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2021 Guide To Cheap Wedding Venues (Tips & Infographic)

WeddingForward

Your wedding venues are the most important decisions you’ll make during your wedding planning journey. It impacts the food you’ll eat, the clothes you’ll wear, the decor, and especially your budget. If you’re looking to save a few dollars, choosing cheap wedding venues is the easiest way to do it.

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But cheap wedding venues don’t necessarily have to seem that way. Stick with us and we’ll show you some fabulous venues that are friendly on your wedding budget and we’ll show you a few tips on getting the best deals and saving the most money.

Cheap Wedding Venues Ideas

Wedding venue ideas at home

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The most affordable wedding venues are free! You can save a ton of cash by using your own property as the venue for your wedding ceremony and reception.

  • Your Home:

Your own house can be one of the best places to get married when you’re planning a budget. You don’t have to charge yourself a dime, but you are in for a little extra work. You’re adding the responsibility of a complete overhaul in the tidy department, plus all of the decor, setup, and teardown.

  • Your Barn:

If you’re planning a rustic wedding not only will this save on your wedding budget, it’s actually very appropriate. An old barn perfectly embodies the rustic theme, and with a few low-cost decorations, you can make your venue look stunning.

  • Home of Friend or Family:

Perhaps your home isn’t perfectly suited for a ton of guests. But, there’s a good chance that a friend, family member, or colleague is more than happy to donate their space for your event. We’ve even seen examples of wealthy bosses offering their summer homes as their wedding gift. If that’s an option, definitely pursue it!

Cheap wedding venues in the backyard

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When weather permits, you can keep with using your home as a wedding venue but move the party outside. There’s potentially a little bit more work required here, but it’s well worth it for all that extra space.

  • Boho Field Wedding:

If you’ve searched for ‘free wedding venues near me’ and didn’t find what you were looking for for your Boho wedding, just look out the window. The bohemian theme appreciates the simpler things in life, and there’s nothing more wholesome than flower-adorned friends and family gathering in your own backyard.

  • Traditional Theme:

White tables, white tents, an archway, and traditional decor can inexpensively come together with beautiful outdoor results. This will increase the number of items on your wedding checklist, but bringing in gear, decor, and food saves an unexpected amount of money.

  • Pond Wedding:

Planning a wedding with plenty of notice provides a lot of advantage. One example is the ability to ask your friends and family if you can use their backyard with a pond. This water feature creates a natural space to present your Ceremony, and plenty of beauty for wedding album photo shoots.

Affordable wedding venues at the pool

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  • Fire and Ice Theme:

Surround your pool with tons of candles, lanterns, and colored LEDs and watch as the light sparkles off the water. This low-cost wedding venue option is one of the most romantic settings we can think of.

  • Great Gatsby Dance Party:

Decorate your pool area with all the art deco you can get your hands on and instruct your guests to dress in their best 1920s era outfits. You may want to invest a small amount of money to hire an appropriate DJ. The atmosphere will be a sheer delight to celebrate your nuptials and dance the night away.

  • Floating Platform:

Build a floating platform (some wood and plastic barrels will do the trick) and walk on water as your ceremony takes place in the center of all your guests. As a bonus, toss dozens of flowers (you can sometimes get the leftovers from a florist for free) into the pool and watch the petals float around. The combination is gorgeous.

Wedding venues at the beaches

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  • Mock Destination:

Feature exotic BBQ meats, decorate with palm trees, and dish out leis to all your guests. The small investment you may want to make in this circumstance is for a tin drum band to complete the theme.

  • Lantern Heaven:

Set up a long enough table to seat all of your friends and family, place a few centerpieces and plenty of candles, and hang dozens of lanterns for a romantically light moonlight dinner reception.

  • Vintage Theme:

Pull your decor style from past eras. If you give yourself enough time, you can find all the items you need at antique stores and yard sales for a fraction of the price you’d pay for new items.

Outdoor wedding venues in the parks

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  • Gazebo:

Many beaches are on public property. You may need a low-cost permit, but you’ll have an amazing setting and a gorgeous backdrop for your ceremony, reception, and photo shoots.

  • Amphitheatre:

Many town parks feature an amphitheatre for small concerts and plays. Use this space during it’s off time for the ceremony and move your party to the grass once it’s time to party.

  • National Park:

You may have to travel if you don’t have a great one in your state, but can you imagine a wedding reception at the Grand Canyon?!? Even if you’re not native to Arizona, Buccaneer State Park would do just as well. Not only will your guests get to celebrate your Happily Ever After, but they’ll also get to treat themselves to one of the Nation’s treasures.

Museums and libraries

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Museums and libraries may not be the first things that come to mind when picturing your wedding venue, but consider this: They’re used to hosting events and they’re far less expensive than a banquet hall. Beyond the savings, these types of venues have a certain flair baked in. If you’ve visited a museum in the past while, you can attest to the fact that there’s an air of sophistication and being at ease just by stepping foot in the building.

These may be a little over the top, but these examples are sure to inspire:

Wedding in the theater

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Your local theater is an overlooked wedding venue option. Consider the fact that it’s already set up with a stage for the ceremony, and most theaters have lounges or dining areas where you can host the reception. They also have amazing sound systems so you may be able to get away with plugging in your iPod and skipping the DJ fee.

Cheap wedding venues – hotel rentals

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Hotels are an amazing option! They have dedicated space for your ceremony and reception, and offer group rates for accommodations. They often have sound systems and in-house catering. What they don’t have already, they’ll have local business partners for, like an MC or DJ. You will have to spend some money, but there’s a good amount of savings when you get everything at a convenient one-stop-shop.

Inexpensive venues in the churches

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Hosting your ceremony at a church is a no brainer, but holding your reception at church is often overlooked. But, the church hosts many events and has plenty of space for all your guests to get down. Because it’s often underused, church space rental is much more inexpensive than a banquet hall.

Alternative weddings venues – a sport field

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For an outdoor wedding, consider a sports field. If you’re that quintessential quarterback-cheerleader couple, this will bring back a lot of nostalgia. In case, you’re planning for a fun-filled night of games, space will be much appreciated. If you’re looking for inexpensive space in a clean, open area, look no further.

These alternative weddings venues can be rented at $200+ an hour. Keep in mind that you’ll have to supply, set up, and take down all of your supplies so this will add to the cost.

Inexpensive wedding venues at nature

You don’t have to compromise with your budget. There are plenty of cheap wedding venues that are absolutely breathtaking and the first place to look to is Mother Nature.

Between National Parks, forests, lakes and rivers, and back yards, there is no shortage of gorgeous spaces that will offer picture-perfect photo opportunities, natural aisles to walk down, plenty of cover from the sun, massive functional space, and inspiration for spirituality. What more could you ask for?

It may seem a little nontraditional but you’d be surprised at how many more options open up once you step outside. Trees can provide the archway, logs can provide the seating, and when it comes to the reception table chart you’re only limited by your imagination. We don’t recommend that you skip on comfort, but we do recommend that you get as creative as you wish.

How much are these low budget wedding venues going to cost you? Some parks will charge special use fees up to $250, but some are absolutely free.

Before making your final decision, make sure to compare your overall expenses. A no-charge outdoor space can seem like a no brainer, but you do have to factor in other expenses like tents, restrooms, transportation, and other items (complementary handheld fans or umbrellas for example) that wouldn’t necessary in an indoor venue.

Low budget wedding venues – parks

There are 3 types of parks that are amazing inexpensive wedding venues options.

  • The first are the most awe-inspiring National Parks in the world. Wonderlands like Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, and Glacier offer open fields, mountain top views, and waterfalls at extremely reasonable rates, sometimes as low as $100 or so.
  • The second type of budget wedding venues is your standard city park. Many of these have picturesque gazebos, ponds, pathways, floral designs, and other natural features that will make for a great wedding photo album and experience for your guests. Much like National Parks, a permit and small fee may be required but it’s usually pretty modest.
  • The third type, and maybe the most unexpected, is a sports “park”. Not every couple will be into this option, but many brides are sports fanatics and some couples are extremely sentimental. For those types, renting a baseball or football field is a unique cheap wedding venues dream come true.

The added benefit to holding your wedding in a park is that you don’t have about prime season price hikes. Competition for traditional venues like a banquet hall or church can get fierce. Choosing a park venue ensures that you get to choose the date you have your heart set on.

Cheap wedding venue ideas: art galleries

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One of the cheapest wedding venues that make a splash is an art gallery. Depending on the city you live in, there may be dozens to choose from that all have down seasons that would love to liven up. Galleries typically have beautiful spaces, wonderful decor, and can usually host both ceremony and reception.

Art galleries are used to hosting events and will be well equipped for caterers and A/V equipment, and they’re built for paintings and sculptures so the lighting will be immaculate.

You’ll also be able to cut back on your entertainment budget. With paintings and sculptures meeting your eye every direction you turn your head, guests will take pleasure in walking the grounds and soaking in the culture.

Galleries are also quartered off into different sections. For art that means different themes can adorn different rooms. For your guests, it means that there can be a unique room dedicated to different functions like a lounge, photo booth, and kids’ area.

Wedding venues on a budget on wineries

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For more wedding venues on a budget, many couples find the open space of wineries to be ideal. Wine grapes always grow in the most ideal of climates, which ensures that you’ll have a gorgeous day in store for your I Do. Wineries always have generous indoor spaces with ample room for your ceremony and reception. They also have the benefit of barrel cellars which are perfect for artistically lit photo sessions.

Vineyards are often a staple within their community and have excellent connections with other local vendors. If you’re looking to stretch your low cost wedding venues dollars a little further, coordinate with your winery to find the best deals on florists and caterers.

Switching gears as you move your guests from indoors to outdoors (or vice versa) is a great change of pace and an excellent to keep the energy levels up, which is a benefit which is unique to wineries. Aside from sometimes being a little bit out of the way, there really are no cons to choosing a winery as your wedding venue.

Wondering if a winery isn’t traditional enough? Well, it was good enough for Jesus. That’s right, the famous “water into wine” transformation happened at a wedding located in a vineyard.

How To Find A Wedding Venue On A Budget

If budget is a high priority on your wedding checklist, the first place to start looking for cheap wedding venue ideas is your own backyard.

  • This advice is literal as well as figurative. Your own backyard gives you a lot of control, a lot of familiarity and the fees are highly negotiable. You’ll have to factor in the costs of rentals – furniture, extra washrooms, etc. – but this is usually a very cost-effective solution.
  • If you happen to live in a rural area, barn weddings are all the rage right now. Clearing it out and setting up extra lighting may be a little bit of a task, but between the simple wedding venues savings and having two spaces for all of the festivities, it’s well worth it.
  • If your own home won’t suffice, move on to friends and family for your small cheap wedding venue’s needs. Many of your nearest and dearest will gladly volunteer their home to your big day, and the higher-ups at work may even consider donating their space as a wedding gift.
  • With all of these at-home wedding options, it doesn’t have to seem like you’re saving money. With the right combination of decor, food, and entertainment, each and every single guest will be enveloped by the experience.
  • If all of these are not viable options, check out Airbnb. There are plenty of homes and other spaces out there that have more than enough room to accommodate your vendors and guests, and all for a fraction of the price you’d pay with a formal banquet hall.

Tips On Saving Money On A Wedding Venue

Getting a great deal on a good venue is a great first step in how to have a cheap wedding. To maximize saving money, follow these great tips.

  1. Trim the guest list: Of course, you want to invite everyone you’ve ever met to your big event, but if you noticed some of the pricing above many places charge per person. Keep your guest list to the essentials to keep your budget at a minimum. Search “small wedding venues near me” to see if there are any inexpensive venues that can host 20-50 of your guests.
  2. Prepare your own food: A gorgeous meal is always a wonderful thing, but it’s also tremendously expensive. Enlist the help of friends and family to prepare a few courses that your guests will swear was catered.
  3. Avoid Saturdays: Certain times of year are more expensive than others, and Saturdays are always at a premium. Book offseason and off-peak days to get the best venue at the lowest price.
  4. Pay in Full: Use your negotiation skills to get a discount for paying in full up front. Smaller businesses are usually tight on money, and upfront payment means more working capital which is sometimes more valuable than segmented payments. Also, make sure to research a venue’s hidden cost and negotiate yourself out of other unnecessary fees.
  5. Comparison shop: Even if you think you found “the” venue, shop around. You could find something better for the same price, or something just as good which costs a little less.
  6. Host the ceremony and reception at the same venue: The more things you can take off under one roof, the better your “package price” will be. Take it a step further and see if your venue offers catering, DJ, and other essential services to save even more.
  7. Don’t mention your “wedding”: Unfortunately, whenever you mention that your venue and rentals are for a “wedding” the price suddenly goes up. Allow your venues to assume you’re hosting a family reunion.
  8. DIY or fewer decorations: Cutting back on decorations isn’t a big deal. Your guests come to celebrate your marriage, to socialize, to eat, and to dance. Keep it to a minimum and you’ll keep dollars in your pocket.
  9. BYOB: Alcohol is one of the biggest wedding expenses for a reception. Have your guests bring their own for massive savings.
  10. Forego Gifts: Instead, ask your guests to pitch in on the party. Cash donations will pay you back later, but if you’re strapped for cash you can always ask that guests contribute the items you need for the ceremony and reception.

Next time you Google “outdoor wedding venues near me” keep an open mind. When searching for the perfect wedding ceremony and reception all you really need is space to eat an and, and a backdrop to make your wedding photos amazing. Stop thinking of cheap wedding venues as sub-par, and start thinking of them as inexpensive. Follow this advice, and you’ll have the wedding you always dreamed about while still saving enough cash for an exotic honeymoon or a down payment on your first family home.

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