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.
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.
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*