Popular wedding locales like reception halls or hotels have little incentive to cut customers a deal. No matter what price they ask, they'll always have a steady supply of brides and grooms lining up with their checkbooks out. If you want to save money on your wedding location, consider venues that don't often hold weddings but still have adequate space and facilities. You'll find they offer much lower per-person costs and are more willing to negotiate.
Think outside the box when looking at wedding venues. Consider a favorite restaurant, nightclubs (some of them are elegant), newly opened facilities looking for business, social clubs, community halls and local galleries.
Look to the suburbs. If you're in a big metropolitan area, consider holding your wedding in the suburbs or in a small nearby town. For example, if you live in New York City, think about having your wedding in New Jersey or Westchester. The bigger the city, the more costly the wedding venue, so moving your wedding out of town could save you a lot of money.
Combine the ceremony and reception space. You'll save money if you book a wedding location where you can hold both your wedding ceremony and your wedding reception. You'll be scoring two wedding venues for the price of one. While touring a wedding reception venue, ask your guide whether ceremonies are held at the space, and what the setup for these ceremonies usually looks like.
Go for the off-season. Weddings are usually held between May and October. Therefore, wedding venues tend to lower their prices between the months of November and April. If you're looking to plan an inexpensive wedding, one of these off-season months could be for you. Wedding venues also lower their prices for weddings held on less popular days of the week, which really means every day other than Saturday. If you're worried about guests having to go to work the next day, consider holding your wedding on the Sunday of a three-day-weekend. But hurry -- many couples try this trick.
Shun blank-slate locations like loft spaces. They may be less expensive to rent for an evening, but you'll end up paying more by having to bring in tables, chairs, linens, lighting. It's best to pick a wedding location that is able to provide these things itself. When you book a wedding venue, make sure to ask what items are included with the space.
Don't be afraid to negotiate. When choosing a wedding location, you will be dealing with salespeople. It's their job to get you to accept a higher rate.
Move quickly. Even if you're planning on having your wedding on a Friday during the off-season, you'll be surprised by how quickly wedding venues book up. If you are thinking about choosing a location that is not commonly used for weddings, you may have more time to make a decision.