Shopping for the perfect wedding venue for your ceremony and reception is an exhausting endeavor that may leave you clutching your wallet tightly — your venue can account for up to half of your total wedding budget. If you find yourself wary at the thought of throwing that much cash down for a place to park your wedding crew for a day, consider these typically affordable wedding venue options, which are just as beautiful as they are reasonably priced.
A National Park
While private parks and gardens can sometimes have years-long wait lists and prices that'll make your eyes grow wide, national parks allow you to secure special use permits (SUP) for a tiny fraction of the cost. For example, this couple got married at Glacier National Park and paid $100 for a four-hour permit that allowed them to hold their ceremony in one of the amphitheaters. Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and Smoky Mountain National Park are just a few examples of national parks that provide SUPs for weddings. Talk about jaw dropping ceremony backdrops.
Someone's Back Yard
If you have an inviting house with a gorgeous backyard — or know a friend, family member or acquaintance who does — channel your inner Gatsby and throw a bash at home. You'll have a comfortable space to prepare and save tons of money in the process. With all that extra cash you can enlist the expertise of an event designer to transform your space with beautiful lights and decor, as well as hire a kick-ass caterer and bartender.
Though city hall weddings tend to have a reputation for serving those looking for a quickie elopement, that's certainly not always the case. Though they do work best for intimate gatherings, city hall weddings can also provide beautiful scenery as you tie the knot with your closest friends and family. In addition to being basically free, many city halls are located in historic buildings with beautiful architecture in the heart of cities, allowing you to get some gorgeous, cityscape wedding photographs.
A Bed & Breakfast
Both AirBnB and privately owned B&Bs can provide stunning, affordable venues for your wedding ceremony and reception. The bonus, of course, is that you and your closest guests will have a space to sleep that evening, so the party can really go on all night. You also won't likely have to deal with catering restrictions as you do with many venues, which can also help reduce the overall cost. Prices vary, but expect to pay between $500 and $3000 for large spaces. For example, you can rent out this 8000-square foot Hollywood, Florida mansion, or this lavish, ocean view home in California, both for under $1500 a night.