Everyone wants that “perfect” wedding. Our culture promotes extravagance when it comes to wedding planning, and it can be hard to give up the dream of getting married the “fairy tale” way. However, the reality is quite different, especially when you have a limited wedding budget. In fact, the average cost of a wedding in the United States is well over $20,000. This is a sizable sum when you’re trying to stick to a tight budget.
One of the best ways to trim your budget is by getting creative with your wedding venue. The wedding venue is typically the largest of all wedding expenses so it makes sense to try to cut costs there. If you are currently thinking about where to get married, here are a few suggestions to save money on a wedding venue:
1. Focus on Your Priorities
First, you need to consider your personal priorities. Sometimes the most modest of weddings are the most satisfying. Do you really need to fill your guests’ tables with gourmet meals and enormous floral bouquets? Do you really need to get married at a high-end venue complete with a popular wedding DJ? It’s hard to enjoy those while you are crunching the numbers at the back of your mind. What matters most is that you are married to your beloved at the end of the day. So never lose focus of your priorities.
2. Break Free From Traditional Venues
It is time to think outside the box. Consider choosing a non-traditional venue for your special day. A quirky wedding site can bring a lot of charm and character to a wedding. A public park or community center can be a lovely, low-key setting for a wedding. Best of all, non-traditional venues typically are much cheaper than the standard venues.
3. Have a Backyard Wedding
A backyard wedding can be sweet and personal. If your own backyard isn’t large enough, you may have a generous friend or family member who can offer their property. Just make sure you carefully price the cost of rentals, such as tables, chairs, tents, etc . . . Those can add up quickly and sometimes surpass the cost of an all-inclusive venue.
4. Don’t Choose Saturday
It has become customary for weddings to be held on a Saturday. Thanks to high demand, Saturdays are the most expensive option at many wedding venues. If you can choose a Sunday or even a Friday evening, you may benefit from big savings.
5. Get Married Off-Season
The most popular months to get married are June, September, and October. Not surprisingly, rates are typically highest for those dates. Consider a winter or spring wedding to cut costs. Also avoid holiday weekends as those also go for a premium.
6. Consider University Campuses
Many university campuses possess large ballrooms or banquet halls, which can be rented for big occasions. This may be a less expensive option than a hotel reception hall. Even better, get married at your alma mater and you may be eligible for a significant discount! If you are marrying your college sweetheart, getting married on campus can be incredibly romantic. Plus, a college wedding often becomes a reunion with all your college buddies.
7. Have a Morning Wedding
Venues often offer lower rates for morning weddings. These can be a little more challenging since you have little or no same-day prep time. On the other hand, it allows you to stretch the festivities out throughout and have more time to spend with your new spouse.
As a final note, to save more, you need to start early and plan your wedding carefully. Less expensive venues often book up early (for obvious reasons!) so planning well in advance gives you a distinct advantage. Weddings also involve a lot of “hidden” costs, such as unanticipated decoration costs, parking fees, etc . . . So you need to be aware of those when you consider any kind of wedding venue.