How Much Are Wedding Venues?

When planning a wedding, one of the most significant decisions is where you want the wedding to take place.

The wedding venue plays a massive part in the overall look and feel of your wedding, but it’s also one of the most expensive costs associated with wedding planning. So, how much are wedding venues?

How Much Are Wedding Venues?

The average cost of a wedding in the United States is about $34,000, with wedding venues costing an average of $10,700.

It’s a good idea to allocate at least 40% of your budget toward the venue and catering.

What Affects the Venue Price?

Various factors can impact the amount you may spend on your wedding venue. Some of these include:

  • Whether you have one venue for the ceremony and reception or separate venues
  • The type of venue you choose
  • The size and scope of your wedding
  • The time of year and day of the week you choose
  • What the venue includes in the wedding package

One Venue vs. Multiple Venues

How much are wedding venues realistically? Well, it hugely depends on the choices you make!

In a traditional western wedding, the couple gets married in a ceremony, and the reception, or party, follows. Couples have two choices here: they can opt for a venue that can host both the ceremony and reception or they can choose to do the ceremony and reception at different locations.

While one venue that can hold both may seem like the more logistical choice, there are plenty of reasons a couple may prefer to have the ceremony elsewhere. Religious couples may prefer to hold the ceremony in their church, temple, synagogue, or mosque.

Couples may prefer an outdoor ceremony but an indoor reception. Or you may just be in an area where there isn’t a venue that offers both options.

Reception venues are often more expensive than ceremony venues. While reception venues may cost thousands of dollars, ceremony venues typically cost hundreds. It is especially true if you host your ceremony in a religious building or on public land such as a park.

If you’re holding the ceremony and reception in different locations, you’ll need to factor in the added cost of two venues. You’ll also need to figure out the added cost of decor and consider the option of a shuttle to take guests from one site to another.

That doesn’t mean it will necessarily cost you more to hold your ceremony and reception in two spaces. Some venues may charge more to have both parts of your wedding onsite due to the additional setup and takedown.

Type of Venue

When you start to plan your wedding, you may discover an endless number of options for the type of wedding venue you can choose. These may include:

  • Ballrooms
  • Event centers
  • Hotels and resorts
  • Barns
  • Boats
  • Historic homes and buildings
  • Museums
  • Castles
  • Restaurants
  • Zoos and aquariums
  • Country clubs
  • Parks
  • Gardens
  • Beaches
  • Religious buildings

The type of venue you choose will have a considerable impact on the price you pay. A beach wedding will often be less expensive than an event held at a ballroom or country club. Another factor to consider is whether the venue is private or public. Businesses like hotels or ferry companies often charge far more than the cost of a permit for a public park.

Wedding Size and Length

Not all venues increase in price as your guest list increases, but it’s certainly not rare. The more guests you invite, the more work it is for that venue to host you. They need to utilize more staff and spend more time on the setup as you’ll require more tables and facilities.

It also applies if the venue is responsible for your catering. Catering companies charge per plate; therefore, the more guests you plan to have at your wedding, the more dishes you’ll be paying for.

The length of your wedding may also affect your cost. Most venues will charge a certain amount for a block of time, and you’ll have to pay more if you decide to stay late. If you’ve got a big wedding that might go late into the night, be prepared to pay a premium.

Wedding Date

The cost of not just your wedding venue but all of your wedding services will fluctuate based on the time of year you hold your wedding and the day of the week you choose.

The “typical” wedding season in western culture is summertime because of the pleasant weather and the ease of travel during this period. As a result, prices are higher for wedding services in the summer. Hosting a wedding in the off-season, for example, planning a winter wedding, is a great way to save on costs.

Choosing a less-common day of the week is also a great way to cut wedding costs but be weary of the risks involved. Saturdays are the most common day to hold weddings in western culture, and for a good reason: it allows people time to travel and celebrate while missing the least amount of work.

Many venues and vendors are willing to offer a discount if you plan your wedding for a Friday evening or a Sunday afternoon.

What Do Wedding Venues Include

Often, wedding venues will offer several different wedding packages so you can choose the option that suits you best. These packages may accommodate different lengths of time, different numbers of guests, and different services. These services may include:

  • Catering. Some venues will require you to use their catering service or catering partner, which will raise your venue’s cost but could save you money overall.
  • A wedding planner. Many venues offer a wedding planner or coordinator to help the day run smoothly. Some venues will allow you to choose how involved your coordinator is, from simply directing vendors to the proper spot to overseeing all aspects of the wedding day.
  • Setup/takedown. Setup and takedown are part of the package for some venues, especially those that provide their own catering. However, some venues may give you the option to provide your own services or hire a third party.
  • Security. Often, sites like university campuses or historic buildings will require security. Some vendors may provide this, while others will expect you to hire someone.

Wedding venues will often post this information on their website to get an idea of what they include before you schedule a meeting with them.