Planning out your big day starts with finding the perfect venue to host it at. As you shop around for wedding venue locations, considering the average wedding venue cost will be an important factor to determine whether it’s the right location for you.
You’ll find that different wedding venues offer different prices for a variety of reasons. The location of the venue is one of the first factors that determines the average cost for a wedding venue rental. However a variety of other factors will influence the overall price.
Today, we’ll explore the average cost of a wedding venue rental, how you can plan for it, and the different ways you can save big along the way.
Average Cost for a Wedding Venue
The average cost for a wedding venue fluctuates. Where you live, the type of venue you opt for, and size and spacing are all major factors that will determine your final wedding venue cost…
According to the latest data published by popular magazine Wedding Wire, the average cost couples spend on their ceremony and reception venue is roughly $6,000. On the lower end of the spectrum, couples can spend anywhere from $700 to $3,000 for their special occasion. On the high end of the scale, wedding venues can top out to $20,000 or more. On average however, most couples can look forward to spending anywhere from $3,000 to $11,000 with the average cost teetering right at $6,000.
Factors that Affect the Cost of a Wedding Venue
So exactly what factors into the overall cost of your wedding venue? Well, it boils down to the type of wedding you plan on having and what you want out of your wedding venue location. Let’s take a closer look at the main factors that impact the cost of a wedding venue, and what you should look out for if you’re looking to cut down on costs and save along the way.
The location of your wedding venue will largely drive the final cost of your wedding venue. As the saying goes in real estate, it’s all about “location, location, location.”
If you’re having your wedding in the center of a bustling metropolitan area like Washington D.C., Los Angeles, or Miami, you can expect the price of your wedding venue to be much higher than if you were having it in a more suburban setting.
Overall location will generally drive the price as well because some areas of the country are naturally more affordable to host a wedding than others. States like West Virginia, Alabama, and Kentucky are much more affordable locations to host a wedding then high cost states like California, Florida, and New York. Learn more about the most expensive states to host a wedding here.
Style & Size
The style of the wedding you’re aiming for and of course the size of the wedding will also impact overall cost.
When it comes to style, having a more minimalistic wedding will obviously cost less than a glamorous one. Take for example a wedding style that does not incorporate too many florals, accessories, or overall decor. Because you save on these items, you’ll also be saving on what it takes to make your venue wedding ready.
Popular wedding venues that require simple styles typically include outdoor venues like country clubs, vineyards, beach front properties, state and national parks, and other natural venues.
On the other hand, having a venue that is bland and requires lots of decor to make a wedding ready will understandably cost more. This typically includes venues like conference centers, gymnasiums, and other event spaces.
Time will play a big factor in the overall cost of your wedding venue. Time is factored in both by the duration of time you need the wedding venue for, and the date you hope to host your wedding.
Your Wedding Date
Your wedding date will be a key driving force for wedding venue costs associated with time. Wedding season typically starts during early spring and runs through early fall. During these months, the cost of wedding venues go up substantially, sometimes even by double. During the off season, late fall and winter, wedding venue prices go down simply because the demand for weddings go down.
If you’re looking to save on costs, one of the best places to make considerations is your wedding date. Compare wedding dates with different venues to see what types of deals you can snag.
Your Wedding Duration
The length of your wedding will also factor into your overall wedding venue costs. Traditional American weddings will run the course of a day and will require a couple to budget for a single day’s rental of the event space. Other wedding ceremonies on the other hand, especially cultural ones, may require the rental of a wedding venue for up to three days in order to accommodate all their traditional festivities. Then there are unique cases in which couples plan to have a wedding getaway that lasts an entire weekend. In these cases, renting out a wedding venue for a full weekend is critical to ensuring their wedding goes as planned.
If you are going to be renting out a venue for more than one day, you may have the ability to negotiate down prices so that you get a better deal per day. However if your wedding falls during peak wedding season, don’t hold your breath just yet on being able to snag a discounted rate.
As you plan out average wedding venue costs, you’ll need to keep in mind that it’s not only the physical wedding venue space you’ll need to consider. You’ll also need to think about the different services you might want the wedding venue to offer.
For example, do you need to hire a cleaning crew or a crew to help you set up the venue? Will you need the venue to also offer catering or drink and alcohol service? Any additional service such as stage setup or specific needs for the bride, groom, or bridal party dressing space, will also need to be taken into consideration and will understandably be charged for.
Other Costs of Wedding Venues
The main factors that influence the average cost of a wedding venue are important to consider. However, they are not the only factors to keep in mind. Let’s get into the details of some of the other costs associated with wedding venues. While these costs may not be big ticket ones, they still add up and can have a big influence on the overall cost of your wedding venue
Wedding Venue Insurance
Wedding venue insurance is an option worth considering for specific types of venues that may have volatile availability because of natural or other circumstances. For example, venues located by the beach, vineyard venues, and other outdoor venues are more prone to unavailability because of environmental factors like weather. In case of bad weather or any other unexpected circumstance, venue insurance can cover you and ensure that your big day is not ruined. Additionally, different types of venue insurance can offer liability protection as well in the event of an accident.
Fees for Setup & Cleanup Time
Not all wedding venues will offer included setup and clean up services. You also have to take into consideration the time needed for setup and cleanup. It can take a couple hours for cleanup and set up and these are hours that will factor into your overall venue rental. Plus, you’ll also have to consider the cost of hiring setup and clean up crews.
One noteworthy tip is considering the type of setup and cleanup you need. For example, if you will be opting for catering through the wedding venue, often, cleaning up for catering is factored into the price so you won’t have to worry about clean up related to meals.
Additionally, if you’re hiring a florist or a wedding decor company, they will also factor in the cost of cleanup in the service they provide you. Depending on the way you play in your wedding, clean up services may be already built into the other services you are opting for. In other situations, a specific cleanup crew designed to manage the entirety of the wedding will be needed.
Fees for Transportation Between Reception & Ceremony Venues
Not all venues will provide you with transportation for your guests between the ceremony and the reception. If a venue offers transportation, it’s typically offered as an additional surcharge. Additionally, the distance between the ceremony and venue will be factored into the overall cost.
Fees for Parking Lots or Valets
Most venues will offer their own free parking, but many will offer valet services as an additional cost as well. If your wedding venue is located in a metropolitan city, then you may need to pay for parking, and in extreme cases, rent out a parking garage that can be used for the valet service if you choose to have this in place.
Taxes & Tips
You should also consider additional taxes and tips associated with your wedding venue. When you’re paying for a wedding venue you should think of it as a single payment made for the rental of the space itself. Other services including setup, cleanup, alcohol and drink service, catering, and overall decor will come with their own costs. Additionally, many of these costs have a level of gratuity attached to them. Plan accordingly and expect to pay an additional 10% to 15% of your overall wedding venue costs on these expenses.
Tips to Save on a Wedding Venue
There are plenty of ways to save on the cost of your wedding venue no matter the type of wedding you have. Keep these tips in mind and determine whether or not they can apply to your big day.
Look for Tax-Deductible Locations
Did you know the cost of your wedding day can serve as a deduction on your taxes? If you plan to host your wedding at a national park, a historic garden, or property designated on city land, you could use a portion of your funds as a tax deduction.
Public facilities like these accept donations. If you’re planning a wedding, this is a great opportunity to negotiate donations and overall costs. Any money you put towards the wedding venue that is designated as a donation can be written off on your taxes at the end of the year.
Read Contracts Carefully
Don’t pay more than you need to with your wedding venue. Your wedding venue contract will list out in detail everything your contract will include and any other services, gratuities, or other expenses you may be liable for. Reading the contract carefully allows you to fully understand what you’re signing on to. and, it allows you to determine if there are any cost-cutting ways you can save on the venue rental. For example, if your contract already includes a gratuity fee built in, you won’t need to pay an additional gratuity fee on top of your final price.
Your wedding contract will spell in detail everything that was not brought up during discussions with the wedding venue manager. Do your due diligence and know what you are signing up for.
Stay In One Venue
Couples will often have two different locations to host their ceremony and reception. Many people employ the services of a church or other religious Institute for the ceremony and then rent out a full scale venue for the reception.
Simplify your wedding and cut down on cost by hosting the ceremony and the reception at the same venue. When you shop around for the venue, mentioning this could help you negotiate a lower price on the overall costs.
With so many ways to cut down on wedding costs, the wedding venue can be a great place to start. Explore all your options, do your research, and know what goes into the overall average wedding venue cost. When you do this, you’re more likely to secure a more competitive rate on what is undoubtedly a big wedding expense.