Say "I Do" to an Affordable Wedding Venue

9 Tips to Find a Low Cost Wedding Venue
9 Tips to Find a Low Cost Wedding Venue

Your wedding venue will serve as the main backdrop for your wedding day. Not only does your wedding venue determine your wedding date, guest count, vendor services, and more, but it is also the highest budget item on your wedding checklist.

When trying to keep costs low, an affordable wedding venue can be the ticket to reducing your overall wedding spending and diverting the funds to other items – like food, vendors, or even your honeymoon.

We’ve put together our top 9 tips to book an affordable wedding venue near you. These cost-saving hints will help you pivot your planning to prioritize lower spending without sacrificing any quality on your big day – number 6 is so simple, you’ll be shocked you didn’t think of it first. We strive to make wedding planning simple and this list will help you reduce the stress while still finding the perfect wedding venue near you.

9 Tips to Book an Affordable Wedding Venue

1) Consider Off-Peak Seasons and Days

This is a tried and true piece of wedding day advice – when looking to book an affordable wedding venue, the biggest trick is to pick an off-season date. Many couples clamor to get married in Fall and Spring, so this is when wedding venue prices are at their highest.

Talk to your potential wedding venues about off-season dates – winter weddings are beautiful and can be cozy and intimate; summer weddings can be breathtaking and simple. 

Additionally, ask about discounts for days that aren’t in demand. Weddings on a Friday or Sunday are cheaper than Saturday weddings at most venues and if you partner up next to a holiday weekend, you don’t need to worry about travel for your guests. 

2) Book Your Wedding Venue Early

The earlier you can plan your wedding, the better. Wedding venues and vendors often increase their prices with each new season as inflation demands. By locking in a date early, you can secure an off-season price.

It is recommended to book your wedding venue at least one year ahead of time but you can always book earlier if you’re ready to lock it in. Booking your wedding venue early also allows you the time to tour multiple venues, compare prices, and ensure the other vendors you want are also available. 

Check your contract for cut off dates for your deposit to protect your investment and this will allow you to book with ease. 

3) Carefully Choose the Guest Count

Wedding venue prices are often based on the amount of guests you plan on hosting. Wedding venues for up to 130 guests are often the most affordable wedding venues. Going above 150 wedding guests can increase the price substantially based on fire codes, spacing, activities, tables required, and more.

Before touring wedding venues, have a rough number of where you will cap your wedding guest count so you can more easily get an accurate estimate from each wedding venue. This will also help ensure you don’t tour wedding venues that are out of budget or don’t have the space to host as many guests as you want to invite.

4) Think Outside the Box of Traditional Wedding Venues

To explore affordable wedding venues, don’t just look at traditional wedding venues like banquet halls. Many rustic wedding venues cater to all types of events, keeping their costs lower than extravagant wedding venues.

By booking your rustic wedding venue at a park, community center, gathering hall, barn wedding venue, or scenic overlook, you can dramatically cut costs in your wedding venue budget. Look for unique wedding venues near you to consider all of your options. 

5) Step Outside the City for Affordable Wedding Venues

While you’re looking for unique wedding venue ideas, remember to look outside of cities for your wedding venue. Wedding venues in a city, like Baltimore or DC, can be more expensive just based on location. Many rustic wedding venues are located within 40 minutes of a popular city center without the city upcharge.

Consider barn wedding venues like Circle D Farm, that are close enough for easy transportation but out of the way to reduce your overall venue costs. Hacks like this can keep it convenient for everyone without taking you over budget. 

If you still are unsure, look into the cost of shuttle services that are often very affordable and allow more flexibility for wedding day planning.

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6) Decor - DIY or Already On Site

This might surprise you, but decor can have a lot to do with your wedding venue budget. There are two ways to reduce your wedding costs when it comes to decor: 1, book a venue that is already perfectly outfitted; 2, DIY your own decor with your friends, family, and wedding party.

Many traditional wedding venues are blank canvases you need to decorate yourself, often requiring a decorating team to assist with complete outfitting. You can cut your wedding venue budget down dramatically by coming up with alternative plans for your decor. Many rustic wedding venues are already decorated, requiring little additional work on your behalf. The alternative is finding a wedding venue that is mostly in your vision and finishing it off with your own easy DIY wedding decor.

Always ask the wedding planner on site what their wedding venue decor policy is – make sure you won’t be upcharged for your own decorations or be required to use a decorating vendor that they supply at your own cost.

7) Ask for Discounts for On-Site Services

During your consult with the wedding venue, always ask about what services they offer at their wedding venue and if this can help cut costs. At Maryland wedding venues like Circle D Farm, catering is included as part of the wedding venue price. This cuts down on the hassle of finding and coordinating with a separate food vendor while supplying everyone with perfectly customized catered meals.

Some wedding venues may not bundle their vendor services while still requiring you to only select from their specific vendor list. Always ask if their catering services, decor team, chairs, tables, bartenders, etc. come at a discounted rate by being bundled with their venue vs the out-of-pocket expense you would face booking them on your own.

8) Look for Hidden Fees

While you’re inquiring about bundled services, this is a great opportunity to ask your wedding venue about hidden fees. Always read your venue contract carefully – some venues have a rental fee that only includes the rental of the space. They may outline upcharges for using their chairs, tables, trash removal, and more.

Never take the top number you see to be the final number. Explicitly ask about what is and is not included in their rental fee and what you are or are not allowed to bring in on your own. If you’re not sure, ask a wedding planner to read over your contract before you sign and commit to any venue.

9) Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate

At the end of the day, never be afraid to negotiate with your wedding venue. They are a business that is open to making things work out best for you. Talk about bundle services, price decreases, wedding guest adjustments, and more.

If you’re working with a wedding planner, they can help with negotiations and contract agreements without you needing to worry. Negotiating gives you a say and helps ensure you’re happy with the end result for your big day.

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Time to Tour Your Wedding Venues!

With all these tips in mind, you’re ready to tour wedding venues near you. To book the most affordable wedding venue, know your guest count, think outside the box, don’t be afraid to negotiate, and always discuss your other vendor options to keep costs low.

Remember, your wedding day should be beautiful and fun, so make sure you feel confident and happy with your wedding venue of choice. This will help you relax and enjoy your day, hassle-free. 

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