PLANNER: Sara O'Shea, So Chic Events, Peoria, IL
VENUE: Campus weddings are best in summer, whenstudents have vacated the premises and parking is easier. Butthink twice about an outdoor reception; it gets expensive to bring ina tent and all the fixings. Stick to an indoor space (like an alumni orathletic center with banquet facilities) instead. $750
DECOR: Choose a game day–themed luncheon or, if you're notjocks, go with an academic look. Have the florist make arrangementsincorporating the school colors, name guests' tables after collegecourses, and make bookmark favors with notes explaining that adonation has been made to a scholarship fund. $500
FOOD: Keep it simple and do stations of your college favorites,such as sliders and fries, nachos, hot wings, and ramen noodles withgourmet toppings. Rent an ice cream cart for dessert. $6,000
DRINK: Since it's the middle of the day, guestswon't expect a full bar—which can save youbig bucks. If your gang had a go-to drink backin the day (remember rum and Coke?), resurrectit as a signature cocktail. And have a coupleof kegs of beer, which you can serve in cups featuringthe school logo. $1,500
MUSIC: You're surrounded by young talentthat's hurting for cash. Hire a string quartetor some key members of the college orchestraor band. (Get referrals from the student-activities office or the musicdepartment.) Put the school song on your playlist. $500
RENTALS: Talk to the facilities, admissions, and athleticsdepartments about decor, like banners, that they use for game daysor promotional events. Cut down on rentals by using a space that'salready outfitted with tables, chairs, and other essentials, to free upyour budget so you can splurge on linens. Also put money towardlighting: Rent perimeter lights (save by handling pickup, delivery, andsetup yourself). They'll help change the room's mood. $300
Back to all budget wedding ideas.