Post # 1
My fiance and I got engaged about 7 months ago and are planning a summer 2015 wedding. I will graduate with my bachelor’s degree in 2014, so we are spacing out the exciting life events. 🙂 Recently we have been gathering ideas of venues, themes, decor, etc. Today we have been bickering about touring venues. He thinks we should start now just to look and get ideas. I think we should wait until the wedding date is a little closer to tour places. I just think we’d be wasting the venues’ time to browse this early. Plus we have zero money saved, no budget, and no idea if family will help or how much we’ll be making in two years.
Post # 3
Whenver it feels fun to! Sometimes it takes visiting a place to get a feel for what you like and don’t like. Depending on the site, you could always just walk around some places to get an idea without making an official appointment if that is more comfortable. The only downside to touring sites too early I imagine would be if you fell in love with a venue that ends up being out of your budget down the road. But I would say to let yourself be inspired. If it starts to feel stressful in anyway, wait until it feels more fun.
Post # 4
You should totally start now just looking if you have time, that will give you an idea of what various places cost, ect. We booked our venue 1.5 years out, we were looking before that even!
Post # 5
I would definitely start firming up a budget. Estimate low. But start looking at places that you forsee being in your budget (personally I didn’t tour any that weren’t in my budget and if they didn’t tell me their pricing upfront I didn’t go). I don’t know where you are geographically, but our date was booked over 19 months out (we got our second choice) and we’re not in a large urban area. The venue was important to me, though not what I spent most of my budget on, but I wanted to set a date and be firm in that.. .all the other details can come later.
Post # 6
We’re planning on summer 2015 and we want to book a venue ASAP! Venues completely book up 1.5-2 years in advance in my city.
Post # 7
I don’t think there’s any harm in looking now. You can get an idea of what you like and how much it’s going to cost, and how quickly it books up. Some of the places around here are almost completely booked at a year out already.
Post # 8
I would tour now so you can get an idea of costs. We wanted a venue where we could bring in our own everything and we were shocked by the costs initially. We were already planning a somewhat longer engagement and since we knew the costs early on, it made budgeting significantly easier. You are not wasting the venue’s time if you plan to book at some point and you understand that the rates will increase probably 5-7% each year.
I know you say you have no money right now, but at least you can get a general idea and feel for how much a venue costs and how much a wedding could cost in your area.
Post # 9
We’re looking at April 2015, and hope to have our venue picked out by September. I’m in grad school, finishing up summer classes this week (yay!) and fall semester starts the second week of September. I want to use my month off to find our venue, because I won’t be able to do much planning during the fall or spring semester.
Post # 10
We got engaged 6/7/12, and are getting married 6/7/14. We already knew which venues we wanted, but when we booked our (popular) ceremony venue in 11/2012, there were already three weekends AFTER us in July and August of 2014 booked. If you’re picky, want a popular venue or date, or are in an area where there aren’t a ton of choices in your price range, the sooner, the better. I never once had a vendor tell me “oh, you’re too far out! We won’t take your money yet”.
Post # 11
I enjoyed touring early, as I got to be very relaxed about it, and plan other moments around them, such as we’d visit a venue an hour away, and have lunch, a winery tour etc all planned out to make it a fun time. I was very upfront about our wedding time frame, and even thought it was just under 2 years out at the time, no one thought we were looking too soon or wasting their time. I even got to make two open houses, and tastings to find out what I didn’t like.
Post # 12
This is good advice. I wasnt sure either and I am in a similar situation.
Post # 13
I would get a firm budget and an idea on guest count before touring venues. Once you have that in place, you will know which venues are feasible/possible and eliminate the ones that are out of your price point or too big or too small. It took us about 5 months to find the right venue so starting early is a good idea, but you at least need to know the previous two things I mentioned.
Post # 14
I would say start looking once you’ve set up a budget and drawn up a mock guest list. Once you’ve done those things, I would start looking.
Post # 15
It depends on how early things book up where you live but there is no harm in looking now! I booked one year and eight months out, and I had to! In NYC things book up 1.5-2 years in advance. Figure out your budget and estimate the number of people you want to invite, then start looking.
Post # 16
@FutureMrsSlagle: I would start researching venues, etc now. But I wouldn’t start making appointments to view places until a bit closer to your wedding timeline…I voted for 1.5 years out.It is also important to know your potential guest list size cap and budget before falling in love with a venue.
FI and I looked at venues about 1.5 years out from our wedding date; our total engagement will be 4 years. It will also depend on how fast things book in your area as well. With that in mind, also be looking into other priority vendors to see how much they can range in price.