How Much Should I Spend On A Wedding Venue?

When it comes to planning your big day, a carefully considered wedding venue will set the tone of your celebration. From casual to formal and everything in between, choosing the ideal venue for your ceremony and reception is essential to hosting a memorable wedding.

Your venue will be the largest expense of your wedding budget and your most important decision.

So, how much should you be spending on your wedding venue?

In 2020, Australian couples spent an average of just under $14, 000 on their wedding venue. This equated to around 45% of their entire wedding budget. The average number of guests was 90, with couples allocating around $155 per head.

So How Much Should You Spend?

You can spend less or splurge on a high-end experience for you and your guests, but you should expect to spend between $140 an $175 per head.

Regardless of how much you budget for your wedding venue, be sure to read the fine print to make sure you know what is included in the cost.

gold coast wedding at gold coast farm house

Things to Consider

Once you’ve established your guest list, you’ll have a greater understanding of what type of wedding you can have.

Are you up to planning and hosting a large wedding or would you prefer to keep it small and intimate? Where are your guests coming from, and do they have any special requirements? Is there accommodation nearby or easily accessed? Do you need to transport your attendees, or can they make their own way there?

Do you want a party atmosphere with a live band, dancefloor and simple finger food served throughout the night, or are you more traditional with a sit down multi course dinner?

Do you want a big weekend celebration or could you consider a simpler mid-week elopement? Knowing your preferred days and dates and whether you can be flexible with them will help make your decision.

Do you need a contingency plan if there are Covid restrictions in place?

Draw up a checklist with non-negotiables, desirable features, and little extras that would be a bonus, but not essential.

Get Quotes

Once you’ve decided on the type of wedding you want, it’s time to get quotes. Choose your top three ideal locations and either check out their rates online or contact them for more information.

Check the fine print for what each venue is offering. One might seem much cheaper but may not include the essentials and extras that a more expensive location is supplying as standard.

Be sure to visit the location if you haven’t already, to visualise your ceremony, reception, and photography spots. Refer to the experience of other couples by reading reviews for the venue.

Choose Your Venue

It’s time to make your decision. Take another look at your checklist and make sure that the venue you choose satisfies all your non-negotiables and the majority of your desirable features.

Organise to revisit the location if you need to make a final decision or to make sure it ticks all the boxes.

Remember, the venue is key and sets the tone for your theme, entertainment, and catering.

An outdoor wedding venue, such as the Gold Coast Farm House can also direct your aesthetic. Flowers, decoration, photographer, and even your dress and hair and makeup will be influenced by your choice of venue.

Only once you can visualise your special day should you make the booking. Again, read the fine print before paying your deposit.

Select the Package

Your chosen venue will have a range of wedding packages to choose from depending on your numbers and the style of wedding you’d prefer.

Take our wedding packages as an example. Our offering ranges from a budget friendly mid-week elopement package for a small group, all the way up to a formal marquee package for up to 150 guests.

Each package clearly outlines what is included and any extras available at an additional cost. Our website also includes a list of ceremony and reception props and furniture for hire. Browsing through this section might give you a little inspiration for how you can decorate or customise your special day.

Consider the other vendors recommended by the venue. Many wedding venues work with caterers, photographers, mobile bars and more, and will only recommend those that they have had an exceptional experience with.

You can feel confident that these businesses work successfully for the types of weddings held at the venue and should be considered when sourcing quotes for your celebration.

wedding advice lili and matt

What’s Missing?

With your wedding package chosen, it’s time once again to refer to your checklist. Cross check your requirements with what is offered in the package to discover any gaps. Most venues are just offering the location in their cost, with catering and furniture hire often separate.

An efficiently run wedding venue will offer you a detailed, extensive list of what is included and what you can expect. They should have a specifically appointed co-ordinator to liaise with you to achieve the perfect result.

Don’t be left feeling disappointed by not being thorough. It’s better to double check details and ask all those silly questions well in advance so you are not left with regrets and disappointment on or after your special day.

Above All, Have Fun

Planning your wedding and choosing your venue should be an enjoyable experience with as little stress as possible. By visualising you and your beloved celebrating, eating, drinking, and dancing with all the special people in your lives, should make venue hunting an exciting and fun-filled experience.

If you do find yourself getting overwhelmed, stressed out, or not enjoying the process, outsource! Get someone else, whether it’s a professional or a trusted friend or family member to do the heavy lifting for you.

You’ll enjoy your special day all the more if the process has been a fun adventure.

For more wedding tips, read our previous blog on How Can I Save Money On My Wedding!