Lifestyle

Tips for Finding A Low-Cost Wedding Venue

I’m going to be totally honest, whenever people ask me how wedding planning is going I’m always temporarily stumped. Because all in all, it’s not that bad. The wedding dress provided a whole slew of stresses due to my own insecurities, but the biggest and hardest task was finding our venue. But after our venue was sorted, everything else just sort of fell into place. Transport, photographer, food and cake options, flowers all became instantly accomplishable. 

The venue was our biggest hurdle for a very simple reason: we are trying to DIY as many things as possible and weren’t willing to blow our budget for what is essentially an empty space. I won’t specifically name numbers but our entire wedding budget is only about 1/4th of the national average in the UK. And to be honest, I have no problems with that. Sure, it has made things slightly harder and we’ve become a lot more creative in our thinking, but there’s nothing wrong with that! 

Here are my tips for finding a budget-friendly wedding venue in England: 

1. Be traditional! In our grandparent’s day weddings were a quick trip to the local church/town hall with some tea and cake in the local village hall afterwards. Why not look into your local village hall? I found that most halls rent out the space for the entire weekend, and very frequently for under £300. Plus, if you really take some time and examine all the small halls in your area, you’ll find some with some really stunning historic features.

village hall
This stunning venue, for example, is a village hall in Kent. 

2. There are also a lot of Working Men’s Clubs out there that with a bit of creative thinking, and some time spent decorating can be transformed into a totally happy space. 

3.  If you have dreams of castles and gothic romance on a small budget, look into private and boarding schools in your area. We found some absolutely beautiful prep schools that rent out their main halls on the weekends for private functions. The only downside to this option is that  you occasionally have to use the school caterer. 

4.  Sports clubs. Old football and rugby pitches often rent out their club rooms for reasonable prices, and they also provide a lot of space for pitching tents if that’s something you’re thinking about. My personal recommendation if you’re looking at sports grounds is to look at cricket pitches. I’ve found them to be especially loaded with period features and being surrounded by greenery never hurts! 

5. If you can be reasonably flexible with your dates, a lot of theatres (including the Royal Shakespeare Theatre) will rent out their stage spaces for weddings at really great prices when they don’t have shows on. The only problems is that a lot of theatres don’t have their programming confirmed until quite late in the planning process. They can pencil you in up to 6 months ahead of time, but they are usually able to book you in certain at around the 3 month mark. If you have nerves of steel, or have many local guests, that could be an ideal solution. 

rsc
The RSC from the outside. 

6. Another great resource just to help show you what’s out there and for you to decide what kind of spaces you like is Venuefinder. Venuefinder really helps you narrow down your options because it lets you search by geographical area, type of event, maximum capacity needed – all the helpful bits!

Hopefully these tips will help another bride on a budget find a cheap wedding venue for their reception!

I’ll keep which option and where I chose as secret. But I’m sure no one will be on pins and needles for the next 9 months to find out.

Do you have any other tips you’d like to add? 

*This post was in collaboration with Venuefinder, but I legitimately used the site when I first started my search*

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  • These are great ideas! I always like the DIY weddings, they have more of a personal feel and I think they always better reflect the couple. Glad your wedding planning is going well:)

    • Haha thanks! I might eat my hat closer to the day and be super stressed about everything but right now… not so much. In a way, having a really tiny budget makes all the decisions easier, because we aren’t overwhelmed with options! x

  • Super tips, Amanda! I’m sure your wedding is going to be absolutely beautiful. xxx

  • I love the idea of #1 – traditional halls just seem right! I think I would’ve gone this route if I didn’t want to have the entire ceremony and reception outdoors! (and also, outdoors is another great idea actually… I know people that have had theirs in a park for free!)

    • I’d absolutely love to have our reception outside but it just isn’t logistically possible in Northern England. Too much chance of rain! Ha! England also has the most bizarre law that you can’t get legally married outside. So if you want to get “married” outside, you have to go to a courthouse in advance, get married and then have a blessing outside on your wedding day. I’m not really sure the logic behind not allowing an officiant to marry you outside….

      If anyone knows I’d love to hear it! xx

  • Fab ideas! I looked at the village hall near our church but decided on a country pub in the end. They had a barn style conservatory extension and we just paid their rates for food and drink. It was magical. I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful wedding wherever you’ve chosen.

  • Pubs. Seriously classy broad over here, folks.

    • Nah. No shade thrown from me all because we looked into our locals too. But with our numbers it was too pricy :/

  • I am on pins and needles. I need to know. Don’t leave me hanging!

    • We are barely in fall and I already can’t wait for next summer! 😀 x

      • THAT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        It’s the best feeling ever!

        Everything will feel just magical and happy and wonderful and you’ll have one minor freakout over the one thing that will go wrong because something always goes wrong but then you’ll see Sam all spruced up and smiling at you and nothing else will matter.

  • This is amazing – I would start a wedding tab on my bloglovin but I’m afraid the boy will see it and feel weird about it lol so I’ll restrain myself. These are great tips! 🙂

  • Miu

    Wow, how cool would it be to marry in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre!

  • Ala

    That village hall is stunning and is certainly an option I want to consider because as you’ve mentioned, they are so cheap to hire, even for the whole weekend for setting up and then dismantling – plus it also opens up the option for a make-shift bar (a trip to calais in mind)! So excited to see how you and Sam decorate your venue! x