Weddings are amazing events where people from all over the country-- even the world-- get together to drink, eat, dance, and celebrate a couple's love. Because weddings are so fun, people have quickly found a way to make them into an industry-- and a massive one, at that. The United States wedding industry makes an estimated $72 billion in annual revenue. That's an average cost of $35,329 per wedding, according to The Knot's 2016 Real Weddings Study. The average annual salary of a 20-24 year old in the United States is less than $28,000, so that means it stands to reason that some people are spending more on their nuptials than they make in an entire year!
One of the biggest expenses couples have to make is the cost for reserving the wedding venues. For a simple church ceremony, you may be able to get away with paying only $500 before any officiant fees and decorations. However, for a ballroom or large entertaining room in a hotel, museum, or community center, be prepared to fork over $2500 to $10,000 just for the reception. Note that these reception halls often hike up the prices once they find out the event is a wedding. Try booking the same place for a "family event" and see if the quote isn't lower.
Finding alternative venues for a wedding is one of the simplest ways to cut down on the huge expense. Not only can it help the couple save money, but an unexpected wedding venue helps couples in love express themselves in a way that is fun and unique.
Okay, so having a wedding reception in the backyard isn't exactly the most original idea. However, with the money you save not renting a space, you can make your backyard the venue of your dreams. Plus, there is the added comfort of having such an important day celebrated in an important place.
Personalizing a backyard wedding reception is a lot of work, but you don't have to do it all yourself. Places that rent out things like tables and chairs for other wedding receptions are more than happy to deliver to your home. You can even have things like a trellis or arbor pergola built to add a touch of class. The national average cost to build a pergola is $3,501. Finally, having a sound system set up means you can save on having a DJ or band and simply play songs from your playlist. Plus, you will be able to enjoy your new professional sound system long after the ceremony is over-- a wedding gift from you, to you!
National Park Wedding
Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite National Park
Moran Point, Grand Canyon
Nature lovers can say their vows surrounded by the glory preserved by our National Parks without breaking the bank on their wedding budget. The costs and requirements for a park's special use permits varies depending on where you are. However, the fees should only run you around $100. Some popular national parks for weddings to consider:
The First African Baptist Church, Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia
Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic National Park, Washington
Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park, California
Moran Point, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Sure, a library wedding didn't work out for Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City movie, but that doesn't mean your local book stacks aren't the perfect location for you to say "I do." The cost of renting out a library for a wedding really depends on the size and scope of both the library itself and the wedding. Getting married in front of 200 people at the Chicago Public Library is going to cost more than, say, getting married in front of 50 at the little library in your hometown. However, most libraries-- big and small-- employ unique architecture and design that make them perfect for wedding ceremonies. Many of them have connecting outdoor spaces that can be used for receptions, as well.
Weddings bring people from all over together to celebrate love-- there's nothing wrong with that! However, the cost of that celebration can run pretty steep. One of the easiest ways to save money for other parts of the wedding is to find cool but inexpensive venues for the ceremony and reception. Venues like backyards, national parks, and libraries help save some money while showing how unique the couple's love really is.