Wedding Venue Costs Q&A

You’ve just started planning your wedding and are so excited about all the possibilities. Now, you’re choosing a date and a wedding venue. It is necessary to find a venue that is right for you, and your budget and lives up to the value of what you’re spending.

The average wedding venue cost is $5,000. On the low end of $3,00 to the high end of $12,000. This is just for the venue and doesn’t cover food or beverages. When choosing a wedding venue, the price also depends on the location, day of the week, season, and inclusions.

Here are some answers to all your wedding venue cost questions!

How Much Does a Wedding Reception Cost?

A large portion of your budget will be spent on the venue alone. You must do your research and find the best place possible for your event.

Venue fees fluctuate depending on your chosen date. If the venue offers food and beverage, there is often a minimum that you have to spend.


On average, you’re looking at a site fee of between $3,000 and $5,000 for a weekend wedding (Friday-Sunday). With food and drinks, you’ll be adding anywhere from $5,000 to $9,000 for venue-provided catering.

Mid to High End

If you have a large budget for your wedding, you can expect to spend anywhere from $6,000 to $12,000 for the venue alone. There might be a venue free anywhere from $3,000-$10,000 which usually includes the ceremony and the reception. This means you could be spending close to $20,000 for your wedding venue.

How Much Does a Wedding Ceremony Venue Cost?

If you and your partner are planning on having your ceremony and reception at two separate locations, you’ll find that the ceremony venue is often a lot cheaper. The average venue cost for a wedding ceremony is about $600.

Does Having Your Wedding Ceremony and Venue In The Same Place Save Money?

In many cases, yes. Having your ceremony and reception at the same place eliminates costs that would otherwise be required like, transportation and rentals. However, you won’t be saving on the venue itself. It also saves you some peace of mind. Having the ceremony and reception at the same place can ensure an easier transition between the two, and there is less worry about timing.

What Affects A Wedding Venues Cost?

Many factors can impact a wedding venue’s price.

Wedding Date

Yea, unfortunately, that Friday or Saturday wedding will be more expensive than a Sunday or Thursday. These dates are more in-demand, especially if it is in peak wedding season. Summer weddings in June also tend to be more expensive because of their popularity.

If you are looking to save some money have an off-season wedding and if you can, go for a different day of the week.


If you are getting married in a city, you will most likely be spending more than if you have a city in a rural area. The most expensive cities to get married in are New York, San Francisco, and Boston.

Additionally, the specifications of your dream venue also play a part in the cost. If there is a view or it is very private can increase the price of a wedding venue.

Size and Amount of Guests

The more guests you have, the higher the price. Even if the venue can accommodate a large number of guests, it will cost more than a small venue with a small capacity. If your venue offers a pay-per-person package, it will cost more for a wedding with a lot of guests.

If you plan on having a large wedding with hundreds of guests, look into a buffet or family-style catering options. Even providing your beverages can help you reduce the cost.

What is Included

Some venues require you to pay a site fee on top of the venue fee. You may still even have to find caterers, rental companies, and other types of vendors. This is an easy way to eat up your entire budget.

Other, more budget-friendly venues, are all-inclusive. These venues are typically hotels, banquet halls, and country clubs. They often have in-house vendors or direct connections to trusted vendors in the area. The downside to an all-inclusive venue is that the price range still varies greatly. However, they do tend to cost less on average.

What Are Additional Venue Costs I Should Be Aware Of?

Weddings are expensive and the unexpected costs will add up. That is why it is important to set a budget and stick to it. When you do this, it allows you to negotiate with vendors and get the best bang for your buck.

When it comes to additional venue costs, there definitely will be some. Here is what you can expect:


Plenty of wedding venues will charge for parking. They might have you pay for valet and other fees. So if you know a lot of your guests are driving, expect to pay for their parking. Or, if you live in a big city and all your guests are nearby, you could simply inform them that parking is available nearby. On the invite or your wedding website, provide your guests with the location of parking lots within walking distance from the venue.


A fee to expect from your vendors and venue is gratuity. This is never included in the price tag that they show you and is often 18%-25% of the total price. Most often, this will not be a negotiated cost and will show up on your final invoice. However, some vendors will give you the option to choose your tip.

We also recommend giving your venue and vendors a review online. This helps future couples to know that they did or didn’t do a good job.

Taxes and Fees

Your venue will include taxes and fees for things that may seem strange. For example, there might be a cake-cutting fee, bathroom fee, corkage costs, service charges, and more. Your wedding contract will include these additional fees. Talk to the venue coordinator to explain any additional expenses before you go ahead with the booking.

Outside Vendor Fees

A lot of wedding venues will have an approved-vendor list. This means that they have connections and a history with vendors in the area. Using these in-house vendors has both pros and cons. The benefits are you will know that the venue and vendors work well together. The Cons are that these vendors may not offer exactly what you want.

Should you decide to with an outside vendor that isn’t on the list, you may be subjected to pay an additional fee.

Is It Common For Wedding Reception Venues To Include Rentals?

On average, most venues will include tables and chairs. However, some venues hire rental companies to provide tables, chairs, linens, flatware, and more. If you have specific tastes for rentals, it is a good idea to consult with several rental companies for more options. Typically, rentals cost about $650.

What Questions Should You Ask Your Wedding Venue Before Putting Down A Deposit?

Picking a wedding venue will be one of the first decisions you make when planning your wedding. You’ll want to start at least one year before the wedding. You need to decide the location, approximate guest count, and date. Once you have figured this out, you can start going down the list of venues you’d like to tour.

When you visit a venue, ask these questions:

  • What is the capacity?
  • Is your venue available for this date?
  • Do you have climate control?
  • Do you have backup plans for weather, COVID, etc.?
  • Can we see the restrooms?
  • How big is the dance floor?
  • Is there available parking?
  • What is included in the contract?
  • What isn’t included in the contract?
  • Who is the main contact and will they be present on the wedding day
  • What are the rules and regulations?
  • Do you have an approved vendor list or can I hire my chosen vendors?
  • Can I host the ceremony here?
  • How much time do my vendors need to set up and clean up?

How Can I Save Money on My Wedding Venue?

Your wedding venue will most likely be your biggest expense for your wedding. So ensure when you make your budget, a big chunk of it goes to the venue.

Here are a few ways you can save money on your wedding venue:

Reduce The Guest List

The more guests you invite, the higher the cost. If you can cut your guest list even just by 10-15, you’ll be saving a lot!

Set The Date Wisely

Remember that the most popular dates are Fridays and Saturdays in the summer. You can save a lot if you do a weekday wedding in the off-season.

Read The Contracts

Be clear and honest about your budget. Read the contract several times to ensure you understand. There may be fees that the venue can waive and you might be able to negotiate.

Look For Tax-Deductible Venues

Some venues that are associated with nonprofit organizations (museums, historic homes, parks, etc.) may be tax-deductible.

Food & Beverage Options

You can save a lot on food and drinks. If it is possible, offer a buffet or family-style and provide your drinks. This can reduce your costs quite a bit.

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