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Wedding Budget: The Venue

December 21, 2015 by The Marquardt Ranch

If you thought your wedding dress would be the toughest budget to crunch, you haven’t started looking at venues yet.  Statistically, your venue should take up about half of your budget.  The key to success is setting your budget at the beginning, before breaking it down into subcategories.  With a total budget in mind, it will be easier to break down individual costs and know how much you are able to spend on your venue.

Before you begin your venue search, decide whether or not you will have a ceremony and reception at the same location.  From that point, begin doing research online.  The Knot and Wedding Wire offer great resources that tailor venues to your location and budget.  Keep a running list of those suggestions and then narrow the list down to three visits.  This will keep you from becoming overwhelmed, and you’ll enjoy your experience much more.  Once you’ve selected a venue, it’s time to start saving some money.  Before you sign contracts, ask questions!

Wedding Venue Budget Tips: 

  1. Look outside of traditional venues.  Do you have a family friend with a beautiful backyard?  Does your church have a large gathering room? Bear in mind that you’ll still have to secure tables, linens and catering, but the space itself may be free of charge.
  2. Get married on a Friday or Sunday.  Most venues offer significant discounts if you choose a date that doesn’t fall on a Saturday.  For even more savings, choose a brunch or lunch reception.
  3. If you can help it, have your wedding in the off-season.  Spring is one of the most cost-effective times to get married and also one of the most beautiful.
  4. If the venue will allow, have family and friends help you make the food. You already know everyone loves your Aunt Marie’s lasagna and that your guests would swoon over your Grandma’s secret marble cake recipe, so ask those family members for help!
  5. Delete the open bar.  An easy way to save money is to cut back to a beer and wine package or no alcohol at all.  Furthermore, you can skip the champagne toast and save even more money!
  6. Use the venue’s list of recommended vendors for any outside necessities like the DJ or cake.  These vendors may offer discounts and they’ll be familiar with the venue space.
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