Whether you’re planning a large wedding with your friends and family, or you’re eloping with your partner for an intimate ceremony, choosing the right wedding venue is crucial. According to a survey by Hitched, venue hire is one of the most expensive parts of paying for a wedding, with Brides Magazine finding that the average cost of a wedding venue is £2,790. But what if we told you that you can actually get a stunning wedding venue without using up most of your budget?
Here, we’ll go through some venues around the world that could host your dream wedding, whether it’s big or small.
Choose a stately home over an actual castle
So many girls grow up wishing they’ll get married in a castle and live out the Disney dream. But these dreams rarely include the less magical aspect of financial planning for the big day. Instead, shop around for a stately home in the countryside to give you the castle vibes you’re looking for. Sandon Hall, for example, is a Staffordshire stately home which rivals any castle for grandeur and opulence, complete with huge gardens, and surrounded by another 400 acres of countryside. Cut the costs even further by picking one function room to host your wedding, out of the saloon, library, drawing room, dining room, or the conservatory, all of which are licenced for weddings.
The beautiful grounds of Sandon Hall will be enough to make you feel like royalty for your big day, without fretting over the price tag of hiring out an entire castle. The stately home itself is also secluded enough from the rest of the world that you’ll feel like you’re in your own little world with your friends and family.
Go outdoorsy with a mountain-side backdrop
Rather than a cliffside ceremony overlooking the sea, why not exchange your vows in Colorado, and let the Rockies provide the ultimate breathtaking backdrop. Vail Mountain is known for being home to one of the world’s best ski resorts, but it also provides some truly dramatic scenery for a wedding. An outdoor amphitheater is built into the mountainside as part of the Holy Cross Event Deck, so your guests look down as you exchange your vows, in front of the famous Rocky Mountains.
With a starting price of around £1550, it really is on the cheaper side of the average venue cost, with the added bonus of stunning views like no other on earth.
Opt for New World over Old World vineyards
Vineyards make great wedding venues, thanks to their stunning greenery, natural landscapes, and of course the delicious wine. Wineries provide an unforgettable backdrop for your big day, offering a unique take on the traditional outdoorsy wedding. But an Old World vineyard—mostly in western Europe—might be a little out of budget, as the cost of hiring a large chateau can get pricey, especially taking fluctuating exchange rates into account. Some chateaux may even have strict rules in place, which don’t allow weddings if there are guests already staying at the house.
However, there are some stunning vineyards available in the New World, which can be much cheaper. Wineries in South Africa and even in California offer stunning places to tie the knot, with a promise of balmy weather, perfect for a wedding. South African weddings are surprisingly budget-friendly for their idyllic scenery, as the pound, euro, and dollar trade strongly against the rand. You also won’t have to worry about any special permits or legal courthouse weddings—as long as you have a Certificate of No Impediment from your country’s Home Affairs office, you can get married in South Africa. You don’t need to worry about becoming a resident for 40 days before you get married, which is the legal requirement in the Old World winery-rich France.
Tie the knot on Negril’s 7-mile beach
Negril, in Jamaica, is famous for its 7-mile beach and the natural scenery. Exchange your vows on the white, sandy beach, or on a clifftop, with the bright blue ocean behind you before beginning your journey as a married couple. While Negril doesn’t actually have an international airport, there is a shuttle available from Montego Bay. This lets you and your guests take advantage of the low-rate rooms along the strip, ranging from beachfront hotels and small cottages to rent. Public transport is very affordable in Negril, making it much easier for you and your guests to get around.
You can choose to tie the knot on the long beach-strip or host your evening reception there. Many hotels also offer package deals, making planning much easier for you. One of the most popular hotels in Negril, the Rock House Hotel, specialises in boutique weddings, with a promise to cater to no more than 20 weddings per year, letting each couple have the most personal experience possible. Exchange vows on a wooden bridge suspended over a cliff cove, or on the edge of a cliff before jumping off into the clear water below.
Getting married doesn’t have to be expensive. There are cheaper venues available around the world, without sacrificing on the beautiful scenery you want for your big day.