Your wedding venue is one of the most crucial decisions you’ll make when planning your wedding. It could end up being the most expensive part of your budget, but it can also be the one thing that really creates a unique setting for your wedding day. You don’t have to go overboard and tour 40 venues; just select a handful once you nail down your budget, tour them all in close succession, and then choose one with your fiance.
The average couple spent $14,000 on their wedding venue, according to the Knot – that accounts for almost half of the average American wedding budget of just over $31,000. For some, that $14,000 was just the price to rent their venue, and as such, they still had to pay for equipment rentals, catering service, alcohol, and a band on top of that. Others likely found that many amenities were included in their venue rental. It depends on what a location offers, so it’s important to do your research.
5 Great Ways to Save a Lot of Money on Wedding Venues
If you’re looking to have an affordable wedding, the venue is one place where you can definitely save a lot of money, as it comprises one of the biggest parts of your budget. Here are some tips for you.
Go smaller: I know your mom wants you to invite all your third cousins, but the truth is, by keeping the guest list smaller, you’ll have many more options for a cheap wedding venue. A wedding with 50 guests or fewer can have a reception in a nice restaurant or other small space that might be much more affordable and offer a lot more charm per dollar than a big wedding factory. Plus, it’s not only the space that will be more affordable — because you have fewer people to feed and entertain, everything else will cost less, too.
Go shorter: Many venues will rent the space for about three to five hours. You can always ask for a 2.5-hour reception and ask if you can save on the price by shaving off 30 minutes. A lot of people won’t hang around for a full three-hour or longer reception (we only had a few people waving goodbye to us at the end!), so don’t pay for the time you don’t need.
Go outside: While hotel ballrooms and function halls can cost thousands of dollars, the great outdoors is often completely free. State parks and beaches and city parks often allow wedding ceremonies and even full receptions on their grounds, although they may require you to purchase a permit. Alternatively, does someone in your family have a sprawling, lovingly landscaped back yard? Ask if they’d be willing to let you use it for your wedding in lieu of a gift. Just make sure to come up with a contingency plan for bad weather, such as renting a sturdy outdoor tent.
Ask for a discount: If you might be eligible for a discount — for instance, if you served in the military — don’t hesitate to ask for one. Even a 5% to 10% discount can make a huge difference when planning a wedding.
Elope: Finally, it’s worth mentioning that the cheapest wedding venue is none at all. Ask around and you’ll find more than one bride who wished she would have eloped instead of spending thousands of dollars on a wedding and reception. Sometimes, it’s better to save your cash and pay off debts or put a down payment toward a house instead of burning it all on a one-day party.
Planning a wedding can be extremely hectic, but also fun. As long as you stay organized and take a break when you feel stressed, you will be able to enjoy the process.
It’s exciting, but it’ll be even more exciting when you find a venue you love that’s unique, memorable, and most of all, affordable. I hope the above ideas can help you get inspired to find the wedding venue of your dreams without breaking your budget.