If you've read our ultimate wedding planning checklist, you'll know that planning a wedding budget and booking your wedding venue are the first two tasks any engaged couple should be doing. But it's really hard to plan your wedding budget until you know what wedding venue prices are, and what they include.
We always advise couples to budget between 40% and 60% of their wedding budget to paying for their venue and ceremony costs, which is a pretty big chunk - but you have to remember just how much that payment includes. We go into more detail about that further down...
So, to help you on your way to booking your dream wedding venue, we've done a full roundup of everything you need to know about wedding venue prices and how much your ideal wedding venue will cost you.
Wedding Venue Prices: How Much Does a Wedding Venue Cost?
As well as reading our guide, you may want to check out our wedding venues section which is filled with wedding venues with prices displayed, so you can see exactly which ones come within your budget, and which ones don't. You can also view wedding venues by price, to factor out anything that's too spenny, and just browse the ones within budget.
Here, you'll find everything you need to know about wedding venue costs, so by the end of this you'll be ready to get enquiring!
- What is the Average Price for a Wedding Venue?
- What's Included in Wedding Venue Prices?
- What Impacts Wedding Venue Prices?
- Can Wedding Venues Increase Their Price?
- Are Wedding Venue Prices Negotiable?
What is the Average Price for a Wedding Venue?
According to our most recent National Wedding Survey, UK couples spent an average of £8,400 on wedding venue hire, which worked out at around 45% of the total average wedding spend of £20,700. This cost did not include wedding catering, which is often charged per head - so bear than in mind when enquiring.
Although this was the average couple spend, it's difficult to give a definitive price as to how much wedding venues cost, as this will very much depend on a number of factors which differ from wedding to wedding.
What's Included in Wedding Venue Prices?
What we do know, however, is that wedding venue pricing tends to work in one of three ways. Here, we explain the different ways wedding venue prices work to help you decide the kind of deal you're after. If you like what you read about the packaged deals, we have an entire article dedicated to the best wedding packages in the UK.
Types of Wedding Venue Pricing
Bespoke: Some wedding venues will calculate prices based on a bespoke and tailored quote that they will build with you. Taking into consideration your wedding date, duration, size and what you'd like to be included, the venue will quote you a certain price. This style of pricing tends to be more flexible with what you can add on and remove.
Wedding Packages: Many wedding venues choose to offer different levels of wedding packages, often catering to a range of budgets and levels of service. Most venues will still offer some form of flexibility within a wedding package, for example if you want to add extra guests or make changes to the menu, these are usually possible.
Wedding packages include much more than dry hire or even some bespoke packages, so you could end up getting more value for money even if the initial quote feels more expensive at the time. Wedding packages can range from venue hire and food, all the way up to completely all-inclusive weddings.
An example of this is Grange Barn. The team here spoke to us about what they include in their packages, "At Grange Barn, we like to keep things simple for our couples. So we include everything they see on their venue tour - tables, chairs, PA system, lighting, ceremony room (some venues charge this as extra!), along with lots of props and decorations we have at the barn.
"We also include two nights in our beautiful wedding suite, The Loft and an experienced wedding coordinator to support them in the lead up to their wedding and on the day itself."
Dry Hire: Dry hire is when couples have the option to hire out a venue exclusively for a day, weekend or longer. The hire price or a venue includes just that, the hire. Sometimes wedding venues will have the capacity to offer more, but others who are solely dry hire will require you to source other vendors and suppliers yourself.
This is perfect for couples who want to source their own suppliers and bring multiple businesses and ideas together with complete freedom.
What Impacts Wedding Venue Prices?
The cost of a wedding venue will depend on a number of different factors, all of which can increase or reduce the price you end up paying. Here are some of the main factors which impact wedding venue prices, and ways in which you can reduce your spend if you're on a tighter budget.
Your Wedding Date
The price of hiring a wedding venue will vary wildly depending on the time of year you're getting married. Most wedding venues will charge more for certain days of the week and months of the year that are more popular - it's a simple supply and demand situation.
Peak wedding season (May to September) and weekend days will always cost more than weekdays and low season months. Venue groups like Cripps & Co are really transparent with their wedding venue hire prices for all eight of their venues, and show hire prices for specific days.
To demonstrate, price of hiring The Tithe Barn in 2024 will cost you £3,000 on a Saturday in February, £4,000 for a Saturday in March, £6,000 for a Saturday in April, and around the £10,000 mark for one in August. However, a Monday or Wednesday in August will cost you less than £4,000 - so there are bargains to be had if you're willing to be flexible on the time of year or day of the week.
The Size of Your Guest List
The number of people you're inviting to your wedding will also impact how much it costs you - especially when talking about day guests who you'll be feeding. The size of your wedding guest list will have it's biggest impact on your wedding catering cost, as most bars and caterers will charge a certain price per head for food - even if it's not a sit-down meal you're having.
This also impacts staffing costs for venues and suppliers - the more guests, the more waiters, bar staff, coordinators etc they'll need.
Type of Hire
The type of hire can also cost you, especially if you're getting married somewhere which makes money as a result of public footfall. Wedding venues that double up as attractions, landmark wedding venues or hotel wedding venues will charge a higher fee if you want complete exclusivity, so bear that in mind when choosing your wedding venue type.
If exclusivity is important to you, but you don't want to pay extra for it, venues like Grange Barn would suit. Their venue hire prices range between £6,200 and £7,500 for 2024 weddings and with that, you get exclusive use of the entire wedding barn for a whole weekend, as they only host one wedding per week.
The services you want included in your wedding venue hire price will also determine the cost. Harper Weddings group have three gorgeous venues in their portfolio, and charge the following for full, exclusive hire: Botley's Mansion - £29,000; Notley Abbey - £25,500; Cain Manor - £21,000.
Although this is less than the average wedding venue spend, these prices include everything. We're talking exclusive use, champagne brunch for the wedding party, bottomless drinks for your reception, full use of all ceremony spaces, canapes, three course dinner, wine and prosecco with the meal, exclusive use of all on-site bedrooms, a dedicated wedding planner, full bar service and so much more.
So although paying a larger sum for full services may seem hefty, it could actually save you a lot of money in the long-term by paying for everything separately yourself.
Can Wedding Venues Increase Their Price?
Wedding venues, like any business, are well within their rights to increase their prices, and it's not uncommon for couples to see an increase in price when comparing year-on-year dates. However, once you have booked with a wedding venue and agreed a price, it's unlikely that they will then increase the price for you.
When signing contracts with venues and any suppliers, ensure you are happy with the terms, and if there are any clauses about price increases due to inflation or for any other reason, ensure you are both aware of this and happy to proceed regardless.
Some venues do have clauses which state that if inflation rises above a certain level, they can adjust prices for booked couples, but if this is the case, it'll be stated in your contract for you to highlight and agree to if you're happy.
If there's nothing in your contract that refers to price increases, you can rest assured that the amount you have agreed to is final. Until then however, venues can increase or change prices between you viewing the venue and confirming your booking, however most venues will honour the price you were initially quoted or will let you know if it's likely to change.
Are Wedding Venue Prices Negotiable?
As we mentioned before, most wedding venues are pretty transparent with their prices, so the price advertised tends to be the only price available. This is the case for Grange Barn, who say, "For us, wedding venue hire prices aren't negotiable as we feel like it wouldn't be fair on our other couples who have paid a certain price."
However there are some exceptions. The team at Harper Weddings explain: "Our wedding hire prices aren't usually negotiable, but there are some exceptions for short-notice bookings on late-availability dates."
There may also be flexibility with wedding venue prices if there are things included in a package that you'd like to remove. Some venues won't reduce the price, however if you, for example, don't require any wine with your meal as you're hosting an alcohol-free wedding, you may be able to negotiate a lower rate for the meal and catering.
On negotiating with wedding venue prices, Hitched Editor Zoe Burke says, "There's nothing stopping you from asking for a different rate - perhaps there are parts of the package you'd like removed and it's not unreasonable to ask if that would lower the costs, however bear in mind that wedding venues are businesses, and often independent businesses at that, so respect their answers."