On a daily basis I receive emails asking for help finding cheap wedding locations within many cities and states, as well as different countries. Now there is no way in the world that any one person can know where all the great cheap wedding venues are but there are lots of ways to find them.
Most of us will start our research online and that is especially true if you are having a destination wedding where you may not even see the location before your wedding day. Destination wedding location hunting is a lot easier if you can find a local wedding planner that knows the place well. It will cost you extra but you will have peace of mind knowing that your destination works for you.
Photo credit ICCNS
Start by doing a basic search online for a cheap wedding reception and then your town or place that you want to have your reception. Make a note of the venues that you like and that look as if they are within your budget, as you may want to compare them later.
Ask around to see if anyone knows any great cheap wedding locations locally, word of mouth is often the best way of finding great secret locations. And they may know the person you need to talk to! Nothing like an inside edge over other brides looking for a great reception venue!
Next do an online search for cheap wedding locations that have the amount of space that you need. To calculate how much space you will need us these formulas and times them by the number of guests you are planning on having.
12 - 13.5 square feet per person for a sit down meal
5 - 6 square feet per person for a cocktail party all standing
8 square feet per person for a cocktail party some seated some standing
2 - 4 square feet per person for a dance floor! You won't need this for everybody as not everyone will come up and dance. Plus you can always have a table on the dance floor during the meal and then move it off.
When you have a short list of venues that you like you will need to compare the prices of all of them. I find the easiest way to do that is to put together a table with the venues listed on the right and then everything that is included along the top.
A number of venues will charge you extra for tables and chairs, there may stipulate the caterers that you must use, and limit the hours that you can be there. Other venues may include everything for a flat fee and let you get on with it! Just make sure you are comparing the same list of services!