Budget-Friendly Wedding Venues

by Becca on February 23, 2011

Where you choose to marry your true love may be the aspect of your wedding that you care about the most.  In fact, it is the item that couples spend the most cash on – over one third of the wedding budget goes toward the venue and catering!

In a recent survey, by The Wedding Report, couples were asked to share how they divided their wedding budget among 13 different categories.  The results of the survey revealed that the average couple spends a whopping 36% of their budget on their venue and catering alone. 

Here are some wedding tips on how to get the most from that chunk of change that you put towards your perfect wedding venue:

1. First of all, a few certain details make a huge difference on your venue choice and cost.  Most notably, your guest list.  If you’ve chosen to invite every extended family member and distant friend that you can think of, you’re going to need a bigger venue, with typically a larger price tag.

2. Secondly, what time of the year would you like to wed?  Usually, May/June through September/October is considered ‘wedding season’ (translation: more expensive).  Venue locations are typically much more reasonably priced in the off-season so if a winter wonderland or fresh spring wedding sound romantic to you, your budget may just swoon as well!

3. Lastly, not only is the off-season more affordable, certain days of the week may be as well. Weddings usually take place on Friday evenings or especially Saturday afternoons and nights.  If another day and/or time appeals to you, you may be able to save a bundle on your venue; consider Sunday brunch nuptials or maybe a Thursday evening wedding, before a long weekend?

Now that we’ve gone over the guest list, time of year and day of the week – here are some wedding venues that are traditionally inexpensive but have an enormous amount of potential elegance as well.

Parks: Whether small town, public parks or well-known national parks, an outdoor, sunny, spring wedding can be so charming.  Many local parks are already decorated with vibrant flowers and may have shelters or gazebos that would be the perfect location for you and your love to stand under and say your vows (or to place your food and cake if you choose a park as your reception location as well).  Make a date with your fiancée to drive around around town and tour the parks in your area, to find one that would suit your special day.  What a great way to have fun with your ‘wedding planning’!


Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Colleges and Universities: Are you two college sweethearts?  Then what would be more perfect than to marry at the very place you fell in love?  Many colleges and universities have beautiful chapels for relatively inexpensive fees – some even offer discounts to current students, faculty and alumni!


Hamilton College Chapel, New York

Local Museums, Theaters and Galleries: Because they aren’t traditional wedding venues, many local attractions will host your ceremony for less than you’d expect, especially if you choose an ‘off’ month or day as mentioned above. Also, recently-opened businesses might offer better prices because they’re looking to draw customers and get their name out in the community.

wedding-tipsAirborne Museum, North Carolina

Property Belonging to Yourself, Friends & Family: Perhaps you have an uncle with a gorgeous house on a large lot, or a friend with a cabin and land in the mountains?  It never hurts to ask!  Having your own or being able to use property belonging to someone close, for your wedding, may be the most ideal option.  Not only will you save on venue rental costs but you’ll be able to choose your own caterer, which can save you quite a bit of money.

My last bit of advice - be creative!  You never know if your favorite restaurant, place you and your fiancée met, or treasured weekend getaway could be able to host your wedding ceremony until you make the call.  The inexpensive price tag may surprise you and who knows, maybe you can put a little more of your budget towards something like your honeymoon, rather than your venue!

Categorized In: Venues


One Response to “Budget-Friendly Wedding Venues”
  1. Nicole Onofrio says:

    Great wedding venue ideas, Becca! Most of these places, if having your reception there as well, will allow you to bring in your own liquor. That is also a big money saver!

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