Have you thought about having a church wedding reception? Brides like the idea of having the reception in the church fellowship hall or gymnasium for many reasons but the best reason is clearly the money you will save. The wedding venue is usually the major budget crusher in a bride’s wedding plans. If you are interested in saving some money, having a non-alcoholic wedding, or just want to simplify your wedding day then this might be a great idea for you. There are many benefits to having the reception at the church…
1) Save MONEY!!! That’s right, big money. The reception venue is the most expensive part of the wedding. Have the wedding at an off hour – people aren’t expecting a full meal at a church wedding. You can serve lighter hors d’oeuvres or even have a morning (brunch) reception.
2) Simplicity. Your day can be much easier and less stressful if the wedding and the party happen at the same place. As soon as you add a second destination the complexity of your day multiplies. You and your guests can relax and enjoy the festivities all taking place under one roof.
3) Non-Alcoholic. Many brides want a non-alcoholic wedding for religious reasons but the added bonus is that it will save you even more money! Sometimes it’s just not their style to throw a big party with an open bar. Another good reason to have a morning wedding, no one is expecting (or really wants) cocktails in the morning.
Karen Haddington is a kindergarten teacher and wanted to have her kids be a part of her day. “I wanted the reception to be family friendly for my kindergartners and it wouldn’t feel right if they were hanging around watching my college buddies make the most of the open bar.” - Karen
Just because your not serving alcohol doesn’t mean you can’t serve up a fabulous signature mocktail! Try some of these recipes for non-alcoholic signature cocktails.
Frozen coffee punch
Red Apple Cooler
4) Church amenities. The church is a great package deal. You have musicians in the congregation and on staff, clergy for the ceremony, a great kitchen, plenty of parking and beautiful spots for pictures. Take advantage of everything they have to offer – you might find they have a harpist or violinist available. There is often a small fee for the organist and pianist and there might be a fee or two for use of the kitchen or to book the hall but it’s small change compared to the rest of the wedding budget. If you are a member of the church it’s often free of charge! If so, it would be a good time to make a donation as a thank you.
5) Flowers. Use some of the sanctuary flowers and decorations from the wedding ceremony for the reception hall as well. This might be my favorite reason for a church reception! The ceremony flowers are so beautiful and you don’t really get a chance to enjoy them. Let them pull double duty and accent your reception as well. Plus… saves more money!
money saving tip – The church has it’s Sunday morning flowers delivered on Saturday. Often they move these expensive and beautiful arrangements out of the sanctuary to another room to make way for your wedding flowers in their place. If your not picky, use the church flowers. ALSO, they have beautiful silk arrangements that can easily be used as stand ins.
If you decide to have a church reception do yourself a favor and spend some of your saved money on decorations. A church fellowship hall and especially the gymnasium are usually a little bland as far as the decor. Putting lights on the ceiling and fabric on the walls will transform the room! A lighting designer would be able to turn the room into a magical space.