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CostHelper > Weddings  > Wedding Reception Venue

Wedding Reception Venue Cost

How Much Does a Wedding Reception Venue Cost?

low costLow: $50-$250average costAverage: $1,244high costHigh: $500-$10,000+
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  Typical costs:
  • A reception in a private room in a casual or ethnic restaurant, such as barbecue or Chinese, or a bar might cost as little as $50 to $250 for a room rental fee, plus a per-person cost for food and beverage that can be as little as $15 to $20. Other similarly priced venues include rooms at city, county or state parks.
  • Some catering halls charge $500 to $2,500 or more for space rental, including linens, tables, chairs, flatware and stemware -- along with a per-person catering fee, usually with a minimum total food-and-drink expenditure. Other venues that charge in the same range for space rental -- but sometimes do not include equipment rentals -- include historical homes, museums, greenhouses, libraries, country clubs and reception rooms at botanical gardens.
  • Fancy hotels charge about $2,500 to $10,000 and up for rental of a ballroom or other large space -- and many require the use of an on-site caterer who might charge between $125 and $350 or more per person. Other venues with similar costs -- but which may allow you to bring in a caterer -- include high-end urban loft spaces and scenic resorts.
  • The cost varies greatly by location, with costs being higher in large cities and on the east and west coasts. Certain areas, such as Long Island, New York and Catalina Island, California, are known for particularly high costs.
  • The average cost of a reception venue rental is $1,244, according to The Bridal Association of America[1] .
Related articles: Wedding Ceremony Venue, Wedding Chapel or Site, Officiant

What should be included:
  • Most venues have parking available for reception guests at no charge.
  • Some venues provide one or more staff members to oversee the event, and some include the services of an in-house wedding planner.
  • The venue typically will allow access to the venue ahead of time for planning and decorating purposes.
Additional costs:
  • Many reception venues require liability insurance. First, check to see whether your homeowner's insurance contains a rider that covers you for an offsite event. If not, companies such as WedSafe[2] offer one-time liability coverage for about $200.
  • Some venues require you to pay for one or more security guards, which can add $100 or more to your bill.
  • Tip: If you think having your wedding at home or at a parent's home will save you money, do not forget to add in the significant cost of rentals.[3] offers a rundown of extra costs association with an at-home wedding.
  • Some churches and synagogues require a refundable deposit of $200 or more.
  • Tip: Couples can save $200 to $2,000 or more by finding a location for both the ceremony and the reception. But, if chairs must be moved from the wedding area to reception area, you might be charged up to $3 per chair for the service.
  • Some facilities require that a licensed bartender serve any alcoholic drinks.
Shopping for a wedding reception venue:
  • When searching for a location, it is important to consider practical factors such as guest capacity, seating, lighting, parking, and whether there is a kitchen for the caterer's use.
  • The[4] offers a guide on choosing a reception location, as well as a checklist[5] to help you determine which features you want in a site.
  • Tip: Before signing a contract, ask whether the venue permits you to use an outside caterer, and what their policy is on bringing in and serving alcoholic beverages. Many venues have strict food and drink policies that can have a major impact on your budget and plans.
  •[6] offers guidelines on what to include in a reception venue contract.
  •[7] offers a list of local reception venues.
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