5 places you can get married for free or nearly free

ShutterstockYou can save a lot by getting married at a cheaper or free venue.
  • Getting married can be expensive, but there are some venues you can get married at for free.
  • Public parks are typically nearly free.
  • Having a backyard wedding can be intimate and free.

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. It can also be one of the most expensive. The Knot’s 2017 Real Weddings Study revealed that the average cost of a wedding in the United States is $US33,391, before the honeymoon. And that cost gets even higher in cities like New York ($US76,944), Chicago ($US55,332), and Los Angeles ($US44,142). Although the band, photographer, and dress can eat up quite a bit of your budget, the venue is often the most expensive part of your wedding, with a national average of $US15,163.

But you don’t have to break the bank when you say, “I Do.” In fact, there are less expensive options that can be just as special and romantic places to tie the knot. With a little bit of creativity, there are places out there that will let you have your wedding for free.

Keep in mind, there is really no way to get away with getting married without spending a dime. You will have to incur the cost of a marriage licence and an officiant to make the whole thing legit. But the money you save on the venue can be spent on an awesome honeymoon.


Get married in nature at your favourite local park.

ShutterstockYou can get a permit for as little as $US25.

Your local park can be a great option for a low-cost wedding. Just be sure to do your homework ahead of time to see if you will need a permit at the park you choose. For example, in most New York City parks, a permit is required for events with more than 20 people and comes with a $US25 charge.


An all-inclusive resort lets you have your wedding and honeymoon in one.

Rawpixel/iStockSome resorts will give you a free wedding with your stay.

If you’re planning a destination wedding, check out some of the all-inclusive resorts that offer free weddings for resort guests. For example, Beaches resorts in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos offer free weddings for a minimum three-night stay at one of their properties. Just be sure to read the fine print about what is included in your wedding package so that you know exactly what to expect.


Bring family and friends together in your own backyard.

popovartem.com/ShutterstockThis can save money and be very meaningful.

There’s no place like home to have a wedding. Not only will you save money on renting the space, but you can also create a beautiful, intimate experience by holding your wedding at a place that has special meaning for you. And you won’t have to worry about being late to your own wedding if you’re already on site.

If you don’t have a backyard big enough for all of your guests, think about close family members or friends who may want to offer their home for the event in lieu of a gift.


A outdoor chapel in Texas.

facebook.com/ChapelDulcineaThey ask for donations but there is no charge.

Chapel Dulcinea is an outdoor wedding chapel 20 minutes from downtown Austin, Texas. The chapel sits on the edge of a walking trail, and on a nice day provides a beautiful backdrop for your photos.

There is no charge for weddings, but you will be required to leave a no-show deposit that is refunded after your event. They are asking for donations to help keep the chapel available for future free weddings.


Get married by the sea.

Pavel Melnyk/ShutterstockYou can check a beach’s permit rules.

The beach can provide beautiful natural scenery for your wedding day. What’s more romantic that saying, “I Do” near the ocean? As with the parks, you will want to check your local beach for rules on permits before you finalise your guest list.

For example, in Horry County, South Carolina, near Myrtle Beach weddings with 500 or more participants or with 101 or more chairs requires a permit. You will also want to check on the beach’s rules regarding alcohol consumption and rice throwing.

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