The road leading up to that momentous walk down the wedding aisle is paved with many planning obstacles. It’s like they say, “Nothing worth having in life comes easy,” and wedding planning can certainly prove to be a difficult process — especially when it comes to the financials.
One of the biggest costs associated with wedding planning is the venue itself. Finding an affordable venue that satisfies all of your needs and desires can be a challenge if you don’t set the right expectations from the start. In this guide, we help couples understand how much a wedding venue costs and what they can do to help make their wedding day more affordable!
Receptions, Ceremonies & The Costs of Each
How Much Does a Wedding Reception Venue Cost?
According to a study by The Knot of over 15,000 couples who got married in 2021, the average cost of a wedding venue was $10,700 out of a total wedding budget of $34,000. That means couples are devoting at least 30% of their total budget to the reception venue alone. Other studies show that couples are willing to spend even more of their budget on the reception venue, with some newlyweds devoting between 40 – 50% of their budget to this wedding-day essential.
It’s important to keep in mind that these figures are the average across a multitude of different venue types. The following provides a better idea of what to expect based on the type of venue selected:
How Much Does a Wedding Ceremony Venue Cost?
In some cases, a couple may choose to host their wedding ceremony and reception at separate locations. This is typically done when the couple plans to wed in a church setting or at the county courthouse. Since a wedding ceremony is much shorter than a reception and since it does not involve catering, the cost of a ceremony venue is much less expensive than a reception hall. The average site fee for a ceremony venue in the United States is roughly $600.
Can You Save Money by Using the Same Venue for Your Ceremony & Reception?
Many couples choose to host their ceremony and reception at the same venue as it is a great way to cut unnecessary costs. Not only does booking the ceremony and reception at the same location help save money on the venue itself, but you’ll also save on other wedding costs, including transportation, rentals, and floral arrangements.
What Determines the Cost of a Wedding Venue?
Wedding venues determine their pricing according to a number of different factors, including:
- Location: If the wedding venue is located near a major city, you can expect to pay a higher price than for a venue that’s situated in a rural area. Big cities like New York, Boston, and San Francisco are among the most expensive areas in the country to get married.
- Date: Wedding venues have different pricing depending on the time of year you plan to get married. If you plan a wedding during the peak wedding season (June – September), you can expect to pay a higher price than for a wedding planned during the off-season.
- Size: If the wedding venue has a catering staff, they will typically charge a site fee as well as a fee per person for the meal package selected. The most guests that are invited, the more you will pay. Additionally, larger venues capable of accommodating more people will typically cost more than more intimate venues.
Perhaps what determines the cost of a wedding venue the most is what is actually included in your package. For some venues, there may be a site fee only, and couples will need to coordinate with all other vendors independently, including catering, chair and table rentals, decorations, and more. Others may have all-inclusive packages that cover everything from hotel accommodations and catering to in-house DJs.
Additional Venue Costs Couples Should Plan For
Along with what’s included in your wedding package, you’ll want to plan for additional venue costs that you might not expect. These include:
- Parking: Be sure to ask the venue if your guests will need to pay for parking or valet services so you can communicate this prior to the event.
- Taxes: It’s not atypical for a venue to charge taxes and fees for cake-cutting, corkage, and other service charges, so be sure to read your contract thoroughly before signing anything.
- Tips: Most vendors will receive gratuities — especially if they’ve done a great job with the event. It’s customary to tip the wait staff, bartenders, restroom attendants, and coatroom attendants at a wedding venue, so prepare accordingly.
- Vendors: If you’ve hired outside vendors that are not on the approved vendor list that your selected reception venue has provided, you may need to pay an additional fee to use them.
How Can You Save Money on Your Wedding Venue?
With most of the wedding budget being attributed to your wedding venue, it’s no secret that this will be the biggest expense of your wedding day. However, there are steps you can take to help reduce the cost of your event, including:
- Reducing the Guest List: Like we mentioned earlier, the more guests that are invited, the higher the cost of your wedding. By eliminating just 10 guests from your list, you can end up saving hundreds of dollars.
- Choosing an Alternate Date: While you might have always dreamed of a summer wedding, it might be worth exploring alternative wedding dates. Consider an off-season month or weekday rather than a Saturday in June.
- Look for Tax Deductions: Some venues affiliated with non-profit organizations may offer tax-deductible site fees. This is a great way to reap savings later on by claiming you wedding on your tax filing.
- Read Your Contracts Closely: Clear communication with your venue coordinator is key, so make sure they understand your budget. If you’re honest and kind, they may be willing to waive some fees to accommodate you.
Book a Private Tour of Our Wedding Reception Hall!
QC Dance Studio offers plenty of customizable wedding packages to help make your special day as unforgettable as possible. Offering over 5,000 square feet of beautifully appointed ballroom space near the heart of Charlotte’s gorgeous city skyline, our reception hall is truly a location beyond your imagination. Book your private tour of our wedding venue in Charlotte, NC by calling (704) 900-7060 or emailing email@example.com today!