Knoxville Wedding Planner
Tracy Showman Photography
Editorial Category: 
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

What You Need to Know About Wedding Venue Pricing

What You Need to Know About Wedding Venue Pricing

Knoxville Wedding Photographer

Photo:  Knoxville Wedding Photographer, Amber Lowe Photo 

Ahh, wedding venue shopping. Possibly the most stressful part of wedding planning, because that one decision informs almost every other aspect of the wedding! While compiling options and pricing, it’s pretty common for couples to experience “sticker shock” when they see the price tag on their potential wedding venues. However, it’s important to remember that there’s a huge difference in what each venue offers… before nixing options that seem too expensive.

Not all wedding venue packages are equal - in fact, there is a huge range in the amenities and services included in pricing, and without looking at the overall offerings of each venue before comparing prices.

For example, some wedding venues don’t charge a room rental fee, just a minimum spend on food and drinks. Often, that minimum spend will seem higher than your budgeted amount for your venue, but with a look at what it includes, you will likely find that you’ll be saving money in other areas. Do they provide linens, tables, chairs, bartenders, setup and cleanup? That’s a few thousand dollars that you don’t need to shell out elsewhere (and a bunch of logistic details that are taken care of for you)!

Before comparing the prices of your wedding venue options, here are a few things to look for. These are elements that may or may not be included in your wedding venue package, that will certainly make a difference on the package price (and your wedding budget).

- Tables and chairs -

Now, it seems like a given, but some wedding venues don’t include tables or chairs, or they may charge a set-up fee for their chairs. Before moving forward with a venue without these basic features, you might want to get a quote from a rental company.

- Linens -

Speaking of rentals, linens can be an additional decor expense. Does the venue provide tablecloths? Cloth napkins? In what colors? If they do, they could be saving you on a large expense. Many venues will also partner with local businesses and offer a partnering promotional discount. Ask what local businesses that they work with and see how you can leverage those partnerships to stay in your budget. 

Knoxville Wedding Photographer

Photo:  Knoxville Wedding Photographer, Amber Lowe Photo

- Setup, cleanup, and decoration -

Will the venue set up tables and chairs, will they even place all of your centrepieces and decor, or are you on your own for that? If you don’t have the time or manpower to decorate your own wedding, a venue that will do it for you is a huge asset. 

- Wedding coordination -

Some wedding venues include a dedicated wedding coordinator, who will do many of the things that a traditional wedding planner does. That’s something that we consider priceless! You'll also find that some businesses require an outside planner/coordinator and may offer a disocount when these services are purchased.  Knoxville wedding venue, Dara's Garden, offers a 20% discount when you hire a wedding planner for your wedding at their venue - that's a win win! 

- Corkage and bartenders -

If your wedding venue allows you to bring your own alcohol, they may still charge a corkage fee, which may vary greatly. Similarly, they may or may not include bartending staff.

- Staff -

While including staff in the package pricing usually results in a huge bump in the fees - after all, we’re talking about a team of people whose sole job is to make your wedding awesome - this can relieve a ton of pressure for couples and their families. Not everyone has a family that is able to help out on the wedding day, and trained staff can reduce stress and drama for everyone involved.

-How does it look? -

In relation to your budget, this question translates to “how much will we have to spend to make it look the way we want?” A beautiful rustic barn in the Smoky Mountains may not need much decoration, while a hotel ballroom might need a lot more work (and a bigger decor budget) to add personality and style.

Lastly, don’t forget to consider things like parking, bathrooms, and proximity to accommodation, since these elements are a large part of your guests’ experience.

Only you know what’s best for your wedding, and what your budget priorities are! Figure out what is most important to you, and find the venue that’s going to make that a reality.

You can also check out our pick of local wedding venues here

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