Where To Find a Cheap Wedding Venue Near Me? Try These 6 Wedding Venue Choices

Bride and groom in the altar.
FG Trade / Getty Images

Getting married on a budget can be a challenge. According to The Knot, in 2020, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. was $19,000. This amount includes the ceremony and the reception.

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But what should you expect to spend if tying the knot in 2022? Wedding experts recommend that engaged couples plan on spending between $22,000 and $23,000 to get hitched this year for a traditional wedding. Here are budget-friendly venue ideas for your wedding.

How Can You Keep Your Wedding Venue Budget Low?

Your reception venue will likely be your largest wedding expense and the longest part of your celebration, where you’ll feed and entertain your guests. The type of venue you choose depends mainly on your budget. If you’re looking to cut costs, you may ask yourself, “Where is a cheap wedding venue near me?”

Make Your Money Work for You

These six indoor and outdoor wedding venues can save you money while you enjoy your day. You can spend more time celebrating and less worrying about how much money you’ll end up paying for what will be one of the happiest days of your life.

Indoor Venues

Indoor wedding environments are typically easier to control than having your nuptials outdoors. You can control the climate, don’t need to worry about inclement weather ruining the celebration, and thus, can decorate to your taste.

At Home

Estimated Minimum Cost: $200

Whether it’s your home or a relative’s or a friend’s, an indoor wedding is a bit more expensive than having it outdoors, mostly because of the cost of decorations. Flowers can range between $500 and $12,000 for an indoor event. You can spend less by having your event in the backyard because much of the decor is right there in nature’s greenery.

Make Your Money Work for You

Be sure to check with your local government to see if a permit is required to hold a large-scale event at your home.

At a Courthouse

Estimated Minimum Cost: Under $100

The courthouse remains one of the most affordable venues to get married. Civil ceremonies are usually held at city halls or county clerks’ offices at a minimal cost. 

For example, at the Talbot County clerk’s office in Easton, Maryland, the fee for a marriage license is $35. It will cost an additional $25 for a judge, court clerk or deputy circuit court clerk to perform the ceremony. There, you can get hitched for only $60.

On a College Campus

Estimated Minimum Cost: $100

On smaller university and college campuses on the East Coast, event fees can start at around $100, and wedding packages can average as low as $1,500. However, larger campuses tend to charge more to rent out their event venues. 

At Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, the rental fee falls somewhere between $1,500 to $1,700 for a reception and ceremony and includes 7 hours of event time excluding set up and clean up time. The rental fee for a ceremony only wedding is $800, but that price can vary based on space availability.

Make Your Money Work for You

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Outdoor Venues

Outdoor wedding ceremonies and receptions lend themselves to the beauty of nature. Are you still wondering: “Where can I find cheap outdoor wedding venues near me?”

Even in your area, Mother Nature’s backdrop can provide a breathtaking setting for your wedding. 

On a Boat or Ship

Estimated Minimum Cost: $400

If you plan to invite only a few people, then a boat or small yacht may be a good option for your intimate wedding ceremony. You may even decide to include the cost of your wedding in your vacation cruise package. 

You can rent a catamaran with four cabins off the Florida Keys starting at around $400 a day.

You can also plan your wedding in conjunction with a vacation cruise. Carnival Cruise Lines offers an array of wedding packages, from an intimate ceremony starting at $1,499 to a classic ceremony starting at $3,099.  

The Zoo

Estimated Minimum Cost: $1,500

If you’re an animal lover, your local zoo offers wildlife and exotic scenery for your special day at affordable prices.

The Detroit Zoo has six different wedding venues ranging from $1,500 to $5,500. Their Rackham Fountain location shows off an elegant fountain with two 10-feet-tall bronze bears standing in the middle of the pool.

A National Park

Estimated Minimum Cost: $60

National parks are popular wedding venues because they have some of the best that the outdoors offers, like gardens, beaches and wildlife. Usually, to reserve a space at a national park, you’ll need to obtain a free permit from the park’s administrative office. 

Wedding venues at national parks across U.S. states, cities and towns charge different fees starting at $60. Be aware that some parks may charge additional fees for things like picking up left-behind trash.

Non-traditional Cheap Wedding Venues Near Me

Consider renting a non-traditional venue for your wedding, such as:

  • A cabin in the mountains or near a lake
  • An Airbnb
  • A local community center

Not only are these types of venues usually more economical, but they can be decorated to fit your unique personality.

Find Inexpensive Non-traditional Wedding Venues

How do you find these off-the-beaten-path locations? Look on websites like Splacer for nearby venues that match your style, wedding theme and budget. 

With Splacer, you can book the perfect venue and create a memorable wedding celebration experience for you and your guests. Browse the marketplace, search for your specific needs, find a space that matches your preferences, make an online payment and get ready for your big day. 

A typical reception hall found on Splacer costs $250 per hour and accommodates 250 people. This bargain space includes parking, restroom facilities and a kitchen.

Searching for a Cheap Wedding Venue

You can also use this Google map searching tool to find an affordable wedding venue local to you.

Ask the Right Questions

When selecting your wedding venue, it’s important to ask the right questions to get the best venue for your money. Just because a place is cheap doesn’t mean that it’s right for your wedding. 

Find out things like:

  • How many people can the venue hold, for both sitting and standing?
  • What is included in the total price?
  • What is the venue’s deposit, cancellation and payment schedule policy?

Advice

Choose a venue that’s closest to most of your guests. This could save you money by using their skills rather than hiring certain vendors. Instead of a wedding gift, your guests could help with things like being the DJ at the reception, the wedding photographer, bartender, or offer their skills and talents in other areas.

A lot goes into designing your perfect wedding day. Planning a momentous day like your wedding isn’t easy, and no matter where you are, you shouldn’t have to spend your life savings on the venue.  You now have some affordable venue options to get your marriage off to a good and memorable start.

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Sam DiSalvo contributed to this article.

Information is accurate as of May 11, 2022.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

About the Author

Kathy Evans is a personal finance freelance writer and entrepreneur with a technical writing and instructional systems design background. She holds an MS in technical writing and informational design and is currently a doctoral student in instructional technology at Towson University. Through work experience in the federal government as well as commercial and nonprofit industries, she has focused her freelance writing on finance, investing and economic content with a specialization in budget coaching.  

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