If you didn't pay crazy $$ for your venue, please tell us how!

posted 5 years ago in Venue
Post # 3
1896 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@chillinchillin:  Look for ‘off peak times’ (not just seasons, but days and hours).  Look for off-beat places (if you want outdoors, go for parks state & national).  Take a hard look at your guest list, too small and many venues won’t consider you, too many remember that you pay per person.  Hit up friends, friends of friends.  Negotiate like hell (package or break up packages).


Post # 4
1003 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Talk about different options for food, valet, things that are included and you may not want, alcohol, find other places that are cheaper and use them as leverage.

Post # 5
663 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - EDD 06/12/2016

@chillinchillin:  I’m no where near you but I feel like we got a good deal! We are paying $40 per person and this includes the banquet hall, amazing tasting food (4 course), the wedding cake, chair covers and sashes, linens, utensils, sweets table, and the workers setting up and cleaning up. I was googling like crazy and actually made appointments to 3 venues and compared. This place is $20 per person less than any place close by and includes the most. Plus it has all amazing reviews 🙂 just do lots of research!

Post # 6
625 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

We got a “winter wonderland” package it included a 5 hour reception that consisted of:


coctail hour with a ton of passed Hor’dorves as well as a huge station of cheese crackers veggies and fruit.


5 hours of open bar




pasta course


Main Course (choice of Prime Rib, Chicken Francaise, Stuffed Sole with a Champagne Lobster Sauce.)


tea/ coffee. wedding Cake


the DJ, the florist ($700 bucks – i added in $400 for what i wanted) (the DJ was OK but i wouldn’t recommend him) but people Danced all night so he wasn’t horrible.


a hotel night for my Darling Husband and I (and we got a block of rooms there and they had a shuttle.


Up lighting


Golf course for pictures (but it was kinda dark out by the time we got there)


room was nice looking dance floor was huge, we paid 99.95 a person! I thought it was a great deal for what we got and that we were in Fairfield County CT!


Post # 7
4439 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

@chillinchillin:  Most venues in my area have either a person minimum and/or a food minimum, which we were looking to avoid having a smaller, off-season wedding.  We got out of our venue (ceremony and reception, food, bar, etc.) for $4k!  DH and I were thrilled when we got the bill!  Not that we were overly thrilled with the service they provided us, the managers were total DICKS, but at least we’re not still paying off our wedding 10 months later.

Post # 8
718 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

We also got a Winter Wonderland package at our venue!  We’re getting a lot of the same perks: Valet parking, 3 hotel rooms (including the bridal suite), the cake is included, favors included, all decorations included, 4 hour open bar, 4 course meal with a cocktail hour, etc.  It was a fantastic deal, and we could never have afforded the venue without it.

Post # 9
187 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

My venue was the least expensive I could find in the area (and gorgeous! on the lake with gorgeous mountain views). It is $1000 for a 4 day rental (for time to set up and clean up). It includes the tables, chair, linens, place settings, drinking glasses, bartenders, and decor. The reason it is so cheap is because it is owned by a brewing company and they do not need the income from it, it is just nice to have. Look for little-known venues and ones attached to bigger companies that are trying to get as much money as they can out of you. I’m located in Montana, if that helps. 

Post # 10
971 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta

We are getting married in a tourist town that is notorious for high wedding prices but I figured out how to keep our wedding under $5000. 


Ceremony venue: $160

Chair rentail: $200

Reception rental: $500 (includes all chairs, tables, table cloths, etc)

Food: $1500

Drinks and wine: $1600

Booked during the slower season.

Booked a Sunday.

I got a small local discount. 

Hor deruves instead of a sit down lunch.

Paying for unlimited wine and everything else is cash bar.

Relatively small guest list, around 80. 

Post # 11
7208 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

@chillinchillin:  Our venue front-runner is a house with outdoor area on a college campus. It’s $100 per hour and totally BYOEverything. It’s not the most gorgeous place in the world, but I’ve been to two weddings there and it’s super easy to decorate and will easily hold my 200+ guests. For us, BYO was important because I have chefs, bakers, djs, and musicians in my family. A venue that made you use their people just wouldn’t work for me & my budget. I’ll be paying cost for all the food and everything else will most likely be gifted. 

Post # 12
1603 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@chillinchillin: My mother is a member of the local chapter of the University Women’s Club, and as such pays yearly dues. Because of this, we are allowed to rent our venue for no rental cost. We have to pay to have staff on site and a set-up and tear-down fee, as well as a $50 damage deposit, and for all the alcohol that we’ll be having, but there’s no other fees.

It is, admittedly, a very different type of wedding venue space; it’s an old heritage 9000 square foot mansion, and we have access to the basement (in which there is a dance floor), the main floor and the second floor for the wedding. We’re doing a cocktail reception instead of a dinner because it wouldn’t have logistically worked out otherwise, with all the rooms being pretty segregated.

Post # 13
708 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Fiance and I are going to look at a venue this weekend through a historical society that’s REALLY affordable – maybe check something like that out in your area! It’s an estate, with an indoor/outdoor reception area – you get to use the first floor of the home and the carriage house as well as the patio (which we will tent).

Post # 14
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@CTbride2010:  That’s a really good deal for CT! My family can’t understand why all the venues I like are $80-100pp. I was like, uh, CT is super expensive. And you all got married like 20 years ago. Prices have changed, lol!

Post # 15
2945 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

The best way we saved money on our venue was to have our wedding in a small town.  We are having a peak wedding season wedding, but since it is a small town, prices are a lot lower than the city we live in.  Our venue, with food for 300+ guests will run us around $5000.  I don’t think we could do that in the city where we live. A friend is getting married later around the larger city and is having hard time finding venues for $5000, let alone plus food.

Post # 16
957 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

Our ceremony venue is dirt cheap and offers a reception site, just not big enough for our family. It is an arboretum and if we are members ($75 a year) we got a 15% discount.

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