15 Stunning and Affordable Types of Wedding Venues

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Your venue is more than just a place to have your wedding. Choosing the right location plays a major role in the look and feel of your celebration—and can often account for up to half of your total wedding budget. If the thought of writing a large check is making you consider eloping, rather than hosting a full-on event, don’t panic. There are plenty of budget-friendly wedding venues that don’t sacrifice style or personality.

“Choosing a less expensive venue will enable you to spend more of your budget on the things that matter most to you—whether that’s food and beverage, design and décor, or photography,” says Amy Nichols of Amy Nichols Special Events.

Planner Roxane Bellamy of Roxanne Bellamy & Co agrees, noting that sometimes you can even make enhancements to an affordable location. “Take, for instance, a client who books a public park that happens to be waterfront as well,” she explains. “Well, it makes sense at that point to invest in a sailcloth tent to set the stage and provide a beautiful backdrop for the waterfront location.” It’s all about getting creative.

Meet the Expert

  • Amy Nichols is a wedding planner based in San Francisco with a focus on California-based and destination weddings.
  • Roxanne Bellamy is the owner and founder of Roxanne Bellamy & Co., a full-service event planning company, specializing mostly in intimate weddings.

How to Book an Affordable Wedding Venue

Choosing an affordable option will all come down to what your total wedding budget looks like. Typically, a couple will devote at least 40 percent of their budget to their venue, as venue fees can run anywhere between $3,000 to over $15,000. “Affordability is relative to each client,” says Bellamy. “I’d suggest that clients take the time to assess their wedding budget and determine how best to distribute [it].” Bellamy then recommends asking yourself crucial questions about what matters most to you: “What experience do you want to provide to your guests? What time of year? How far away from home are you willing to travel? How convenient to an airport should the location be? By providing your planner with all of this information, they are able to tap into their network and create a list that should meet most, if not all of your location needs,” she explains.

But of course, we know that not everyone works with a planner when creating their dream wedding. “If you don’t have a planner, start by thinking about places in your area that are naturally beautiful, or have meaning to you and your fiancé,” says Nichols. “This could mean public parks, beaches, vistas, or other public areas. Generally speaking, venues like that will have lower site fees than say a hotel or resort.”

It’s also important to consider what other wedding necessities will be included if your rental is wrapped up into a package fee. According to Nichols, there are definitely a few key points to keep in mind when booking a venue on a budget to be sure you’re not adding more stress to the big day:

  • Asking your wedding planner for a list of venues to best suit your budget will help to avoid countless hours of searching on Google and Instagram.
  • Double-check if the pricing stated includes items such as tables, chairs, any décor or games, or even catering.
  • When considering a public space as your venue, double-check if the space is required to stay open to the public during the event.
  • If your date is flexible, work with the venue on finding the best date to suit your budget, even if it’s a Friday or Sunday.

To get the planning started, here are 15 of our favorite affordable types of wedding venues, plus some totally stunning examples that will serve up serious inspiration. 

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