It can feel daunting to find the perfect venue for your wedding while working with a budget. Budgeting is essential to wedding planning, and most couples should expect to spend about 40 percent of their entire budget on their venue. Luckily, there are some wedding venue hacks to cut down costs. These seven budget-friendly tips are perfect for finding your dream venue without breaking the bank.
- Skip Saturday Dates
- Stay in Place With One Venue
- Opt for the Off-Season
- Gut Your Guest List
- Pick a Naturally Beautiful Venue
- Think Outside the Box
- Embrace Your Inner Early Bird
Skip Saturday Dates
Saturdays are prime time in the wedding world, which means the venues will be priced to reflect the increased demand. Saying sayonara to a Saturday wedding can save you thousands in venue costs. While weekday bookings tend to cost the least, it is cumbersome to ask your guests and wedding party to take off work for your ceremony. Consider a Friday or Sunday wedding, as they help you save money without creating a considerable inconvenience for your guests.
For most venues, booking on an off day can equal an average of 20 percent savings compared to a Saturday evening booking. Reserving a venue for a weekday event can slash prices up to 50 percent from Saturday dates.
To get your dream venue at an affordable rate, try to stay away from Saturdays.
Stay in Place With One Venue
When you start wedding planning, many guides will mention needing a place to hold your ceremony and a separate area to host a reception—don’t listen to this! Save some dough by booking a venue that can accommodate both your ceremony and your reception.
Staying in place for your whole day can cut down on these costs:
- Multiple booking fees
- Decorations and seating for two venues
- Parking costs
- Seating rentals
Opt for the Off-Season
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a wedding season. Most couples choose to get married between the late spring until the early fall—aka summer. Most weddings are booked between June and September, making these the most costly months to book a venue.
With increased demand comes increased prices, so consider a winter wedding or even an early spring one if you want to stick to a strict budget. While this cuts down on your outdoor venue options in the northern parts of the country, it can save you an average of 25 percent on the cost of a venue during peak wedding season.
Here are the best months to get married for discounts on venues:
Pro Tip: Avoid February and December because they are typically not significantly discounted due to the winter holidays and Valentine’s Day.
Gut Your Guest List
It’s easy to miss the connection between guest list length and venue cost, but the longer your guest list gets, the larger the venue required to accommodate it. If you have a long list of guests, gut it and cut out non-essential people. Here are some easy ways to cut down your guest list:
- Don’t give plus ones to people unless they are engaged, married, or living together.
- Don’t invite children.
- Only invite people who both you and your future spouse have met.
- Don’t invite family members you have not talked to in over two years.
- Don’t invite friends you are no longer close with.
Making these simple changes to your guest list can cut down on more people than one may think. Once you have a good idea of how many people actually need to come to the wedding, you can book a smaller venue that can accommodate them.
Pick a Naturally Beautiful Venue
A venue that has naturally breathtaking views can actually save you money, assuming you get it for a budget-friendly price in the first place. One of the costs of a wedding that adds up quickly is the décor and flowers. If you wed in a location that’s already magical on its own, you could end up saving thousands on flowers, décor, and more. Here are some examples of naturally beautiful venues to consider.
- A golf course
- A national park
- A loft overlooking the city
- A beach
- A garden
- A poolside
There are countless options for venues that can be breathtaking without needing touch-ups or decorations. This is why it is so essential to tour a venue before you commit to it. Make sure you can envision your wedding there without much adjustment.
Think Outside the Box
While traditional wedding venues range from places of worship to banquet halls, thinking outside of the box can create money-saving opportunities for you. Here are a few suggestions of out-of-the-box ideas for wedding venues that may save you money.
- National parks: These are often as low cost as obtaining the proper permits!
- City Hall: If your city hall is in a historic building, it could be a beautiful setting for a small ceremony.
- A backyard: With a few decorations, your backyard can be a fairytale in no time.
- A rented private property: Using home-sharing apps such as Airbnb can help you find huge homes available for rent.
- A library or bookstore: These are unique and wholesome venues that you can often rent for cheap after normal business hours.
There are countless venues you can get married at that won’t pop up when you search for locations. Getting a tad creative and being open to options you hadn’t previously considered can save you money in the long run and create lasting memories.
Embrace Your Inner Early Bird
For extra discounts, consider a morning wedding instead of an afternoon or evening wedding. This way, you don’t have such a long day, you can save some money on a venue, and you can serve lower-cost food options.
Serving brunch is typically more economical than serving dinner. It is also a fun way to introduce a theme to your wedding. Have people dress for a fancy brunch, then serve mimosas and other breakfast-themed drinks.
Pro Tip: A morning wedding can even save you money on drinks! Fewer people are inclined to drink heavily in the morning or at midday.
Venues might offer good deals on morning weddings because they can book two weddings on one day and get the most use possible out of their space.
There are so many ways you can have your dream wedding in a beautiful venue without breaking your budget. Throwing a successful wedding on a budget is possible with diligence and determination. Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials, and good luck putting these wedding venue hacks and seven budget-friendly tips to use.