There are few worse disappointments than realizing that your choice of the perfect wedding venue is far from perfect for your bank account. However, if you are a bride on a budget, with a bit of forward planning and tweaking there are still ways for you to have your wedding at a premier location, even if the initial price quote gave you palpitations!

1. Go off-peak

Plan your wedding for off-peak months, which are usually January, February, and November. Most venues will charge much less for a wedding during quieter times than in busier seasons.

Although you may ultimately feel that those months will be cold, you can turn this perceived negative into a real positive by choosing long-sleeved dresses for you and your bridesmaids. Adding a furry wrap and some statement gloves can turn an ordinary dress into an extraordinary outfit. Unlike a summer wedding, when weather can be showery and unpredictable, by specifically choosing cooler months you can be better prepared.

2. Go on off days

As well as off-peak seasons, there are off-peak days; choose the most cost-effective weekday to save even more money. Saturday is the most expensive day for a wedding, as you might expect, closely followed by Friday and Sunday. But Thursday is also a great day to get married and can be much cheaper.

You may naturally be concerned about your guests arranging time off work or the logistics of long-distance, mid-week travel. But remember, it’s your big day and if your nearest and dearest want to share it with you, they will come — no matter where or when it is. Try to give them plenty of notice to make organizing a little easier!

3. Go custom

Many wedding venues offer packages, but these packages often include things you may not want, such as a three-course wedding breakfast or a DJ for your reception that you have not vetted. To stretch your budget even further, consider only hiring the venue and tailor your options to suit your finances.

An off-peak wedding in cooler months makes a warm and hearty menu a very welcome wedding option. To keep your wedding dinner costs to a minimum, ask your caterer for more communal options which will satisfy the hungriest of guests. You can also ditch the dessert course by having cupcakes around your wedding cake and serving them as a sweet treat with coffee. With these changes, you pay your caterer for only one main course, but your guests will still feel as though they have eaten well.

4. Go last-minute

Wedding venues ultimately want people in seats and are happy to host your wedding on almost any date. If you can hold your nerve and be flexible, you can save thousands of dollars by opting for a late deal in one of the off-peak months. A “late deal” is usually offered on dates without a booking in the next three months. Many wedding information websites have a late deals page with details for wedding venues around the country.

For example, the cost of booking a venue in November for the following April might more than twice as expensive as the same booking made two months later, in January. Planning ahead is the key. Don’t worry too much about giving your guests plenty of notice, especially if you are booking an off-peak period. Remind yourself that in January and February, people are far less likely to be going on vacation, and are more likely to be available on short notice!

If you are just starting out on your wedding planning journey, do not be upset if your favorite venue looks to be outside your budget. As you can see, there are ways to achieve the seemingly impossible, and to have your dream wedding at your dream location!

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