One of the most daunting things about getting married is finding the perfect wedding ceremony venue to say “I do” in. Why? The cost of the venue can take up a lot of your budget if you’re not careful.
A wedding ceremony venue can be super-expensive and hold hidden costs that you might not even think about when scouring the land for your perfect wedding spot. Below are some great ways to save big and lend your extra dough to the fun stuff like decor, champagne, and food.
Create A Killer Wedding Ceremony Venue Budget
The first thing you and your groom should do is sit down and prioritize what you want in a venue. Things to talk about:
- What kind of venues do you like?
- Is a religious ceremony a priority?
- Do you have different religious beliefs? This can oddly dictate what venue you choose and what venues you are allowed to marry in that observe both your faiths.
- Are you adventurous? Maybe a volcano or waterfall wedding is right up your alley. Here are 10 really crazy wedding ceremony venues from Glamour.com!
- Will you or your guests have to travel far to reach the venue?
- Have you researched what is necessary to have a destination wedding? You should look at wedding packages, visas, passport regulations — as well as local laws. Some countries require month-long notices of intent to marry before you are allowed to say “I do,” so research the country of choice very well.
- How much should you spend? (Your wedding venues shouldn’t be more than 25% of a traditional budget.
- Can you have the wedding and reception in the same location? Book one location for the ceremony and reception to save BIG on cost. There won’t be multiple venue fees and taxes, plus no transportation for you or your guests so you will all save loads on just staying in one spot.
- Have you compared all of your top choices? Once you’ve narrowed down a few venues, use our handy spreadsheet to compare each and what they include. Be sure to ask exactly what is detailed and included in your venue. If you book one location, most places don’t include linens or things like a cake cutter in the total cost, and you’ll get the bill after.
Time is of the Essence
Timing is everything, and that includes booking a ceremony venue. Some things to keep in mind:
- When should you start looking for a venue? Start planning a year or more in advance. Popular venues book out quick. Be sure to ask if others are getting married that day. You might get it cheaper if you schedule before or after another wedding and keep it short.
- What is really necessary to have in your wedding ceremony? Keep it as short as possible. Sometimes, the less time you have the venue, the less it will cost. You don’t really have to light candles and read poems, do you?
The Best Days To Book
Believe it or not, the impact on your budget can come down to the actual day of the week you decide to say “I do.” While Saturday might be your preferred day, if you go off the beaten path and move your special day you might just save a ton! Best ways to save on days:
- Can you book a time that isn’t in the evening? Go for an afternoon wedding!
- Can you book on a day that isn’t a Saturday? Try booking a Friday night.
- Can you consider a morning? Sunday Brunch receptions are quite cool, and this day is less likely to be booked out during the week for weddings.
Beautiful Venues on a Budget
- Can you think of a non-traditional venue? If you go with a public space, you might save a boatload on the cost of the ceremony venue. There are also loads of romantic venues that are both public and pretty private, so you can say “I do” in an intimate setting outdoors. Some cool places to keep in mind when you want to spend less on a ceremony:
- Public Parks
- National Forests
- College Campus
- Military organization venues (this is a great choice for a venue if you’re from a military family or marrying into one)
- How much are fees and what do they cover? Be sure to contact each venue and ask about licensing fees, etc. Some places simply ask you to pay a minimal fee to hold a wedding, and if you get caught without doing so you might blow your budget and owe more!
The Miscellaneous Stuff You Might Not Think About
It all comes down to the little things when you aren’t trying to blow your budget. From cutting cost to repurposing decor, we’ve got some top tips when it comes to saving on ceremonies!
- What do you really need to include in the decor? Things like flowers and decor can cost a fortune. Try and select a venue that has stained glass windows or some sort of natural setting that is so epic in beauty that you don’t have to decorate.
- Can you limit the use (or recycle the placement) of flowers? If you have to have flowers, make sure they are the type of arrangements that can be repurposed and moved to your reception for simple decor. For instance, flowers on the ends of aisles can be used as centerpieces.
- Can you cut down on the time you need specific vendors? Create a schedule for people like photographers and videographers. You might not need both at a ceremony. Choosing between the two can really cut down on cost!