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In general, the average person cannot afford a lavish, sit-down dinner that will feed 100 people. This type of reception is very expensive and while beautiful, it will actually take the largest part of your wedding budget. The food and beverages are what tend to cost the most. Although you want something nice, you probably want more of the money spent on the actual wedding. The time of day that your reception will be held plays a big role on the type of reception you should have, since there will be different types and amounts of food involved.

Keep in mind that there will be other expenses other than the food. You could be looking at renting tables, chairs, and perhaps even linens, plates, and eating utensils. If you are unable to afford a full spread, you can still have a wonderful reception. In addition to the wedding cake and beverages, you can also add some simple foods that can be presented in a beautiful way. If you want a sit-down meal but cannot afford one, you might consider a buffet, which is generally cheaper.

If you are going to have a mid-day wedding and reception, you can offer a wide selection of salads such as green, coleslaw, potato salads, rice salads, gelatin salads, and so on. Place several options for dressing on the table along with some nice breads and fresh cut fruit. Another option for a mid-day or afternoon wedding would be to have a hors d'oeuvres reception. In this case, it would be appropriate to serve anywhere from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Ideas for this type of reception would be anything that is light and finger foods. You might consider chips and dip, cheeses and crackers, vegetable and fruit platters, shrimp, egg rolls, chicken wings, finger sandwiches, etc.

Another wonderful reception is the dessert reception. In this case, you could serve food from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The food would offer a large assortment of delicious sweets such as tortes, cheesecake, cookies, pastries, cakes, cobblers, ice cream, tarts, pies, and even an ice cream sundae bar. If you are interested more in tradition, you can have a simply cake and punch reception, which is a wonderful way to visit with friends while not having the expense. In addition to the wedding cake, you could offer a few other types of cakes, small candies, cookies, and a variety of nuts. For the punch, you can have one side of the table with regular punch and the other side with spiked punch.

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