12 Ways to Save Money on your Wedding Venue

Saying “YES” to your venue doesn’t have to break the bank.

Pocono Palms  |  Elle Studios

Looking to cut costs on your wedding venue without sacrificing style? We've got all the insider tricks to help you snag that space and stay within your budget—no style compromises required! From finding slashed rates to considering off-peak dates and hidden gem locations, get ready to discover the industry secrets to secure your wedding venue without draining your savings.


Before we even begin talking about saving money on your wedding venue, we gotta talk about your guest list. Think about it: Every person attending your wedding must be able to sit comfortably, eat food & cake, and have a few drinks. So the more people you have, the pricier it gets. Real quick.

Considering your wedding as a "per-person" expenditure will help put the costs into perspective. Simply put: More guests = more money. As a result, the single most impactful thing you can do to lower your overall wedding spend is to decrease your guest list.

Remember: The total cost of a wedding comes down to the guest count. The number of guests in attendance will determine not only the size of your venue but also how much food and alcohol you'll have to provide (which, by the way, are two of the most significant wedding expenses). So slash that guest list from the start to automatically save on your venue space.


A luxury NYC hotel wedding isn’t the best option if you’re looking to cut costs. (We’re looking at you, The Plaza Hotel.) The same goes for other big cities, like San Francisco, L.A., or Chicago, that capitalize on their central locations and swanky vibes with hefty price tags. But be aware that even remote destinations can get pricey when you factor in things like out-of-town vendor travel costs or delivery fees!

Looking for moderately priced venues in less populated areas can often result in significant savings, so resist the allure of luxury venues in exclusive destinations like the Hamptons, Napa Valley, or Aspen. Instead, stick closer to mid-range locations that offer a picturesque setting without the exorbitant price tag.

Pinewood Wedding and Events  |  Amber Holte Photography


When securing your wedding venue, timing is everything if you want to cut costs. Peak wedding season is typically late spring through fall—that popular time of year when venues and vendors increase pricing to meet the demand of couples booking those prime dates. Off-season wedding months vary by region, but winter typically has the most affordable dates.

The same goes for Saturdays—most engaged couples covet that traditional weekend wedding, which means you'll pay a premium for a Saturday soirée. The demand for Saturday weddings can drive up every associated cost—from venue rentals to food & beverage. A Friday evening or Sunday brunch wedding can be just as magical but way more budget-friendly. And weekday weddings are becoming more commonplace, so don’t be shy about hosting a Monday through Thursday event!

The moral of this story? Be flexible with your wedding date. And once you set that “off” date, give your guests as much advance notice as possible so they can take time off work or make other necessary travel arrangements.


Popular wedding venues are getting booked 12–18 months in advance or more. The nice thing about booking your venue early is that you can work out a practical payment plan that spreads out the costs throughout your wedding planning process. Plus, booking 12 or more months in advance allows you to lock in today's pricing for next year's wedding. Every little bit helps!

Mountain Top Resort  |  Annmarie Swift Photography


One convenient, budget-friendly option is to get married at a full-service wedding venue with all the bells & whistles for your ceremony and reception already included. These comprehensive packages cover the event space and other wedding essentials like catering, bar service, linens, and rentals – all under one (reasonably priced) roof.

Bundling a bunch of items into one package usually equals significant savings compared to purchasing everything à la carte. Plus, when rentals, in-house staff, food and drinks are conveniently situated on-site, you won't get nickeled and dimed for all the extras.


Keeping the wedding menu simple is a surefire way to cut costs. Try one appetizer station or a modest grazing table, pare down alcohol selections to just the essentials, and streamline the menu to something your guests will love but won't break the bank. You'd be surprised how many people would rather have a fun and relatable meal (like a taco bar, BBQ, or woodfired pizza) rather than something overly fussy!

Trust your caterer to develop innovative, cost-cutting solutions to pare things down. For instance, it's a common misconception that a buffet spread is the cheapest way to feed your wedding guests. In reality, that all-you-can-eat option could be a major budget buster while plated meals are inherently portion (i.e., cost) controlled. Your caterer may encourage a cocktail-style reception or family-style platters on each table to give the same casual vibe without the sticker shock.

Haven on the Farm


You can expect to allocate between 8–20% of your total wedding budget to the alcohol and bar service, depending on how much you're willing to cover and how much your collective guest list likes to imbibe. The per-person cost for alcohol varies greatly depending on your location and bar package, but generally, you can expect to spend anywhere from $15–45 per person—or more!

There are various ways to cut back on the bar tab—from hosting just beer and wine to forgoing the champagne toast. Check out our detailed breakdown of how to budget for your wedding bar to get all the info on saving money on spirits.


Cutting down on the number of hours you host the party will invariably cut costs. You can even arrange an afterparty at a local bar to keep the party going without feeling like you need to pick up the tab.

Oh, and be aware of those pesky overtime fees. You've gotta be out the door when the venue says so, or else you may be subject to extra charges. When the reception’s raging, it feels hard to call it a night—but keep in mind that if you linger too long, you could end up shelling out extra cash to your venue and potentially the DJ, wedding photographer, and bartenders for keeping the party going.

seven 7 seven  |  David England Photography


From taxes and service charges to tips and gratuities, there's a slew of extra expenses that can potentially bust your bottom line. Don't let these hidden fees catch your budget by surprise! Check out this article, where we call out 21 pesky hidden wedding costs many couples get blindsided by.

Our best advice is to budget for these unexpected expenses upfront. Build a cushion of at least 5% into your overall wedding budget to help safeguard you against going into debt for your big day.


Steer clear of those opulent ballrooms in uber-popular locations and explore off-the-beaten-path venue types. Unconventional wedding venues aren’t just cool; they’re typically more affordable! When you choose a nontraditional venue, you'll likely enjoy a unique setting and a lower price point. Since out-of-the-box locations aren't the first places couples think of while venue hunting, many of them offer very affordable wedding packages.

From cozy bed & breakfasts and restaurants to parks, libraries, and even aquariums, we’ve rounded up 13 affordable wedding venue options that *don't* feel cheap.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science  |  Justin Edmonds Photography


Besides the typical "off-season" discounts, many wedding venues across the country offer special deals for military service members and first responders, as well as promotional offers to help book specific dates. It never hurts to ask.

We love a good deal, so Here Comes The Guide makes it easy to find discounts on wedding venues near you! Click your state on our Wedding Venue Deals & Discounts page to view locations currently offering promotional packages and pricing.

And while most wedding venues are firm in their pricing, you can ask about upgrades to add more value to your package. Sometimes, it makes sense for the venue to throw in a complimentary champagne toast or an extra hour for your reception to make their location make sense for your budget.


The amount of rentals you may need to build your dream day will depend on your venue. But to save money, you’ll want to keep things simple! Stick with the basics when it comes to tableware, linens, chairs, and glassware, and try to resist upgrading the base package inclusions.

To simplify things further, we recommend an all-inclusive package with your venue or using just one rental company for all your needs since you can negotiate better rates and delivery fees.

We’re also big fans of hosting all or part of your wedding in the great outdoors! A celebration on the beach, in a redwood grove, or a lush garden requires very little decoration—which means minimal expense when it comes to floral arrangements or décor rentals.

Cunningham Farm Events  |  Mark Spooner Photography