Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Venue Types

Whether you envision your wedding held in a hotel ballroom, a trendy bistro or a sunny backyard, there are pros and cons to consider for each. Here, what you need to know before you book.

At Home

Having your wedding at home (or at a friend or family member’s home) is a great way to capture a sense of warmth and privacy on your big day.

Photo Credit: Lori Ferguson/Lee Photography


Sentimental value
“The best part about having your wedding at home is that it is so personal. There’s nothing like getting married under the big tree you used to climb as a child,” says Cowie. Dawn Wellington Psaromatis (with her dad, above), who got married near Austin, Texas in November 2011, says she always wanted to wed outdoors and in a setting that had special meaning. “A good friend’s parents offered their home for our wedding,” says Dawn. “It’s like a second home to me and it’s always been filled with love and laughter.”

Room for flexibility
When getting married at home, you have full rein over things like your wedding date, timeline, and more. Dawn’s ceremony took place in a wooded area of the backyard, which complemented her fall garden-party theme. “The chairs were arranged in a horseshoe, so we could be literally surrounded by our family and friends,” she says.

Reduced liquor budget
Buying your own wines, beers and spirits (especially at reduced bulk rates) can be a huge cost saver.


Rental costs go up
Although you save money on the venue itself, a wedding for a large group can get expensive simply because of all the rentals you’ll need. “Remember that you will need to bring everything in, from tables and chairs to bars, glasses and even cooking equipment,” says Pryor.

Valet parking
Another important task is to assess the parking situation. Consider arranging for valet parking—and let your neighbors know ahead of time.

Cleanup required
At the end of the wedding, someone has to do the potentially massive job of cleaning up. This can either be an added expense (hiring a cleaner) or a task bestowed on a few very generous volunteers.

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