The Thrifty Wedding: 6 Ways to Save on Your Wedding Venue

This is a series focused on how any couple headed to the altar can find ways to cut back on spending without sacrificing their vision for the big day. Stay tuned for upcoming posts in this series. The next one will be on wedding dresses & suits

Before you can even set the date, you need to find the wedding and reception venue. A couple can expect the cost of the reception venue to be about 40% of their overall wedding budget, making it the single biggest expense of the wedding. According to, the national average wedding/reception venue cost is $6,000. However, in Boston, the average wedding/reception venue cost is $10,000. If you can save money on your venue, you'll be able to keep the overall wedding budget down with relative ease.

1.Get married on any day of the week except a Saturday. Saturdays are the most popular choice for wedding functions. If you choose a less in demand day of the week, you’re likely to get a cheaper price for your desired venue.

2. Get married in the off-season. Off-season for weddings is generally November – April. Getting married during those months is cheaper because those venues aren’t going to be as busy then as they are the rest of the year. Additionally, in the off-season, your vendors are less likely to have many other functions they are working on at the same time. That makes their prices a little cheaper, and keeps things running a little smoother on the big day.

3. Get married in the morning or afternoon. Evening weddings are the most popular, so competing with that time slot will cost more money than if you choose an earlier wedding. If your wedding happens earlier in the day, the venue can book another couple in the evening slot, and you’ll get a discount on the price.

4. Check what rentals are included in the venue cost. As shocking as it may sound, many venues do not include tables and chairs in their booking cost; you have to rent them. Some venues just don't have them, and you have to rent from an outside company. Other venues let you rent from them, but the cost can quickly add up. The average cost to rent a chairs is $2 per chair, and $8 per table (depending on the size of the table). However, a few venues will include tables and chairs in their cost, and that's something to keep in mind when pricing out your venues. You'll likely also need to rent linens (tablecloths and napkins) either from your venue, or from your catering company.

5. Get married at your city hall. If you don’t have strong feelings about the ceremony, you can skip the fancier wedding, and get married at city hall. You can still have a reception, but it definitely saves you a lot of money and trouble. Watch the below video to see how you can get married at Boston City Hall. If this interests you, you may also want to view Boston City Hall’s helpful guide about what you need to do before you get married.

6. Check to see if your wedding location is tax-deductible. Depending on your wedding location, it may be tax-deductible. If you get married at a non-profit that is a 501(c)(3), part of the venue fee may be considered a donation, and that donation fee is tax deductible. Eligible non-profits could include museums, historic gardens, and national parks. It even includes some churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious sites. Please check with your venue representative for more details.