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Navigating the Rising Costs of a Wedding Venue: Tips and Strategies

Navigating the Rising Costs of a Wedding Venue

It’s no secret that weddings are expensive. The wedding services industry is valued at over $70 billion, with wedding venues making up a large chunk of it. So how much do wedding venues cost? The cost can range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on the size and location of the event space, with the average price of a wedding venue in the U.S. being $6,000.

The guideline most people are advised to follow is that the venue should account for around 20-30% of your overall wedding budget. So if your total wedding budget is $20,000, you should aim to spend around $4,000-$6,000 on the venue. This should leave enough room in the budget for the many other wedding costs, including flowers and food. 

However, this is only a guideline. Your wedding budget has to come down to what you value most on your special day and what you can realistically spend (and in some cases, not so realistically, but that is how many couples end up in debt.) 

Here are the eight best strategies for saving money on your wedding venue. 

Get ahead of it

The earlier you start planning your wedding, the better. This gives you more time to research and compare the prices of different venues. Planning a wedding takes about 12 to 18 months, but this number might change depending on how elaborate you want your wedding to be.

When comparing venues, try to require a detailed breakdown of all costs, including any service fees or rentals, so you can potentially avoid last-minute expenses and rush fees that can quickly add up.

Consider Off-Peak Season and Day

Some venues might be closed on weekdays, but many will remain open and offer discounts since it is an unconventional timeslot. If your dream venue is available on a weekday, you might be able to get a considerable discount compared to having it just a couple of days later. 

The cheapest months to get married are typically January, February, March, and November. These months are usually less popular for weddings, so venues and vendors may offer lower prices and discounts to attract business. Saturdays are the most expensive day of the week to have your wedding, so be prepared to pay top dollar for any venue for a Saturday evening wedding. 

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As for a cheaper time to get married, morning and daytime weddings may save you some cash compared to evening weddings. However, this does depend on the venue. And then doing a brunch or lunch instead of a formal dinner reception can also be friendlier to your wallet. 

banquet hall wedding venue

Look for All-Inclusive Packages

Some wedding venues offer all-inclusive packages that include everything you need for your wedding, from the platform to catering and decorations. These packages can be more affordable and save you the stress of coordinating multiple vendors. Look for containers that fit within your budget and offer the services you need. 

If you can’t find a venue that offers a package like this, you might be able to find a wedding planning company that offers them and includes the platform in the box. These can also be customizable to fit your needs better and keep things as simple as possible. 


Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the wedding venue. Many venues are willing to negotiate the price, especially if you are having your wedding during the off-peak season or on a weekday. Also, ask the platform if they can offer discounts or have promotions running.

Make sure you research multiple venues and gather information on pricing options, providing leverage for negotiating with your preferred platform. When talking to the venue, be clear about your budget and inform them of your spending limits. When you set a hard limit, the forum might be willing to work with you on a plan to make both parties happy. If you are flexible with your wedding date, you might have better luck getting a great deal. Friendliness goes a long way when negotiating, so stay polite and respectful. 


Choose a Non-Traditional Venue

Consider choosing a non-traditional wedding venue, like a park, beach, or a friend’s backyard. These venues can be more affordable and provide a unique setting for your wedding. Depending on the size of your guest list, many restaurants, cafes, and breweries offer event spaces that can be rented for a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding venue. 

Remember that you may need to rent tables, chairs, and other equipment if you choose a non-traditional venue. A general estimate for renting tables and chairs is around $1,000-$2,000, which includes the cost of the rental itself, delivery, and setup fees. It’s important to note that some rental companies may charge additional fees for items like linens, chair covers, or lighting. It’s essential to clarify all costs upfront so you don’t get surprised by these fees. 

Be Realistic about Your Guest List

The size of your guest list can significantly impact the cost of your wedding venue, so be realistic about the number of guests you invite. A smaller guest list may allow you to choose a more expensive platform, while a larger one may require somewhere more affordable. 

Bridesmaid Dresses Special Offer

The average cost per person can vary widely based on several factors, like location, the size of the wedding, the time of year, and the level of formality. However, the average cost per guest for a wedding in the U.S. is $307. The most expensive state is Massachusetts, with a whopping average price of $462 per guest. 

This figure typically includes expenses like catering, alcohol, cake, favours, and rentals. However, this is just an average, and costs can vary significantly based on the choices you make for your wedding. For example, a high-end wedding in a significant city with premium catering and entertainment could cost $500 or more per person. In contrast, a casual wedding with a DIY buffet could cost less than $50 per person. 

wedding guestbook jenga

DIY Decorations and Centerpieces

DIYing your decorations can cut down on your venue costs. Rather than including the decorations in the venue rental, doing it yourself allows you to customize the look and only pay for the space itself. Look for budget-friendly decor items at discount stores, thrift shops, and garage sales. You can also try renting decor items like tablecloths, centrepieces, and backdrops from a rental company instead of purchasing them outright. 

If you aren’t crafty, you could consider repurposing items you already own, like picture frames or vases, as part of your wedding decor. Or, you can find small businesses on Etsy or other online marketplaces to get affordable decorations that still look custom. Rather than paying enormous fees for a professionally decorated venue, patronizing a small business helps you save money and support locals. 

wedding decor

Consider a Destination Wedding

If you are willing to travel, a destination wedding can be more affordable than a traditional wedding. Destination weddings often have a smaller guest list and can provide a unique experience for you and your guests. You could go for an all-inclusive resort or a hotel with a wedding package to save money on your venue and overall costs. 

If you have a lot of points and miles, you can use them to offset the cost of your destination wedding. You can also embark on your honeymoon right after your wedding, which can cut down on those costs. If you go somewhere with a reasonable exchange rate, you can get a ton of value for a fraction of the price you would spend in the U.S. Even though it seems counterintuitive, going away for your wedding can save you a big chunk of money, especially if you live in an expensive city. 

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What to do if you can’t cut costs

Even if you follow each of the tips in this article, you might find that your dream wedding venue is still too expensive to pay for with cash. If so, you can consider using a wedding loan. These personal loans can be used to cover any expenses related to your wedding, including your venue. 

Huge Bridal Clearance Sale

Before applying for a wedding loan, you should ensure you fully understand each line item in your budget to figure out exactly how much money you need to borrow. Research different lenders to ensure you get the best interest rates and loan terms that are currently available. 

If you don’t want to take out a wedding loan, you could use a credit card to finance your wedding venue. Remember that credit cards might have a higher interest rate or lower credit limit than a personal loan. However, some cards offer an introductory 0% APR period, so if your credit score is good enough to qualify for a high credit limit, you could pay off your wedding venue over 12 or 15 months without paying any interest at all. 

Bottom Line

Weddings are expensive, but there are many ways to reduce costs. Wedding venue costs make up a considerable portion of your budget, so if you can get a less expensive venue, you have room to go all out for catering or your decorations. The best tip for saving money on a wedding venue is to be flexible. Whether you change the date to one that’s less popular or go somewhere cheaper, you can plan your dream wedding within your budget. 

1 thought on “Navigating the Rising Costs of a Wedding Venue: Tips and Strategies

  1. I completely agree that even though weddings are pricey, there are several methods to cut costs. You said that if you can find a less costly wedding location, you will have more money left over to spend on food or decorations since prices account for a sizeable amount of your wedding budget. I have to send this to my cousin who is looking for a wedding ballroom venue as her reception when she gets married this summer. Thanks.

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