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Wedding planning is romantic while you fill out your registry and try on dresses, but it gets stressful when you have to make a budget. Some wedding details are more expensive than others, especially when it comes to your venue. If you’re wondering about the average cost of a wedding venue, this is the guide for you.
These tips include all the factors that increase or decrease a venue’s rental fees. There’s no concrete number for every bride to plan for, which is great news. Use these tips to personalize your budget based on your dream venue.
Average Cost of Wedding Venues
The average wedding venue cost in 2021 was $10,700, according to a study of 15,000 weddings. As the total average budget of these weddings was $34,000, the venue is clearly one of the largest expenses.
There are many factors that play into the cost of a wedding venue. The size of your guest list, the location and the demand for that venue can all contribute to the price tag. It’s important to evaluate these factors when decided how much you’re willing to spend on the venue.
Location Is Everything
When you picture your wedding, where does it take place? Seaside venues, mountain getaways and even chic downtown rooftops approximate their rental fees based on their location. A recent study found that brides could host their wedding for $23,000 in Columbus, but a Manhattan ceremony adds up to $83,000.
Venues often account for at least one-third of wedding budgets, so compare locations. You might find one that’s more affordable by thousands of dollars just by reserving your date a few miles down the road.
States will also charge different taxes for wedding venues. You could pick a different site based on how much taxes increase the final rental fee. Some places like public parks and museums are tax-deductible. You’ll get your money back when it’s time to file your annual tax return.
Timing Is Important Too
The average cost of a wedding depends on multiple factors, including your date. Renting a beach venue in November will be much more budget-friendly than renting it in July. Many brides choose their date based on the off-season for their dream venue. It could save a significant amount of money that you can put towards other fun things, like your honeymoon.
Amenities Affect Final Costs
Many wedding venues partner with catering companies and photographers. If you use their recommended services, the venue manager may reduce their daily or hourly rate. You’ll also benefit from working with people who know how to set up and use the venue.
Smaller venues may also offer decor. Some keep a storage closet full of candles and decorative plates that you can add to your final venue fee. Even though it won’t reduce your venue rental costs, it could save money because you won’t have to buy decorations at expensive stores.
As you explore your venue options, take plenty of notes. Streamline the information by playing around with wedding planning apps so you always have your notes and pictures within reach. Your life will be much easier when apps organize everything by topics or in digital notebooks.
Vendors May Increase Fees
Booking the right vendors make your wedding more memorable because they put a little extra flair on your big day. A specific florist may use flowers you love, but your venue could complicate things based on its location.
If your venue is farther from your future vendors than the delivery distances they specify, they’ll tack on mileage fees. Your venue will affect other wedding costs, so remember that while you daydream about rural cabins or desert oasis ceremonies.
Guests Lists Count Too
The average cost of a venue for a wedding will change with your guest list. Finalize it early so you know what size venue you’ll need. A 10-person ceremony can fit in a small foyer or backyard space. The venue should have an expansive dining area and reception room if you’ll have 100 people or more.
You won’t set your guest list in stone until everyone RSVPs, but it helps to set a hard estimate early in the planning process. If you think you’ll have 52 guests, look at venues that can fit 40-60 in case people cancel or you have late additions.
Technical Needs May Add Up
Some venues may not supply all the technical equipment your wedding requires. You could have to rent or buy extension cords and plugs for your DJ. Your officiant may need a lapel or handheld mic, which some venues don’t keep on hand. Sometimes when venue managers don’t charge extra to include these things, the tech equipment becomes more costly to buy or rent from somewhere else.
Calculate the Average Cost of a Venue
The average cost of a venue for a wedding depends on a mix of these factors. It’s smart to call venues soon after getting engaged so you have plenty of time to compare all of their pros and cons. You’ll also give yourself time to adjust your budget and save whatever’s necessary so you can host a romantic ceremony at a dreamy destination.
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