$33,900. That’s the average cost of a wedding in 2019. No wonder so many couples have opted for smaller, low-key affairs. The largest cost of any wedding is the venue. But with some creativity and careful planning, you can have a dream wedding that won’t break the bank.
Thinking of outdoor nuptials? Check out our favorite ideas for gorgeous low budget wedding venues.
Unique Outdoor Wedding Ideas
Picking your venue is the first step to planning a wedding. If you think beyond the traditional hall, you can save thousands of dollars.
Places like wedinspire.com are a great source for inspiration. Just type in your location, and you’ll get a list of potential wedding venues. You’ll see the price listed among each description. So it’s easy to keep your budget in check.
When considering an outdoor wedding venue idea, don’t forget about the rentals. It’ll be up to you to bring in items such as:
- Tablecloths and napkins
- Drinking glasses
- Large party tent
These costs should be factored into your venue budget. Below are some more ideas for unique outdoor low budget wedding options:
When it comes to low budget wedding venues, it doesn’t get any cheaper than the backyard. If your home (or a family member’s) is large enough, why not get married there? The best part about a backyard wedding is that you can truly personalize your event. From a casual barbecue to a formal black-tie affair, the sky’s the limit.
Backyard wedding ideas we love:
- Lawn games during cocktail hour
- Vintage drink cart and bar
- Tented reception with overhead string lights
Airbnb or Vacation Home Rental
So you want a backyard wedding, but you’re short on space. Consider a short-term property rental. Airbnb has a “suitable for events” search filter that can show a variety of cheap wedding venues.
You’ll come across some very unique or luxurious properties. Choose a space close to home, or make it a destination wedding. Many rentals are large enough to accommodate your guests too.
Don’t forget to mention your plans to the host. They might be able to help with useful tips or preferred vendors.
Airbnb wedding locations we love:
- Barn and farmhouse in the Hudson Valley
- Private gated estate in Los Angeles, CA
- Lakefront cabin with a mountain view in Montrose, PA
These are just a few of the options.
In the Street
Many TV couples have a “plan b” street wedding after an unexpected crisis. But why not have a block party from the get-go? Whether you choose a city street or quiet cul-de-sac, this is your backyard wedding on a larger scale.
If you’re closing down the street, you’ll need to apply for a special event permit from the city. It’s also a good idea to double-check noise bylaws and notify your neighbors.
Street wedding ideas we love:
- Food truck catering
- Graffiti art theme
- Potluck barbecue
State or City Parks and Gardens
Looking for a scenic backdrop for your celebration? Public spaces like city gardens, and national parks can be rented out at a low cost. Some may even be free. The best part? You won’t have to decorate these naturally beautiful spaces.
Public wedding spaces we love:
- Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite National Park, California
- Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park, Washington
- Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, Tennessee
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York
Cool and casual, beach weddings are perfect for laid back couples. Permits are affordable, and this is another venue where you can go light on the decorations. Can’t get enough of the sand and sun? A destination wedding combines your wedding and honeymoon into one vacation.
Beach wedding locations we love:
- Tampa Bay, Florida
- East Winds Resort, Saint Lucia
- Guana Islands, British Virgin Islands
If you’re an animal lover, consider tying the knot among the calls of wildlife. Many zoos offer outdoor event facilities which include tables, linens, and dinner packages. After your ceremony, guests may have the chance to interact with animals. How does giraffe feeding or photos with elephants sound?
Zoo wedding venues we love:
- Lush safari theme at the San Diego Zoo
- Intimate evening affair at the Phoenix Zoo
- Ceremony among the butterflies at Woodland Park Zoo
On a Boat
What’s more romantic than the open water? From sailboats to cruise ships, there are great options for a nautical wedding. Rent a private yacht for an intimate ceremony.
Or charter a boat for your entire event. Some companies offer affordable all-inclusive packages. This option is desirable if planning isn’t your forté. All you’ll have to do is show up.
Nautical wedding ideas we love:
- Disney cruise wedding on the high seas
- Yacht party on Lake Michigan, overlooking the Chicago skyline
- Sunset sail ceremony in Key West
More Money-Saving Tips
Of course, your venue isn’t the only place to be budget-conscious. You’ll also want to consider these tips when planning your event.
- Keep the guest list and wedding party to a minimum: this results in a lower food and alcohol budget, and less attire and gifts for your attendants
- Be flexible: get married in the off-season, or have your wedding on a Friday to save money—changing the time can make a difference too, as morning ceremonies and formal lunch are cheaper than a multi-course dinner
- Get crafty: if you’re a creative, design your own invitations, make the decorations, wedding favors, and perhaps even your dress
- Avoid the “W” word: as soon as you say “wedding”, your prices will skyrocket—instead, tell potential vendors you’re throwing a party
Low Budget Wedding Venues Lead to a Happy Marriage
It’s possible to throw a beautiful and memorable wedding on a small budget. And it’ll set the tone for your entire marriage. Couples who have cheap weddings are more likely to agree on financial matters and stay together.
This frugal mindset is something you can take throughout your new life From grocery shopping to purchasing a home, there are many reasons to be budget-conscious.
Remember: getting married isn’t just about having a wedding, but living happily ever after. Happy planning!
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