One of the most critical decisions for any wedding, choosing your date can impact everything from who will attend and when your photographer arrives for photos. If possible, choose your date first before selecting your venue.
Booking multiple venues at once gives you greater flexibility and increases your chance of securing your dream venue.
1. Book Your Venue About a Year Before
One key decision you need to make early for your wedding is the venue. Other decisions, like selecting a photographer or band and ordering cake depend on its availability – plus invitations will need an address so they can be sent out as well as transportation services like limos and party buses booked accordingly.
As soon as you set a date and location for your big day, the more time you will have to reduce guest lists and find dresses to complement any event (be it rustic barn festivities or high-class glam affairs in contemporary loft spaces). In peak wedding season (May through October), venues often fill up more than one year in advance!
If you want the ideal venue for your big day, searching further and being flexible about your date might be necessary – that’s okay; what matters is finding an atmosphere that makes your heart sing.
2. Start Visiting Venues About Two Months Before
Finding your ideal venue and then realizing it’s already booked up can be devastatingly disappointing, particularly during the June-August wedding season when venues are in such high demand.
If your wedding date is open-ended, try visiting venues two months ahead to compare costs, amenities, and any other important factors when making your choice. This will allow ample time for comparison shopping before making your final choice.
Limit yourself to visiting no more than 2-3 venues at a time, otherwise, the options could become dauntingly numerous.
Take notes during your tours to help narrow down the options later. Focus on remembering specific details about each venue you visited – their vibe, size, and amenities available will all come in handy once it comes time to compare venues and tour potential sites.
3. Book Your Vendors About Four Months Before
As soon as you secure a venue, the next step should be booking vendors – this step is especially critical if your wedding takes place during peak wedding season like summer or early fall.
Your venue plays an integral part in planning the perfect wedding day. Before sending out beautiful invitations and selecting meals for your reception, for instance, knowing its capacity and address are crucial details of planning an unforgettable celebration.
Early booking will increase your odds of finding your ideal date and venue, plus it’s useful if other vendors like photographers and videographers can be booked soon after your venue has been secured; this will make wedding planning less stressful while saving time by eliminating having to rebook vendors later down the line.
4. Start Planning About Six Months Before
Your next step should be securing your wedding date and providing your venue, caterer, photographer, and any other vendors a timeline and list of guests with any dietary restrictions or allergies.
Create a wedding budget that encompasses both your must-haves and some desires (such as personalized candy at each place setting). Ask vendors to submit price proposals with out-the-door costs so you can compare items fairly and determine which items take precedence over others.
If you want your wedding style to stand out, now is the time to think big with dress/suit and decoration decisions. Order bridal party gifts and send your final guest list off with seating plans so the venue can get started on those tasks as soon as possible – once this task is out of the way, take a deep breath! Most of your work has already been done! Now’s the time for relaxation.