Having a rustic country wedding can be expensive and a logistic nightmare if you don’t do your homework in advance. Country venues are often miles away from the nearest town — hence the term “country” and the price varies greatly. Get out your paper, brush up on your math skills and do some cost comparisons. A venue that charges $6,000 compared to one that is $5000 may seem like it’s only $1000 difference, but you need to find out what is included — it is possible the $6,000 venue could cost you thousands less than the $5,000 venue once you figure out all of the extra costs.
Money isn’t the only consideration — IT’S YOUR TIME! Who is going to do all of the work– how much stuff do you have to drag out to your venue? Remember most places only give you the venue for the day — that means you need lots of bodies to accomplish your tasks and pull of your wedding on time. If you don’t have lots of relative and friends who will do it for free — you may be paying some labor — well, you’ll pay for it one way or another!
My number one rule is find out what is included in the price at your venue! Make of list of the “Must Have” and “Nice to Have” items before you visit your venue. You will want to see how many of these things are included in the price of the venue. It may seem like a no brainer, but it’s amazing how some venues charge you for every little thing. Your list should include the basic things like setup, chairs, table etc., but don’t be afraid to ask about other items from your “Must Have” and “Nice to Have” lists.
Here are some good questions to get your started and help you put together your list:
- Wedding Seating
- Do you want benches, chairs, a combination or something customized like hay bales? They could costs you $2.75 to $25.00 each
- Are there additional rental fees for certain kinds of chairs or customized seating? White wedding chairs are typically $2.75 each.
- Are there extra set up charges if you choose different locations on the venue?
- What are the costs for adding ribbons, bows, shepherds hooks or other decorations to the seating? What items are included? Potentially $25 to $500 additional costs
- Is the aisle runner if desired included? $12 to $50
- Other Ceremony Items to Consider
- If you are using the barn as a backdrop and you want sheer or burlap curtains are they included or do you need to purchase and put them up? Rental and set up is typically around $50 to $100
- Wedding Arches, altars, etc. are they included if desired? Count on anywhere from $50 to $1400 plus decorations if not included in your venue.
- Rustic items for additional decorations — such as carts, wagon wheels, wine barrels, flower stands etc. might run you $10, $25 or up to $100 for each item.
- Are indoor and outdoor lighting options included in your venue? What is the cost to add additional lighting? Example: Lantern rental $5 to $10 each
- Are tables and chairs included? What kind? Cost of upgrading to nicer chairs?
- Are tablecloths additional? Typically $8.00 to $12.00 each
- Do you want runners? $5.00 to $10 each
- Are there costs for set may vary for type of reception — sit-down, buffet, cocktail/appetizer
- Do you need tents? — many farm – country venues are mostly outdoors — Tent rental & setup without decorations run $400 to $1200
- Table decorations — does the venue include access to mason jars, lighting options, mirrors, etc. — typical rental $1.00 to $5.00 each
- Country Flowers are popular — does the venue have flowers available to pick for free or low cost? Do they charge for vases?
- Caterer costs are typically around $4,000 to $10,000 for a full catered wedding.
- Transportation, Parking and Misc.
- Is there enough parking available for your guests?
- Do you need to consider rental of a bus to transport guests? $400 to $1000
- Many country venues require the rental of portable restrooms — $75.00 each up to $1500 for fancier trailer units
- Heating and Cooling? Even very fancy venues often have no air conditioning or heat — rental of portable units $50 to $250
This is a good start to get you thinking and planning your country wedding. My biggest advise is to work with a vendor and nail down exactly what is included in the cost of the venue — and WHO has to do what — and WHEN! Good luck on your big adventure and if you have questions please feel free to contact me — regardless of where you are and what venue you are looking at using!
Wishing you love and joy!