Budget Bride Tip for June 12: Go with a lunch instead of a wedding dinner

Bride and groom with pink piggy bank

We’re celebrating the month of June with a daily tip from savvy brides who saved big bucks on the wedding of their dreams.

We felt that the month wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t write about my wedding, which took place last July 30.

When my husband, Mike, and I began planning our big day, we quickly realized that, at 49 and 41, a traditional big reception with a DJ and a slew of attendants wasn’t all that appealing.

But a luncheon sounded interesting and different — and, as I started exploring the idea, significantly less expensive than a wedding dinner.

We immediately scratched Chicago off the list of possible locales. Even though it’s where we met, fell in love and live, we definitely weren’t willing to pony up the cash for a city wedding.

We instead looked to our home state of Michigan and one of its many ski resorts. (For those unfamiliar with Midwestern skiing, think of a very large hill with a pretty view.)

Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire fit the bill and was open to a luncheon.

The very fact that it was a luncheon required us to order from the banquet menu instead of the wedding menu. Score!

(When planning a wedding, you learn fast that the price of anything with the word “wedding” on it is jacked up.)

The wedding menu features only packages ranging in price from $42 to $72 a person.

We gave our 110 guests the choice of chicken roulade with asparagus and chardonnay tarragon wine sauce ($16.95) or baked whitefish with a cherry butter sauce ($17.95).

I know, fancy.

Plus, the tables were covered with tablecloths and set formally, just as they would’ve been for dinner.

But really, one of the nicest things about having a luncheon was that our wedding reception wrapped up by 4 p.m., and friends and family were able to enjoy the rest of their day in northern Michigan.

As were we — as husband and wife.

Here I am following the ceremony in my wedding gown with Mike ...

And here we are at our reception and luncheon ...

These are the other "Budget Bride" tips we've published so far:

Budget Bride Tip for June 1: Throw a potluck dinner

Budget Bride Tip for June 2: Say 'yes' to an affordable dress

Budget Bride Tip for June 3: Bake your own wedding cake

Budget Bride Tip for June 4: Put dad to work

Budget Bride Tip for June 5: Turn your reception into a barbecue

Budget Bride Tip for June 6: Take the ceremony to the beach

Budget Bride Tip for June 7: Cupcakes make tasty wedding favors

Budget Bride Tip for June 8: Hold down the guest list

Budget Bride Tip for June 9: Feed your guests wedding cake from Costco

Budget Bride Tip for June 10: Decorate your reception with Craigslist

Budget Bride Tip for June 11: Buy dishes for the wedding dinner

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