Here's How Much Couples Spend on Their Wedding Venue

Plus, we share why the cost is on the rise.
kim forrest the knot
Kim Forrest
kim forrest the knot
Kim Forrest
Senior Editor
  • Kim writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide, specializing in etiquette and planning advice
  • Kim manages freelance writers for The Knot Worldwide
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Kim was Associate Bridal Editor at Washingtonian magazine and Associate Fashion Editor at Conde Nast’s Brides Local magazines
Updated Feb 16, 2023

If you're recently engaged, you may already be focused on the all-important step of booking your venue and locking down a wedding date. After all, finding a place to say "I do" is one of the first (and most expensive) decisions couples will often make during the wedding planning process. Your wedding venue will set the tone for your wedding style, budget, guest count and more. If you find yourself wondering, "How much do wedding venues really cost?" here's the answer. To help you figure out how much to allocate for your venue, we're revealing the national average wedding venue cost. You can also check out The Knot Marketplace to find the best of the best near you!

In this article:

Average Wedding Venue Cost in the U.S.

According to an internal study of nearly 12,000 couples who wed last year, the average cost of a wedding venue in 2022 was $11,200, out of a total spend of $30,000, a $500 increase from 2021's average of $10,700. This means couples devoted nearly 40% of their overall budget to their locations, and most deemed it a worthy expense with 90% of all respondents booking a professional wedding venue for their celebration. Given the average cost of a wedding venue, it's one of the most important decisions for couples.

Also of note: There was a tie for the most popular type of wedding reception venue in 2022. Farms, barns and ranches (topping the list for the first time ever!), and banquet halls, with 20% of respondents hosting their reception at one of these types of event spaces. Another 13% celebrated at a historic home or building. And 77% of couples are hosting their wedding ceremony and reception at the same venue.

It also appears that COVID is no longer having an impact on couples' wedding venue selection. In 2022, only 8% of couples changed their ceremony or reception location from indoors to outdoors (down from 17% in 2021). In total, 58% of couples hosted their wedding ceremony outdoors, and 17% hosted their reception outside.

How Have Wedding Venue Costs Changed Over the Years?

The average price of a wedding venue increased in 2021 and 2022. While the cost had previously remained steady at $9,000 from 2016 through 2018, it has been on the rise ever since. The reason for this cost increase is twofold: inflation and couples' desires to give guests a full experience rather than a simple party.

Inflation is affecting every aspect of daily life, and weddings are not immune. A high demand for weddings and events (hello, wedding boom!) paired with shortages in everything from flowers to food to paper mean prices are increasing across the board. Because of this, the average wedding venue cost saw an increase in 2022.

When planning their wedding, 74% of respondents said the most important factor was that their loved ones were well accommodated and they enjoyed the celebration. Our data also showed a rise in guest entertainment—44% of couples included "extras" like photo booths, fireworks or performers to give their guests a memorable evening. In order to provide an unforgettable celebration, couples are willing to spend more on their reception venue to secure a place that will support their vision.

Wedding Venue Cost Factors to Keep in Mind

It's important to note that this number is a national average and depends on many factors—especially add-ons. Some wedding venue prices offer all-inclusive packages with catering, rentals, linens, wedding cake, on-site event planners, insurance, entertainment, décor or cleaning fees. According to our study, 75% of couples secured rentals, like tables, chairs and linens, through their wedding venue. These additions will make for an easier planning process for you, and may mean cost savings. It's always best to talk through all potential options with your vendors to make the best decisions for your wedding day.

Despite the 2022 cost increase, there are several ways to save money on your wedding venue. If you can be flexible on your wedding date (both day of the week and time of year), you'll likely encounter lower rates. Many event spaces offer lower rates if you host a weekday wedding or one that takes place during the off season (winter, in most parts of the country). Also, the number of guests you invite has a big impact on your wedding budget—the more people, the more money you'll spend. Trimming your guest list can mean huge savings (in fact, 39% of couples trimmed their guest list by cutting 25 guests on average to save money). And while working with a wedding planner may be an additional expense, they can help you make smart decisions and save money in the long run.

Once you've selected your perfect wedding venue, be sure to read through your venue contract carefully to make sure you're aware of any additional costs or service charges (cake cutting and corkage fees are common ones).

What Does This Mean for Wedding Venues in 2023?

So if you're planning a wedding in 2023, what does this mean for you? Well, you're not imagining things—weddings are expensive and inflation is only adding to the budget strain. According to our most recent study, 61% of couples getting married in 2023 say that the economy has already affected their wedding planning process. But don't stress too much, there are ways to plan and save!

We've already talked about cutting your guest list, choosing a date in the off-season and hiring a planner to save money on your big day. But nearly half of couples are also being strategic about how they're spending—setting a list of priorities at the beginning of the planning process, and determining where to splurge and save. Couples are reaching out to more vendors to find one to fit their needs and budget. According to our study, couples are reaching out to five venues and visiting three before making their final selection. And, btw, we anticipate that farms and barns, as well as banquet halls are going to remain popular so if you're planning on hosting your big day at one of these spaces, it's time to book!

​​No matter where you end up choosing to host your big day, your venue rental is likely going to take up a good portion of your budget. Not to worry though—with the help of The Knot Budget Tool and our comprehensive list of vendors, you'll be able to book the wedding venue of your dreams.

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