Your wedding should be one of the most special events in your life, but that doesn’t mean it has to cost a fortune! The venue is one of the biggest wedding expenses you’ll incur, which means it provides an excellent opportunity to reduce the overall cost if you can make smart decisions. If you’re looking to have an amazing event on a budget, here are some great tips to help you save money when selecting a wedding venue:
- Don’t Get Married on Saturday
- Choose an All-in-One Venue
- Buy a Package
- Use a Non-Traditional Venue
- Scale Back the Guest List
- Shorten the Reception
- Skip the Bar
- Book Well in Advance
- Get Married Outdoors
Saturday is the most popular day of the week to get married, which means that prices are much higher on Saturdays. But if you get married on a Friday or Sunday instead, venues are typically about 50% less expensive. It might not be traditional, but it’ll save you a boatload of money. Plus, if your guests are mostly local, it really won’t be much of an inconvenience.
It’s more expensive to get married at one location and then have your reception at another venue because you end up paying to use both. Instead, choose an all-in-one venue to save on rental fees. Guests typically prefer not having to travel between venues, so it’s really a win-win.
Many venues offer complete packages where the wedding cake, bartending, catering, photography, and flowers are provided as part of the cost. Because these venues are using the same providers over and over, they’re able to negotiate the best rates, which means that it can be less expensive (not to mention less stressful) than finding individual vendors on your own. Price out the packages and then get rates on your own for comparison’s sake.
You don’t have to select a dedicated wedding venue for your big day. Think outside of the box when it comes to choosing your venue! Places like coffee shops, art museums, parks, and restaurants can often accommodate weddings and will typically offer better prices because they’re glad to have the high-volume exposure. Newly opened venues can often give you a price break as well because they want to attract the business.
It might seem a little scary, but if you can manage to pay in advance for your wedding, you’ll often get a price break for doing so. Inquire about what kind of discount you can get for pre-paying for part or all of your wedding.
Obviously smaller wedding receptions are less expensive than larger ones (especially if you’re having a full sit-down meal). To save some money, you can make your wedding reception family-only and then have a separate unofficial party for your friends later. Alternatively, you can just cross everyone off the list that you’re inviting because you feel obligated to invite but don’t actually care about coming.
Reducing the length of your reception by an hour or two will save you a lot of money on the venue rental and, also, the photographer, videographer, and DJ/band.
If your wedding venue will let you BYOB, that’s a great way to save money because venues add on a huge upcharge for drinks. If they won’t let you do so, opt for a cash bar instead of an open bar to cut costs. (This is an especially great option if your guests are lighter drinkers, because it means you won’t pay for something that you’re not actually using.) If this is out of the question, you can always have a limited bar and just offer beer and wine instead of spirits. A limited bar is often less expensive to have than a full bar.
The further out you book your wedding, the less expensive it will be. As you get closer to the big day, your options become more limited, which means that you won’t be able to shop around as much as if you had planned in advance.
These tips are all great, but they all involve at least some measure of sacrifice. So, if you want to have the wedding of your dreams without having to get married on an off-peak day, or shorten the wedding reception, or pare down the guest list, having your wedding outside is your best bet! You can choose to have your event at an established outdoor wedding venue, or you can opt for an off-the-beaten path alternative. No matter where you choose to have it, you can always bring in a fancy tent, gourmet food, and luxury portable toilets to make guests feel like they’re at a well-appointed venue.
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