Top 5 Tips to Help You Save on Your Wedding Venue

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You’ve got to do this thing somewhere and the venue is usually the number one biggest expense and also an important factor in planning everything else (like the décor, food, transportation, and on). Try to shop around and be flexible. You could see considerable savings if you’re willing to shuffle dates or go with a non-traditional setting.

So, you’re going to plan a budget wedding. YAY! You’re probably so excited to get started and maybe you’ve already been pinning ideas. But before you get too carried away, did you check out my post on the first 5 things to do when planning a budget wedding? Yes? Then hang on because now I’m sharing my top 5 tips to help you save on your wedding venue.

Top 5 Tips to Help You Save on Your Wedding Venue

You’ve got to do this thing somewhere and the venue is usually the number one biggest expense and also an important factor in planning everything else (like the décor, food, transportation, and on). Try to shop around and be flexible. You could see considerable savings if you’re willing to shuffle dates or go with a non-traditional setting.

1. Know your budget. Knowing how much you’ll ultimately be spending will allow you to understand how much you can spend on your venue. And heads up, traditionally you will need to expect to spend 50% of yout total budget on the reception. So, planning to host the wedding ceremony and reception in the same location can save you some dough.

2. Have a rough guest list. All you need right now is a rough guesstimate of the guest list. This will help you save time and energy since you'll be able to quickly eliminate locations that are either too small or too big for your wedding. No point is spending big money on a venue that holds 500 when you're only expecting 200.

3. Non-traditional locales. Sure, having your wedding in an all-inclusive country club or hotel can save you money but (if you're willing to find your own outside vendors) you can save some serious cash by scouting out non-traditional venues. Try a local bar, library, warehouse, backyard, bowling alley, clearing in the woods, or museum. Most will charge a much smaller venue fee than traditional locations and will allow you bring in your own outside vendors.

4. Switch your days or your times. Most weddings are on a Saturday evening so venues never have to worry about filling those slots – it's a given that they will "sell" them. However, it's rare that people get married on a Wednesday evening or Sunday morning so venues look at these times as "extras" – like bonuses! It's MUCH easier to try and negogiate a smaller fee for a venue if your wedding is at an odd time.

5. When in doubt, leave the city. Any city location will have higher rates than in the suburbs or a rural area. So think about getting married in Glendale instead of Santa Monica or Eagle River instead of Anchorage. The more urban or "hip" the area – the mosre money you will spend on the venue.

I’m living proof that you can have a fantastic wedding on a teeny-tiny budget and I promise, these were the first 5 things I did when planning our $5,000 budget wedding. It's really important to know your wedding venue and give yourself time to work some deals.

What’s the first thing you’re doing to plan the venue for your wedding?