Cheap Wedding Reception Food Ideas

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There is nothing more important than your wedding day. On the other hand, there is also nothing more stressful. For most brides and grooms the bulk of stress can be found in budgeting for that special day. After the cost of formal attire for the wedding party, rehearsal dinners, rings and the honeymoon, it is usually the reception that causes such grief. You want your guests to enjoy themselves without breaking your bank. There are ways to serve up great food at your reception without going into unnecessary debt.

Keep It Simple

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Your guests won't remember food names they can't pronounce or which caterer you chose. What they will remember is the look on your faces, the memory of sharing in your special moment and how beautiful the bride and groom looked. So, don't stress over elaborate dishes at your reception. Simple dishes and appetizers will more than suffice.

You probably know a couple of people that make cooking look like an art. People leave their homes or church potluck dinners raving about that dish So and So made. Recruit these fabulous cooks to prepare their special casseroles or desserts for your wedding reception. Put a trusted friend in charge of overseeing the food and calling to make sure everything is ready for the reception. You'll probably find yourself with more than enough food for your guests by taking this route.


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For appetizers consider roll-ups. These are easily prepared with tortillas, cream cheese, lettuce, Provolone (or American, which is cheaper), and ham. Walmart sells an inexpensive 5-pound ham for under $10 that they slice for free. This will be more than enough for your reception. Use this ham for another appetizer that includes cheese squares and olives served on off-brand Ritz crackers with a toothpick. Another great appetizer that is always a surprise hit is pepper jelly and cream cheese served on whole wheat crackers. People are hesitant to try it, but once they do it is usually the first appetizer to disappear.


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Casseroles are always a hit at wedding receptions. People leave asking for the recipes because they are so easily accessible, as opposed to elaborate dishes brought in by professional caterers. Chicken casserole, which includes shredded chicken, cream of mushroom soup, milk and almonds topped with Parmesan and crushed crackers is delish. Enchiladas are not only inexpensive but go a long way for your buck. If you like the price of that Walmart ham, grab one to slice in large pieces then layer a casserole dish with the ham, sliced potatoes, onions and a mixture of one part sour cream and two parts cream of mushroom soup then cook until the potatoes are tender. It is a satisfying entree.

Side Dishes and Dessert

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Side dishes and desserts are easy. Potato salad, green bean casserole and simple vegetables are all you need for sides. Desserts are also trouble-free and budget-friendly if you keep it simple. Sliced fruit with caramel dip, pineapple upside down cake, cookies and mints are all you will need to leave your guests satiated.