If you're a bride or groom on a small budget, you might have gotten sticker shock at the location rental charges and catering prices of most popular wedding locations. Here are some options that might save you money.
Talk to your favorite restaurant to see how much it would cost to rent a private room or even the whole place. Look for a restaurant with a pretty back garden that you can set up for the ceremony and can be used for dancing later. This is an option that works best during non-peak hours, as the restaurant might not want to lose their busy Saturday night crowd.
Many city parks allow you to have a wedding there for a nominal fee. Look for ones that have a covered patio, special details like fountains, or grassy picnic areas.
Theaters and Performance Halls
A theater might seem like an unusual wedding venue, but they can be quite magical, and you will be helping to support the arts. For example, the majestic Brooklyn Academy of Music is available for rental. You can have your wedding ceremony in a number of locations, and your reception in the grand second-floor lobby. The bonus is that there are steep discounts for local residents!
Many towns have under-used old-fashioned movie theaters that will add vaudeville charm. For a more modern feel, look into contemporary local theater companies who rent out their spaces during the off-season or dark nights. Getting married on a stage can make you feel like a star!
Remember that charming chapel and alumni house at your college? It's usually cheap for alumni to have their weddings on campus and sometimes not much more for non-alumni. Just make sure it's picturesque - we're talking ivy-covered halls and green hills, not barren concrete industrial buildings.
Creative and Unusual Places
Whether it's the top of a roller coaster, an old mill, or the unique place you met, a creative wedding location will instantly give your wedding a lot of personality. Since these places aren't used to having weddings, you might be able to snag them for a steal, though you'll often have to bring in extra rentals (200 people and one bathroom isn't pretty). Think rustic and charming beer brewery or the laundromat where you met!