Planning on a Budget and Finding Affordable Wedding Venues in CT

When it comes to wedding planning, everyone has a budget. If you’re working with one for your CT wedding, this is the guide for you. It’ll cover affordable wedding venues in Connecticut as well as tips for getting married on a budget here.

A photo of a bride and groom dancing in front of a rustic barn by Connecticut wedding photographer Terrence Irving.

Tips for Having a Wedding on a Budget in CT

1. Consider Your Vision for Your Big Day

Naturally, most people don’t know anything about wedding planning at first. This is perfectly OK. Start by brainstorming your dream wedding, from guest count to rings to the type of venue (e.g., do you like a banquet hall or a rustic barn). Determine your ideal wedding date and add that to the vision.

A bride and groom pose at Allen hill Farm, one of the more affordable wedding venues in Connecticut.

Throw some notes and numbers into a spreadsheet, then you have a great place from which to begin wedding planning. Once you total everything up, compare it to your established budget. Now it’s time to start making some hard decisions!

2. Establish Your Budget

Accordingly to Fortunly, the average cost of American weddings was $22,500 in 2021. That number is just that: an average. Given that, Connecticut was the eighth most expensive state to live in back in 2022, per CNBC. Regardless, budgets are personal; you and your partner need to decide what you’re willing to spend on your CT wedding.

One great thing about having a wedding on a strict budget is that it allows you to focus on the aspects of your day that are most important to you two. That might be your wedding photographer or honeymoon, for example. In your spreadsheet, you may want to consider ranking the vendors/aspects that you care about the most.

3. Think of Your Guest List

Do you really need 250 guests on your big day? Remember: the number of people who attend your wedding drives the overall cost of your big day. Factors like catering, space (even the most reasonably-priced venues cost a lot of money, relatively speaking), and beverage service. This is why cutting your guest count is a good place to start when planning a wedding on a budget in CT.

A bride and groom who planned their wedding in Connecticut on a budget pose at their affordable wedding venue in CT.

Yes, there are plenty of affordable CT wedding venues that will accommodate large guest counts. But if you’re like many people, your first and second wedding venue choices probably seem unattainable due to their costs. So get that guest list down and start saving.

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    4. Consider an Elopement

    For some reason, there’s somewhat of an irrational bad rap out there for elopements. But here’s the truth: not only is eloping in Connecticut a great way to get married, it’s also a super effective solution to getting married on a budget.

    When you’re working with a modest budget, be sure to consider an elopement. This’ll almost cut the venue cost completely out (depending on your choice) and eliminate the awkward guest conversations (“There were no guests; we eloped!”).

    5. Explore Affordable Connecticut Wedding Venues

    You’re doing great so far! Now let’s talk about where to get married in CT. From beautiful gardens to views of Long Island Sound, Connecticut has many venue options. At this point, I would start doing your research and choosing your favorites. Choose a lot, both affordable and otherwise. There are two reasons for this:

    A couple walks down the aisle after their ceremony at WoodWinds, among the most affordable wedding venues in Connecticut.

    a. So that you know what you like

    Like buying a house or even a car, a wedding is going to be a significant cost. This makes sense, given how important it is. Pick your favorite venues from this directory; make your own list of them. Then, figure out what it is that you like about them, that is the must-haves.

    b. Because you might end up booking one of them

    Before you go straight to looking for affordable wedding venues in CT, consider this. Priority shifts or monetary gifts from loved ones, for example, may cause you to pursue your #1 venue for your magical day. But here’s another way you might be able to book your favorite venue outright…

    6. Look Into an Off-Season Wedding in CT

    In my experience as a wedding photographer, prime wedding season in Connecticut is June through October. Therefore, getting married outside of these months will generally be considered an off-season wedding by most venues. If you pursue venue wedding packages off season, you may save a significant amount of money.

    For example, one couple that I worked with years ago had a fancy Inn at Mystic minimony with about 10 guests. They wanted a New England feel but with a reasonable venue wedding package. It worked out really great for them by working with the venue to figure out when their slow season was.

    7. Get Married on a Weekday or Cut Out the Ceremony

    A very similar concept is to consider a wedding on a different day of the week. Aria (near Waterbury), one of the state’s popular banquet hall venues, offers weekday weddings packages year round. I also know that Cascade (near New Haven) offers celebrations on weekdays.

    Another couple I worked with opted to shorten their wedding day by making their wedding ceremony private, for close family only. I didn’t photograph this. Instead, they booked my services for their awesome celebration at Connecticut River Museum the next day.

    Want some help with your wedding?

    My name’s Terrence and I’m a wedding photographer based here in the state. I’d love to talk with you about your plans. Use the links right here to keep in touch. When you’re ready, let’s connect!

    Affordable Wedding Venues in Connecticut

    If you’re ready to find a place to get married, I have some resources to help you. Here are my top 10 wedding venues in Connecticut. Next, here’s a list of some rustic wedding venues in the state. And for a full view of options, here’s a full directory of Connecticut venues. Don’t rule out going to a neighboring state: here’s my Rhode Island venue list (RWPBC is a super affordable RI venue, for example).

    In addition to being grand and fancy, Branford House is a very affordable wedding venue in CT. Here, a bride and groom dance as a pianist sits at a grand piano and their guests watch.

    Now, here are some of the most affordable wedding venues in Connecticut:

    1. Webb Barn (Old Wethersfield): Saturday weddings start $5500 for five hours. This rustic barn has room for sit down dinners of up to 135 people. You’ll have to get your own catering and bartender.
    2. Pond House Café (West Hartford): Saturday weddings start at about $1500 plus a charge of around $100/person for food. To really get the savings, book this semi-banquet hall between January and March (this venue hosts weddings indoors and in outdoor spaces, including Elizabeth Park, all year round).
    3. Branford House (Groton): This is actually quite a fancy place to get married. Being that it’s owned by the state, however, it’s very reasonably priced with Saturday celebrations starting at $5600 before catering. The price goes down for weekdays.
    4. Eolia Mansion at Harkness (Waterford): The sister wedding venue to Branford House, this one is also owned by the state and is similarly priced.
    5. Salem Herbfarm (Salem): If a huge garden venue with multiple outdoor spaces appears to you, consider this venue. Weekday weddings here start at $5000 (space only) and go up from there.
    6. Your (or someone’s) backyard: A backyard wedding is a great way to have a wedding on a budget in CT. Consider your home, a close family member’s, or maybe even a great friend or coworker. My guide on how to plan a backyard wedding will help you decide.

    Do remember tip #4! If an elopement is an option you’re willing to consider, you end up having many free CT venue options.

    See the Full List

    Before you go, be sure to see my full Connecticut wedding venue directory. There, you’ll find these venues and many, many more.

    If you have some other suggestions for this list, please drop a comment below or send me an email!

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