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Wedding Budget Tip #31: Choose a Non-Traditional Venue

This post is part of a recurring series here on BSB where we share wedding budget tips to help you save money on your wedding! You can access all the wedding budget tips on a single page for your convenience and future reference. This post is all about how choosing a non-traditional venue for your wedding can save you money!

Wedding Budget Tip #31: Choose a non-traditional venue to save money. Think parks, libraries, and zoos, etc.

Wedding Budget Tip #31:

Choose a non-traditional venue to save money! Think parks, libraries, zoos, etc!

One of the biggest wedding-related decisions that will impact your event and your budget is the venue. The location of your wedding is not only the backdrop for all of your soon-to-be treasured photos. Your venue also plays a huge role in the tone, cost, and logistics for your big day. If you want to plan a wedding without debt, make sure you choose an affordable venue for your big day.

When it comes to choosing the venue for your wedding, consider some out-of-the-box options. A non-traditional venue could be anything that doesn't have staff, rentals, fees, or plans for events. Think of places that maybe wouldn't normally be considered for weddings as a possibility. Some good options are public parks, libraries, zoos, union halls, or the steps of a beautiful public building.

lakeside wedding non-traditional venue

Where to find a non-traditional wedding venue

Want to know the best (free) resource to find wedding venues in your area? Contact your local Visitor Information Center or Welcome Center! Whether you're planning locally or more of a destination wedding, the information they provide may surprise you. They may even suggest venue options you've never even considered or heard of!

With one simple email or phone call, you could get a list of all the places that host weddings in your area. Plus, they may even be able to provide a rough estimate of the cost and a general description of each venue. It's almost like having a free wedding planner!

Bride blogger Katie took this route and booked a small family-owned vineyard in Kelowna, BC. It was a far less expensive choice than the traditional golf course or hotel option. The vineyard even had that rustic-vintage vibe that she was looking for! By searching off-the-beaten-path, Katie was able to get a unique venue that suited her budget and style.

If you're willing to think outside the box when it comes to finding a location for your big day, you'll be more likely to end up with a unique wedding venue on a budget.

raw industrial space venue - how to find a non-traditional wedding venue

Pros and Cons of non-traditional wedding venues

Choosing a traditional, all-inclusive venue offers major convenience, but typically at a premium price. If you are considering hosting your wedding at a non-traditional location, there are definitely some pros and cons to consider. The pros include being able to create something unique, typically with a little more freedom and often less cost than an official event space. Cons would possibly include no dedicated staff to help you with things and having to start with a blank slate, meaning you'd have to bring in all your own rentals, staff, etc.

The benefits of booking a non-traditional venue for your wedding

There are many benefits to choosing a non-traditional venue for your wedding. For example, a major perk may be choosing your own vendors without being limited to a preferred vendor list. You'll get to choose caterers or pick food offerings that really suit your tastes as a couple. Having the ability to choose elements that reflect your tastes allows for a more unique and personalized experience.

The challenges of non-traditional wedding venues

Choosing a non-traditional venue isn't always the easiest option for a wedding. In fact, there are a few potential struggles you should keep in mind. For example, you may need to apply for permits or permissions to use certain areas or obtain an event insurance policy.

If you're working with a blank slate venue, we highly recommend hiring a day-of coordinator. You'll be grateful to pass along some of your workload onto someone else. If you want to enjoy the experience of your wedding day without having to stress over setup or other details, you should absolutely hire a coordinator to oversee your event.

You should consider all the expenses involved with either option. It's no small task to plan a wedding at a location that isn't typically used for events. Make sure you're up for the level of work and commitment it might take to pull it off.

So tell us: are you considering non-traditional venues for your big day?

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Wedding Budget Tip #31: Choose a non-traditional venue to save money. Think parks, libraries, and zoos, etc.
Wedding Budget Tip #31: Choose a non-traditional venue to save money. Think parks, libraries, and zoos, etc.


The Budget Savvy Bride is the #1 Online Wedding Planning Resource for couples who want to plan a beautiful wedding on a budget they can actually afford. Check out our best-selling book on Amazon, The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer!