Complete Guide to Wedding Venue Costs

Updated on April 9, 2024

At a Glance

  • Average wedding venue costs vary between $12,343 and $14,006, depending on the type of venue.
  • Consider additional costs like event insurance, parking, rentals, cake cutting fees, service charges, and taxes.
  • Factors affecting venue cost include timing (peak vs. off-peak seasons) and food and drink requirements.

Getting married is a dream for many people. Once you find a partner who loves you, understands you, and makes you happy, you want to tie the knot and make sure you can spend the rest of your lives together, sharing the good and the bad.

Weddings require planning, and once the proposal happens, you must start thinking about what you need for your wedding and how much everything is going to cost. For starters, you will require a wedding venue.

But how much does a wedding venue cost on average? Here is a comprehensive guide on wedding venue costs so you know how much money you’ll need to organize your big day.

Average Cost of a Wedding Venue by Type

On average, wedding venue rates range from $12,343 to $14,006. But every venue is different, and you’ll be surprised how much prices can differ by wedding venue type.

Most of the time, couples opt for a hotel, country club, or banquet hall as their venue. Over the last few years, though, historic buildings, homes, and farms have become more popular. Not only that, but more people have decided to not go with conventional locations. Instead, many have started using backyards, breweries, public gardens, and other places as wedding venues.

Depending on what you choose, the price can be higher or lower. Some venues might even charge you a venue fee that will raise the costs significantly. The type of meal you want to serve along with the number of guests will affect the final price as well.

  • Park/Garden – $7,886 – $13,353
  • Private Club – $2,331 – $17,123
  • Event Center – $2,083 – $23,823
  • Museum – $4,474 – $14,748
  • Hotel/Resort – $5,021 – $73,014
  • Brewery – $4,812 – $10,259
  • Historic/Landmark Building – $4,083 – $22,596
  • Banquet Hall/Restaurant – $2,378 – $22,576

Additional Venue Costs to Expect

When you’re choosing a venue for your wedding, you do not pay for the place or building alone – there might also be some additional costs. Each venue has its own rules and offers, and it’s critical to be aware of them in advance. Some additional costs you can expect include:

  • Event insurance – This might be required for the wedding.
  • Parking – You need to know whether there is any discounted or free parking available, as well as valet service.
  • Rental – Find out whether you’d need to rent anything including basic audio, servers, tables, chairs, silverware, and other things.
  • Cake cutting and corkage – Is cake cutting charged? What about corkage? You should know this in advance.
  • Service charges, gratuities, and taxes – Make sure to find out about these so they do not add up too much.
  • Kitchen use and catering – You might need to hire a caterer. Will they have kitchen access? Also, find out if a fee is charged.
  • Storage and loading dock use, as well as late pick-up fees – Find out if you can use a loading dock and during what times. See if you are charged for it. Also, ask about any late pick-up fees.

Factors that Determine the Cost of a Wedding Venue

Now, you may be thinking “What exactly affects the wedding venue cost?” There are various factors that will either increase or decrease the overall price of your chosen location.

Generally, less conventional locations might be less expensive, yet they do not offer as many services as typical venues. Pricier venues have higher-end options and also more inclusive services.

Here are some of the main factors that influence the wedding venue cost:

Off-Peak or On-Peak Timing

Even if you are happy to get married and cannot wait until you and your loved one unite your destinies, you have to remember that you are not the only one. Many other couples plan their weddings, sometimes months or years in advance. Most of the time, people in one area will not only do their best to organize their wedding in a specific venue but also get married during a certain time of the year.

Therefore, the competition will be high. However, if there are multiple similar venues in your area, prices might stay low – especially during the on-peak season. The on-peak season includes warmer or more temperate months. Meanwhile, off-peak seasons include cold or hot months that are on the extreme side of the spectrum.

Going for an off-peak season wedding can help reduce costs. For certain locations, you will pay less than half the price you’d pay if you got married during the on-peak season.

Food and Drinks

Different venues will have different food and drink requirements. Places like historic buildings or gardens will barely have any kitchen facilities, so you’ll be forced to hire vendors separately to handle the food for the event. Meanwhile, venues like banquet halls, hotels, and private clubs want you to go for in-house food and drink.

Now, the amount you pay for this varies. If you go for the in-house approach, you should know that when it comes to alcohol, some venues charge you for each drink that was ordered, while others have a per-hour, per-person rate. There are even venues that will want you to supply the alcoholic beverages yourself.

It’s crucial to compare all types of venues and see which option would be more convenient in terms of pricing for food and drinks.

Other Fees

Additional fees will be included by different venues. Thus, before settling for a venue, you must know what is included in the cost and what is not. Not only that but you must also know whether you should get some things somewhere else, such as food, drink, chairs, tables and anything of the sort.

Usually, venue fees are taxable.

Wedding Venue Fees Explained

There is also a wedding venue fee that couples need to take into consideration. It might range from $0 to a few thousand dollars, depending on the case. This fee usually includes various aspects like chair, table, and linen use, as well as security and insurance.

Generally speaking, venues with higher fees will include more things, whereas those with lower fees might make couples have to hire a caterer or bring their own drinks and food. In the end, a venue with a lower fee can help you save some money.

How to Save Money on a Wedding Venue

Do you want to save some money on your wedding venue? Here are some tips for you:

  • Before choosing a venue, look at the prices
  • Be aware of what you want to spend your money on
  • Decide how you want your wedding to look and how beautiful the venue is
  • Set wants and needs apart
  • Choose based on your guest list
  • Pick a venue that can host the reception and ceremony at no extra charge

Read More

Final Thoughts

Wedding venues can be expensive, but you can pay less if you choose the right location or plan carefully each aspect of the event. As long as you organize everything accordingly, you can save some money on the venue.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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