No matter which way you tie the knot, weddings are expensive. Between the flowers, formal wear, and decorations alone, getting married can cost a pretty penny. Factor in larger expenses, like the venue or the food, and you'll be even more tempted to just head to the courthouse.
Though choosing to skip a wedding celebration is probably the cheapest way to share last names, with a little frugal ingenuity, any couple can celebrate their marriage affordably. Since the wedding venue tends to cost the most, finding cheaper location alternatives is the best way to save your marriage funds.
If you want to get hitched, but don't want to be eyeballs-deep in wedding debt, try the following affordable venue alternatives for a fun and frugal wedding:
Money-Saving Tips for Choosing a Wedding Venue:
1. Choose A Single Location For The Ceremony and Reception
Traditionally, an American wedding might take place in a church, then move to a secondary banquet hall for the reception celebration. While this method is certainly tried and true, many modern couples choose to skip the church altogether to save time and cash on their big day. Only 68% of Americans claim to attend church occasionally, and even less attend regularly, so your guests likely won't be surprised if you forgo the chapel completely. If you and your partner don't feel particularly attached to a church, skip the extra venue fee and have both parts of your wedding in a single, non-denominational location.
2. Have a Backyard Bash
While many think of a wedding as a formal, black-tie affair, there's no rule stating that your celebration needs to consist of champagne and ball gowns! For a low-cost but wildly fun reception, consider throwing a backyard barbecue. Your guests will enjoy letting loose with delicious comfort food and an outdoor, summer party atmosphere. In fact, an estimated 23% of consumers feel that the grilling area is a place to relax, while 28% feel it's an entertainment space. For laid-back fun and a less-empty wallet, ask a friend or relative to loan their backyard for a very special weekend.
3. Book a Formal Venue on an Off-Peak Date
Finally, if you're set on a traditional wedding venue, try saving on the booking price by choosing an unusual date. June is the most popular month to get married, with 15% of all weddings occurring during a 30-day window. To skip the competition and high prices, try a winter weekend instead. You can even look for venues that will book weddings on weeknights or a Friday, which will further reduce the price of your reception venue.
Choosing a wedding venue is an exciting step for any couple. However, when a venue can cost upwards of $10,000, that excitement might sour to dread. If you and your partner are looking for ways to save on your celebration's location, try any of the options above. With a little frugal creativity, you can have the wedding of your dreams, at half the price!