Planning Your Dream Wedding on a Budget: The Venue

Weddings involve a lot of planning, even for a small and intimate affair. I sat with the idea of planning for a while before I actually found a way to begin with the rest of my wedding vision. Every detail relies on another detail, every aspect on the overall theme. Well, this is where I began. I decided to figure out what style of wedding I wanted to have, given the resources I had to work with (money). Most brides-to-be cannot wait to start with their search for a dress; however where you plan to have your wedding plays a big role. This is why I started with venues and went from there.

planning your dream wedding on a budget

Churchill Vineyards via Courtney Aaron

Venues? You might ask...on a budget? Why yes! There are many choices even for the most frugal brides. Some of you may decide that your venue is what will make your day spectacular and the rest can be done inexpensively, while others splurge a little on their gown, or their photographer. Either way, a few tips and tricks will go a long way for your budget wedding.

Chalet View Lodge via JLM Creative Photography

First, decide whether it is imperative that your wedding be on the most popular day of the year ($$$$$) or whether you are willing to have it in the off season, on a weekday or at an alternative venue. Simple timing may save you a ton of money on your venue and you might be able to get more bang for your buck while you are at it. This is a major trend in weddings right now as the savings and choice of dates are more than worthwhile. Set on a church ceremony? Shop around as many churches offer usage by donation. If you look into some venues that may seem out of reach, ask about off season discounts, package deals and all inclusive deals that may make the price tag worth it. Perhaps your dream venue is at your fingertips after all!

Tannenbaum via Jeramie Lu Photography

If you plan on splurging elsewhere, having an outdoor wedding (at a formal venue or in the wilderness), backyard wedding, destination wedding (not just for the tropics, but vineyards, ranches, vacation homes, etc.) makes both inexpensive and affordable venues, and offer a beautiful backdrop for your photographs. Our wedding took place on a beach out of town, however we hired local vendors and utilized resources in our town to personalize a basic venue and make the day reflective of us and our personalities. We liked that we could customize so much of our special day, and we had more money to spend elsewhere! We spent a whole $100 for our wedding site fee and spent the rest on details. The cookie cutter wedding is a thing of the past!

Lake Natoma Inn via Heather Prettyman Photography

Once the venue was worked out, we knew what the overall feel of the wedding would be. For us, casual and airey. For others, perhaps a formal venue would call for a formal gown, invitations, etc. Then we could move onto the bride's most dreaded AND favorite part of her planning: The DRESS!