybody loves a wedding, but if you want to achieve the dream without dropping your jaw on the floor at the cost, why not give these ideas a go..?

MC Mates

No need to hire a professional DJ, a ‘Master of Ceremonies’ or announcer. Ask your dad, your brother, your auntie, or any of your friends. Many people struggle to know what to buy you for your wedding. And plenty of us struggle with the cost of gifts. They will be delighted to have such an important contribution to your wedding, and it can become one of the gifts you’ll treasure the most. Best of all, you’ll get exactly what you asked for. Your friends and family know you well, so everything they provide will be personal.

Home-baked Cake

Mmmmm. Nothing is quite as tasty as a freshly baked cake. Sure, you can get four tiers of intricately designed and decorated wedding cake from the baker. Looks good on the outside, but may be disappointing on the inside. Make it yourself, including the decorations that are personal to you. If you have children in the family, let them get involved. There is nothing more personal and charming for your friends and family than something that comes from you or your guests.


Making your own centrepieces is easier than you think, and they make a great parting gift for your guests. Thrift shops and budget stores always have bowls and vases at bargain prices. You can insert craft sand or pebbles and artificial flowers to fill it out. Add lots of colours and a range of textures to create something extra special. Paper flowers work well for this too – or even sweets!


If you have some friends or family members that can play musical instruments, why not ask them to provide the tunes for your reception? This can be a beautiful wedding gift from them, and also an opportunity for them to promote their talents! Spend time agreeing to the play list together. You’ll need something special to you and your partner for a first dance. You might like some music to dine to or something for your guests to dance to later in the evening.

Home Reception

Why hire a big venue when you can celebrate your love at the home you will share as a married couple? If your house isn’t big enough to cater for your guest list, speak to companies like Lewis Marquees to see if they can supply a covering for your garden space. Decorating a marquee is just as easy as decorating a room. Plenty of fairy lights, a few table with white table cloths, and all the home-made chair sashes you can make.


Traditionally, favours have been given to the female guests at your wedding. A small bag of candied almonds or something similar is always popular. However, you might prefer to do away with this tradition, or perhaps pick something a little more you. Why not consider small homemade keepsakes? Something that is personal from you and represents the special day will be cherished forever. Consider paper flower brooches, handcrafted photo frames, or even a personalised mobile phone case.


If you and your guests love having a bit of fun, why not consider a special dance routine. There have certainly been some wild versions of choreographed group dances posted on YouTube lately. Yours can be as wild or as romantic as you like. Consider the space you have, and try to make use of every inch of it. This doesn’t have to be an alternative to the First Dance. Why not choreograph something that is personal to you both as well?


Of course, catering and drinks are very important when you have a party like a wedding reception to prepare. Here is where all the guests can make an important contribution. Bring-a-dish wedding receptions can be lots more fun than hiring a caterer with a standard wedding breakfast menu. You might choose to prepare the food yourself. If this is your big day, consider inviting your friends and family to take this on. It’s quite a big job to prepare and coordinate, and you’ve got other things to be doing on your big day!

A wedding can be homemade and low-cost yet look every bit as glamorous as the expensive weddings that venues offer. Best of all, it can be entirely personal to you, no compromises. Have you been to a homemade wedding? What was your own wedding like? How did you personalise it? Let me know by leaving me a comment below 🙂


This blog post is an advertisement feature that has been written in collaboration with a sponsor. The pink links in this post indicate a sponsored link 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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