Some low-cost reception venue ideas include a backyard, park, community hall or college campus or public spots such as an art gallery or zoo. Small towns tend to cost less than larger cities. Holding the wedding during the off-season or on a weekday also tends to lower venue costs.
The timing of the wedding is a factor in the venue cost. Saturday weddings tend to cost the most. Spring and fall are popular wedding times, followed by summer and the month of December. Getting married at a different time may make the desired venue more affordable for the wedding budget. Another scheduling option to save money is to hold the ceremony and reception at the same location so the couple only pays one rental fee.
Getting married during warm months allows for the option of an outdoor wedding. Outdoor venues are often cheaper than formal halls, especially if the wedding is held at a family member's or acquaintance's home. Public parks are often available for rent for a low amount. The couple should ensure the venue has facilities and room to accommodate the reception. A back-up location is also important in case the weather doesn't cooperate.
Other non-traditional venues are often cheaper because they aren't normally used for weddings. Ideas include an art gallery, art museum, zoo, bed and breakfast, and performance halls. Colleges often have ballrooms for rent with the potential for discounts if the bride or groom attended the college.