Have your reception in a restaurant
When you have dinner at your favorite restaurant, the bill doesn't come with a rental fee for the table, chairs, napkins and wine glasses. There is no surcharge for the candlelight and flowers on the table. It's all covered in the price of the meal. The same principle applies when you're buying dinner for 200 -- the price of all those soup spoons and salad forks is included, and there is no fee for transportation and setup -- everything is already there. Plus, free parking!
Lynn Truong, editor in chief of the frugal-living blog Wise Bread, treated her 200 wedding guests to a 10-course meal at a Chinese restaurant. The cost: $55 per person, with no extra charges like cake-cutting or corkage fees. "There's no beating the price for a Chinese wedding banquet, and the food is delicious," she says.