Tips and Guides

RL Entertaining: School-Inspired Wedding Reception

With these tips, we prove that a wedding reception that won’t break the bank can be as easy as ABC!

Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Pictorial Direction: Carlo Vergara

These days, weddings are big business—between the overpriced food, elaborate floral arrangements, and expensive giveaways, the bride and groom end up digging so deep into their pockets just for that one special day. It may even be the reason why some couples delay getting married; saving that much money is no easy task!

Before rushing out to the standard wedding venues and suppliers, take some time to really think and come up with something totally unexpected. You’ll find that you can have a stylish wedding reception that your guests will be raving about, and which you and your new spouse can most certainly afford.


A high school gym or a schoolyard. This is especially meaningful if you’re marrying your high school sweetheart! Try asking the school you both graduated from. They might even let you use the venue for free.


The perfect venue for your wedding reception.

SET THE THEME. Since you’re having a wedding reception on school grounds, play up the theme by having school-inspired décor. On a blackboard, scribble a welcome note for guests—similar to welcome notes for parents during parent-teacher conferences.

HAVE FUNNY TABLE NAMES. Instead of having wedding coordinators telling your guests their seat assignments, you could write your guests’ names on a blackboard. In lieu of having numbers, tables can be called “Noisy,” “Standing,” “Not Listening,” and so on.

DITCH THE FLOWERS. You don’t need expensive flower arrangements for your tables. Use a stack of encyclopedias as a centerpiece. Cover one, place the table name in front, and prop it up.

BECOME AN APPLE POLISHER. In a good way of course! Assign seats by marking each place with an apple bearing your guest’s name, written in chalk.

BRING OUT THE SIZE ONE. Whole sheets of intermediate pad could serve as makeshift placemats. Guests could even scribble down notes for the newlyweds. Just provide some pencils per table.

CAF IT UP. Give your reception a high school canteen vibe by using cafeteria-style plates and glasses. Look for striped table napkins that mimic the look of pad paper. 


Send out homemade report card invitations. “Grades” can be based on their attendance and performance in subjects like Physical Education: Dance and Home Economics: Food Appreciation.

Be inspired by the first day of school and provide nametags for guests. It’ll make it easier for them to mingle and make new acquaintances.


There’s no place for foie gras in such a casual reception. Go for cafeteria food like perennial favorites Pinoy spaghetti and fried chicken. Instead of booking high-end caterers, go for smaller caterers who specialize in comfort food. Or, to cut down on costs even further, have your families cook the food for you.


Do you really need a three-tiered fondant cake? Cupcakes are a much more cost-efficient option. They could serve as your wedding cake and as wedding souvenirs that your guests could take home or munch on—they’re sure to get hungry after all the dancing!


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