At a Glance
Over the past few decades, the cost of a marriage ceremony has increased dramatically. The average cost of a wedding venue, along with all the bells and whistles that come with it, have all changed. And the pandemic made things even worse. “Ever since the pandemic, everything has skyrocketed,” Leah T. Williams, owner of an eponymous floral and event design company with offices in West Palm Beach and New York City, said in a recent interview. Learning how much this price has risen along with how you can finance this cost will help you better prepare for that special day.
In this article, you’ll learn:
What does a wedding venue include?
Nowadays, standard wedding venues include some of the following items:
- The space for the wedding itself
- Menus (with the price changing depending on the number of courses)
- Alcohol (if applicable)
- Musical services
- Decorative pieces such as flowers, sculptures, etc.
- Shuttle services for guests
- Seating for guests
- Tablecloths, napkins, linens, and more
- Any security you may choose
When you pay the remarkably large cost of a wedding, some or all the above will be included in that price. Extra add-ons will warrant a higher price.
What is the average cost of wedding venues?
The average cost of a wedding will vary depending on what you wish to add to your wedding, but there is a range that you can expect. Most couples are spending between $3,000-$11,000 on average, with the most common total hovering around $6,000. The upper range of average cost of a venue for wedding ceremonies is above $20,000. Depending on where you are in the country, along with the items you wish to see at your wedding, this average wedding venue cost can vary rapidly.
What impacts the cost of a wedding venue?
As mentioned above, there are different factors which can impact the cost you’ll be expected to pay for the wedding. Here are some of the most common factors:
As you can imagine, popular wedding destinations will come with a higher price tag. Particularly, large cities or scenic locations with views are some of the most expensive places to choose for having a wedding. Weddings that take place in the rural backcountry are typically far cheaper than those in the major cities.
2. Size of venue
The size of your wedding will play a major role in the cost, altering everything from seating costs, menus costs, linen costs, and much more. Additionally, if you include catering with your ceremony then the per person cost will rise as well.
3. Date of wedding
The date of the week and time of the year will both play a major role in the price of your wedding. Choosing a Sunday during peak wedding season can nearly double the cost of your wedding compared to choosing a weekday during an off time.
Anything not included in the contract for your wedding venue will cost extra to include. For some weddings, this can include the tables, china, linen, and other items that may not be offered by the venue company. Speak to the venue to determine what is and isn’t included in your wedding.
Additional wedding venue costs
There are a few final costs that will factor into your wedding that you may not have considered. Parking, tips, taxes, and any fees associated with third-party inclusions will come with their own costs on top of the wedding venue average cost.
Related: Wedding Budget Calculator
How can I pay for a wedding venue?
Seeing the average of $10,500 may cause you a headache when trying to imagine how you will meet the hefty sum. Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can use to meet this payment:
1. Wedding loans
Wedding loans are one of the most common financing methods available. Personal loans can be used to finance a wedding. This loan type offers loan amounts ranging from $1,000-$100,000 and typically comes unsecured, meaning you won’t need to worry about collateral. Additionally, the APR on personal loans ranges from 6-36%, which means you can receive an extremely fair interest rate.
2. Borrow from family and friends
For a wedding, it’s common for friends and family to pitch in and help with some of the expenses. Reach out to your loved ones and discuss if they would be willing to offer some funds toward your perfect day. Just be sure to pay them back in full if their contribution is not a donation.
3. Personal savings
Building up your savings account is partially for this exact reason. Home purchases, auto purchases, school, and weddings are some of the most common uses for a savings account. Starting when you’re young or even taking the time to set aside large portions of your income prior to your marriage can help reduce the cost of wedding venue prices.
4. Work a side hustle
One of the more common times for a person to take on a side hustle is when there is a large expense looming on the horizon. A wedding is a perfect example for when couples may take some extra time outside of their day job to keep working and save up money solely for the purpose of their wedding venue.
5. Utilize credit card rewards
Converting credit card awards to cash back dollars can be an extremely beneficial way of acquiring hundreds of dollars, or potentially even above $1,000. Take a look at your credit card rewards to see the points you’ve accumulated and consider putting these points towards your wedding, whether that be as cash-back or some other reward type.
Tips to save on wedding venue costs
As for the actual average cost of wedding reception venue, there are some strategies you can use to reduce the price:
1. Refine your guest list
While many people want to have a large wedding with everyone from every point in their lives in attendance, shrinking the wedding to only include the most important people in your life may be necessary. Consider who you would most want to attend your wedding and work on refining your guest list until you hit a price you are comfortable with.
2. Set a date carefully
There’s a reason popular wedding dates exist. Whether it be the time of year or the destination itself, sometimes there’s no way around the price when it comes to the time of the wedding. However, do your best to choose an abnormal time of day or day of the week to see if it helps with the cost.
3. Look for tax-deductible sites
Some sites may offer you tax deductions for wedding-related purchases, so don’t hesitate to find certain sites that may give you a break.
4. Read all contracts thoroughly
In some cases, a wedding venue may automatically throw in certain items that you simply don’t need or want. Speak with the venue about removing these items and whether the cost will be reduced by taking them out of your wedding.
A wedding will undoubtedly be one of the happiest days of your life, and it’s perfectly reasonable to put large amounts of money toward it. However, in looking at the question of what the average cost of a wedding venue is, we must also look at how much you should put toward that venue. In short, consider putting around one-third of your total wedding expense towards the venue itself.
Learn more: Wedding Budget Breakdown
The average American wedding cost has grown so expensive in recent years because more add-ons have been included in the ceremony. Beyond more expensive venues, wedding ceremonies now include tables, decorations, food catering, linen, and so much more that raises the price.
Around 60% of reception venues will include add-ons such as tables and chairs, but the remaining 40% won’t. If your vendor doesn’t provide these, you will need to turn to a third-party coordinator to receive these items at your venue.
When looking at average wedding cost U.S. figures, the cheapest wedding venue on average will be in Alabama. For reference, the most expensive wedding venue is typically in Hawaii.
Yes, in many cases getting married on a beach can be cheaper than at a standard venue, but this all depends on the location in which you hope to hold the ceremony.
Wintertime is generally the cheapest period to consider getting married, with a December or June wedding being some of the cheaper months of the year.