1. Tips to Keep your Wedding Affordable:
- Look for places that don’t lock you into using specific caterers.
- Consider cake alternatives—putting together your own cupcake tree, croquembouche tower (a trendy French tradition), or dessert table can be much more affordable.
- Avoid reserving venues in the summer, which is peak wedding season.
- Plan to have a smaller wedding—more people means more cost.
- Get married on a weekday. Rates are often cheaper than on weekends.
- Avoid serving alcohol as you may need to pay for permits or extra insurance, as well as the alcohol.
2. Courthouse Weddings in Pierce and King Counties
Very possibly the most affordable way to get married is by a municipal court judge. If you go this route, you are usually required to bring your own witnesses with you and may be allowed to bring a few guests. The Municipal Court of Seattle allows up to eight people in a wedding party, and only costs $80 for ceremonies on Mondays through Thursdays. Fridays the cost goes up to $225! In Pierce County, call 253-591-5357 for information about municipal court weddings.
4. Parks and Community Centers
If you want an affordable summer wedding, look to rentable spaces and centers in Seattle’s many gorgeous public parks—there is no cheaper way to be immersed in nature, to have a view of the Sound, or to rent out a large space for more than 100 guests. Seattle Parks and Recreation community centers can host any size party, from just a few friends to groups of close to 1,000. Pierce County’s community centers are also great for large parties. Plus, there are several of these facilities and they don’t require you or your guests to travel far. State parks are additional places to consider, including beautiful locations from Camano Island to the lighthouse at Cape Disappointment State Park.
5. Colleges and Universities
Check your local community colleges and universities as most have spaces available for the public to rent—if you’re a graduate, you can often get further discounts! Plus, some schools offer catering services, which can be more affordable, too.