If you ask the average bride and groom about the most important decision they needed to make ahead of their big day, you can bet that a large majority of them would mention the wedding venue. You need to get married somewhere, and it is very often the location that sets the tone for the rest of the day. You need a place that is big enough to handle all your guests, but you also need a location that is somehow romantic and pleasing to the eye. Most of you probably have an idea of what type of location you would like for your impending nuptials, but when should you book to ensure that you get the place you want.
There really is no easy answer to that question, as some wedding venues are going to be easier to secure than others. The day and month of your big day can also play a role in how early you book, so let’s look at all the elements and try to figure out the ideal booking time. Saturday’s are the most common days, so if you are going to choose to tie the knot on a Saturday then the booking needs to be done early. The same rules apply if you are getting married in the summer months, as all the best spots fill up quickly. With that in mind, you should be thinking about booking your venue for a Saturday summer ceremony about 12-14 months out. A year in advance is still a good way to go even if you are having your special day on a non-traditional day or month.
There is a reason why you need to plan so far in advance, beyond just making sure that you get the place that you want, and that is because the venue is really the first part of the entire planning process. Most coordinator won’t be able to do much for you until you have secured the location for your big day. The reason for this is because vendors such as florists, photographers, and entertainment will not accept a booking until you can tell them where your ceremony is being held.
Unless you are booking a place that does nothing but host weddings, you are also going to need to see what is available in terms of services and space, not to mention price. While some venues will offer catering and decorating services, others will expect you to do it all yourself. Know you budget and book the place accordingly.
It is never a good idea to become too fixated on a single place, which is why it is always a good idea to have a couple of back-up locations chosen, too. If you are flexible on your the date, you should have no problem getting the location that you want, but if the date is set in stone, there is no guarantee that your dream location will be available. This is just one more reason why booking as early as possible is the best idea.