One of the major budget items for any wedding is the reception venue. So you might want to find ways to reduce the cost of that. Here are some useful suggestions:
Weekdays & Low Season. The best way to reduce your wedding budget is to choose a time that's not too popular among brides. For example, skip the weekend (Thursday & Friday) and opt for a weekday. Go for an autumn/winter wedding instead of a spring/summer wedding when venue rates are generally lower.
Alternative Locations. You do not have to go for a hotel banquet room to hold your wedding. Look for special wedding halls within your budget, restaurants or clubs. Check out other venues such as a local museum, an art gallery, a beach resort, a public garden, an aqua park, or someone's garden or farm.
Decorations. When selecting your venue, choose one that is already beautiful and partly decorated. One that requires minor décor will save you money on wedding decorations.
The Wedding Package. When you are taking a look at the venue, remember to ask what's included in your package. For example, go over the details on the menu, get your wedding cake on top, ask if they could install the dance floor and offer the sound system, perhaps they have centerpieces to offer and ask for at least one night hotel accommodation if it is being held at a hotel. For outdoor venues, ask for security, parking, toilet facilities, tables & chairs and others. If you can get everything in one package it’s better.
Number of Guests. The venue rate is in most cases based on a rate per person (plus additional taxes and service charges normally). Do not overestimate the number of your guests as you will end up paying for them even if they don’t show up. Provide a realistic estimate and amend it, if necessary, 48 hours before the wedding date or depending on your contract.
Free Guests. When negotiating the contract with the hotel or any other venue, ask for at least 10% free guests above your guaranteed number of guests, i.e. If you are booking for 150 guaranteed guests, the hotel can provide you with 15 additional guests for free, but only if you ask!