What's the Average Wedding Venue Cost?


A wedding venue can make or break your wedding day. It is therefore important to pick the right one. Contrary to perception, you need not give up an arm and a leg for a wonderful wedding venue. You can actually get a decent venue for a reasonable amount. To get an estimate of what you might be required to spend, read this article for insights on the average wedding venue cost.

What Is the Average Cost for Wedding Venue?

Generally, you can expect your reception costs to be about 48-50 percent of your budget while the ceremony will take up 2-3%. According to a survey conducted in 2015, the average cost of wedding venues is the US is between $1650 and $2336. The main factors affecting the cost of the venue are time of the year, location, time of day and add-on services.

Wedding Ceremony Venue Cost

The average wedding ceremony venue cost is about $435.

Most state, county and local parks offer great venues for wedding ceremonies. It is usually a picnic set up outside or a building in the park that goes for $50-$300 for a few hours. Community theatres, art galleries, hotels and libraries can also be rented at $300 to $1,500.  It is expected that the venue staff meet with the couple and assist with planning logistics. If your wedding is outdoors, it is wise to plan for the rain by renting a tent at about $300, depending on the number of guests and the type of tent. Some venues may also charge for rehearsal.

Look out for discounts offered during off-peak times like evenings, weekdays or even weekend afternoons. Botanical gardens tend to offer discounts in fall and winter. You could also get a discount if you are a member of a library, botanical garden or museum. Remember to start shopping for a wedding ceremony location early enough.

Wedding Reception Venue

The average wedding reception venue cost is about $1244.

  • Renting a venue for a wedding reception at a bar, a casual or ethnic restaurant or a private room will cost between $50 and $250. 

  • Catering halls usually charge $500 to $2500 or more for space including tables, chairs, linen, stemware, flatware and a per-person catering fee.

  • Museums, historical homes, libraries, greenhouses, botanical gardens, reception rooms and country clubs charge the same amount although they may not include equipment rentals.

  • Fancy and luxurious hotels can charge $2,500-10,000 for ballroom rental or a even larger space. 

Such venues usually offer parking space for free. Some venues will offer a staff member to oversee the event or have a wedding planner as part of the package. They will also allow prior access to the venue for planning purposes.

You should also factor in security. Some venues require that you pay for security guards. This cost can add up to about $100.

Should you choose to have the wedding at home to save some cash, factor in the cost of rentals.

Getting Venue Discounts

You can save quite a bit by using one venue for both the reception and the ceremony, about $200 and $2000. The only additional cost you might incur is that of moving chairs from the wedding area to the reception area. This might cost about $3 per chair.

What Others Say About Average Wedding Venue Cost

“I spent about $2800 on the chapel and reception ballroom. This came with alter arrangements, pew bows, Chivari chairs, runner for the ceremony, table linens and a two hour rehearsal.”

“My venue was based on the number of people. I had approximately 100 guests at $40 each. It was in an old barn where we had to bring our own drinks and caterer. I had to rent chairs and tables. However it was a saving for me since venue around here cost north of $6000 and do not allow you to bring a caterer. The reception and ceremony were at the same venue.”

We only needed a small dining space because it was a private wedding. The rental was $450 for the room and bartenders were $60 each for the night. I was charged $200 for security. We needed two bartenders.”

Tips For Finding The Perfect Wedding Venue

Here are some important questions you should ask when shopping for a venue:

  • How many guests can the venue hold?

  • Can you have reception and ceremony at the same place to save on the average wedding venue cost?

  • What is the pricing structure?

  • What is included in the quoted price?

  • Do they provide catering or do you have to bring your own?

  • Are you free to choose your own suppliers?

  • Will you need to hire extra lighting?

  • Is there plenty of parking and is it charged?

  • Can you bring in your won drinks and is there a corkage charge?