Here's How Much You Should Expect to Budget for Your Wedding Reception Venue

Not sure how much your reception venue will cost you? We have the answers.
by Sophie Ross
Wedding reception venue
Edward Winter/Ready Luck

The rumors are true: Your reception venue will likely be the most expensive decision you make during wedding planning. 

In fact, according to our 2017 Real Weddings Study, the average cost of a reception venue was $15,163—out of an average total wedding cost of $33,391—in 2017. That means that on average, couples who got married last year dedicated approximately 45 percent of their budget to their reception venue. So, yes—your reception venue will likely cost you a chunk of change out of your budget

Before you panic, know that the price you pay might include some valuable extras—according to our study, 54 percent of those venues included add-ons like catering (which is likely to be a part of the reception fee, especially at black tie weddings), 9 percent included cake and 6 percent included an event planner. So you just might get a lot of bang for your buck. 


Of course, the price you'll actually end up paying depends on a multitude of factors, including where in the country you're tying the knot. Unsurprisingly, Manhattan tops the list with the highest average reception venue cost in the country (at $32,712), followed by Palm Springs, California (at $32,019), North New Jersey area (at $29,184) and Cape Cod, Massachusetts (at $28,075). Long Island, New York, and Chicago are close behind.

On the contrary, you can find the most inexpensive reception venues, on average, in more remote parts of the country—the most inexpensive being South Dakota (at $6,559), Montana (at $7,100), Alaska (at $7,461) and Iowa (at $7,750). North Dakota and New Mexico follow closely behind. 

Naturally, more populated and metropolitan areas of the country will have more "competition," and thus, steeper prices for reception venues. (It's simple economics!)

Clearly, regardless of where you live, you'll have to allocate a significant portion of your budget to a reception venue—but if you're trying to pay even less for your celebratory space, a gorgeous banquet hall in South Dakota might just be calling your name. And if that's not the case, we have everything you need to help manage your budget, right here.


Ready to party? Find your wedding reception venue on The Knot Marketplace.

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