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2019 Guide To Cheap Wedding Venues (Expert Tips & Infographic)


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.

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

  1. 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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Ways To Find Cheap Wedding Venues

Finding a cost-effective venue isn’t all that easy. Follow these tips to get the best deals.

  1. Hit up your alma mater. Colleges and Universities have a huge mandate to help out their alumni, it’s good PR.
  2. Look for new businesses. Freshly opened family-run restaurants, banquet halls, and other similar business live and die by exposure, good reviews, and word of mouth. Advertising costs a lot of money, and providing a venue at reduced cost could be a win-win.
  3. Look for venues that have a lot of “down time”. As mentioned earlier, spaces like theatres may have weekend shows and then leave the space virtually empty the rest of the week. Since it’s not in use, it won’t be overly expensive.\
  4. Find outdoor venues that fit in perfectly with your theme. This is especially easy when your theme is outdoor in nature, such as whimsical. A clearing in the middle of a forest would seem perfectly in place.
  5. Look for places that are “ready to go”. Choosing a place that already has decor, seating, and a platform/stage area really saves on other fees.
  6. Travel Outside the city: Due to supply and demand, everything is more expensive in the city. Keep it rural to find the most inexpensive reception halls.
  7. Ask for help: Getting your friends and family involved is always a sure way to save a few bucks. Even small gestures like bringing a dish to serve add up quickly.

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.