You’ve already figured out the most important element of your wedding: whom to marry. Check!
Arguably, the second-most important element is where to host your big day. In many ways, where is even more important than when.
- Where determines the ambiance and the style.
- It determines how many people you can invite based on the capacity of the space.
- It determines travel plans, accommodation, and décor. (You’ll need different décor for an empty shell-style banquet hall versus an ornate ballroom.)
- In many cases, where determines whether or not you’ll be bringing in outside vendors/caterers or using onsite staff, which is another significant element of wedding planning
If you decide when first, your dream location might not be available.
But if you start by touring venues and selecting where, you can work to find a date that is available on the venue’s calendar and fits your needs.
In a perfect world, you’d book a venue at least nine months to a year before your wedding. Depending on a few factors, you might be able to get away with a shorter timeframe—or even something a bit last minute—but there are a number of reasons why waiting could backfire.
If any of the following apply to you, you’ll want to book as far in advance as possible:
- If you’re hoping to get married during peak season (May through October in most places)
- If you have your heart set on a specific month or day for practical or sentimental reasons
- If you’re only willing to consider a Saturday wedding (there tends to be more flexibility for non-Saturday weddings at venues that permit alternate days)
- If you have a specific vision for your big day in mind, and the setting is an integral part of that vision
Ideally, you’d start touring venues a month or two before you actually book—unless you’re the impulsive type and know it when you see it.
Long story short? Book your wedding venue as soon as possible.
Once you have that locked down, the rest of the plans will flow from there (especially if you’ve booked a venue with an excellent on-site wedding coordinator who can help!)
Happy planning, and congratulations!