How to Find Unique and Affordable Wedding Venues

Venue Search Tips

No matter the budget, every couple wants to feel a bit of magic on their big day.  Having the right venue plays a large role in the creation of this fairytale moment.  The venue sets the tone for the entire wedding.  It embodies the theme, embraces the colors, amplifies the music, and creates a mood with the right lighting — all of which come together to create an experience, a memory.  A lot of popular, or well known, venues have extremely high rental fees (and this fee could be in addition to a large per guest cost, rentals, catering, etc.).  It’s easy to fall in love with one of these expensive venues — but then you have to face reality and accept that it may not be in your budget.  I had a similar situation in my own wedding planning search and refused to believe that I had to settle.  After digging a bit deeper, I came across some amazing resources to use in your wedding venue search.

Below are my top 3 resources for finding unique and affordable venues.  You’ll find that some of these affordable venues are just as picturesque and accommodating as the more expensive options, they just may have been harder to find due to a smaller marketing budget than that of its competitors.

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Eventective is a great resource due to the extent of information provided in each venue profile. After selecting your desired location, you can filter by a multitude of criteria (i.e. capacity, venue types like banquet halls or historic mansions, etc).  Not only can you request free quotes directly from the profile, but you can potentially see wedding package information, average cost per guest, photos, recomendations, event spaces, and availability.


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State Park Directories

Never underestimate state parks, or state-owned properties, when it comes to locations for your ceremony and reception.  These properties are government-owned, so they often have more reasonable pricing–some even offer discounts for county residents!  Many of these properties are considered historic landmarks and, as such, may have rules that are a bit stricter than usual.  But remember, historic often equals EXTREMELY picturesque, which in turn means gorgeous backdrops for your big day!


Screen shot 2015-03-17 at 11.00.56 PM offers venue options for everything from corporate meetings to small, birthday party functions.  This site may not scream wedding at first, but you’ll be able to view unique spaces that may not be featured on popular websites like The Knot or WeddingWire.  You can view information on large conference centers, or switch modes and gather rental information on modern lofts.  One of the most unique aspects of this site is you can have one of the Unique Venue reps conduct your search for you!  If you choose to browse on your own, you can filter down by state and region (i.e. Northern, VA).  Each venue profile features information on capacity (based on multiple set-ups like classroom vs. theater), available technology (i.e. on-site AV), food and beverage requirements, and event spaces.

Photo Credit: Johnathan Day (flickr creative commons),,,

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