Wedding receptions don't have to cost a fortune. Many families are on tight budgets these days, limiting the parents' ability to contribute financially and placing much of the burden of wedding expenses on young couples who are just starting out in life and on limited budgets themselves.

When planning a wedding reception, location is key. Depending on how many people are invited, you may need a sizable place to have the reception. Weather permitting, your wedding reception could be held in someone's back yard or at a local park. My own wedding ceremony and reception were held at a local park in a specially reserved area (including gazebo) that cost only about $60 for the entire day. My mother and I recently hosted a wedding reception for my sister in our mobile home park's club house. A $150 deposit was required, but the deposit was returned after we cleaned up and left the club house the way we found it. We had full access to a fully equipped kitchen, sitting area, tables, chairs, and restrooms for an entire day. Everything we needed was right there and didn't cost us a dime. Decorations that can be used after the reception is over more than pay for themselves.