Post # 1
I need a little advice. I have been searching online for the last month (and plan on doing so for the next couple of months) for a venue in Houston, TX. Now, I live in California currently but all of my family lives in TX and my FI has a very small family who has already told us they’d be willing to travel. My question is, I found the place.. now I havent been there but it is exactly like I want (drapery with uplighting, grey floors, GORGEOUS chapel) and is within my budget.. 12.5k for everything.. dj, cake, photography, uplighting etc for 100 people. They also offer pp events, I have seen as low as 42 for 150ppl, which still isnt a bad deal. This is a relatively new venue and since I only go to TX a couple of times a year I plan on visiting it and a couple of others I find when I go for Christmas. If I truly do love it and decide on it, do you think it would be too early to book my 2015 wedding (probably in May)? I dont want the prices to skyrocket or fill-up super fast once the name and whatnot gets out there. Advice bees! Should I wait until late 2013, early 2014 or go ahead and book it once I see it in person(if I really do love it as much as I expect)?
As a side note, every other place I have found has a food/bev. minimum of anywhere between 12-18k (not including all the other stuff this place has, although I will be careful on what selections they choose.)
Post # 3
Coming from experience of booking early and changing my mind later I say wait. You never know what might happen between now and then and you could completely change your mind. I booked my (first) venue soon after getting engaged in Sept 2011 for August 2013…fast forward to this July 2012 and my fiance and I end up completely changing our minds and going with a different venue. Because of this we lost our deposit $1,000 (not AWFUL but still $1,000). I don’t think their prices will sky rocket, will they go up slightly yes more than likely but depending on what the deposit is etc I feel it is probably worth it to wait vs losing a deposit. Unless they are willing to refund your deposit (which I doubt they do) I would wait until a little bit closer to your date. 🙂
Post # 4
Yes, wayyyyy too early. Most venues also only let you book about a year out, so they may not even have their calendar for 2014 open yet, let alone 2015.
Post # 5
I vote too early. I think generally booking a venue 3 years out is asking for you to change your mind.
Post # 6
I’m usually a big fan of booking early, but this might even beat it for me. even if you really love the venue, there are definitely things that could happen in the mean time that might make you not want your wedding there. What if they decided to start doing some construction, what if they go out of business, what if the people you’ve been talking to quit and the new coordinator is unorganized and refuses to do anything the old people agreed to.
I booked about 2 years out and those were the fears that I talked to my venue about. I don’t know if your venue does this, but my venue was willing to “hold” my date without a deposit, in the sense that they would be willing to call me up to tell me if someone else was looking/ready to book my date. I would then have had the right to book it first. That might make more sense for you.
Post # 7
@Excited To Bee: Hi! Local Houstonian here! I’m getting married in November, so I’ve been through the venue hunt and the search for other vendors on a budget. Which venue are you thinking about booking?
I definitely think it’s too early to book a venue, for several reasons: 1) A lot can change. They could make some changes to the venue that you don’t like, you and your FI could find yourself in a different financial situation where you don’t want to have a pricey wedding or prefer to elope, etc. 2) I think you’ll find that a LOT of bees change their mind at least several times about details for their wedding! Wedding trends and styles can change a LOT in several years, and you may find yourself wanting something completely different closer to your wedding. For example, my BFF got married 3 years ago before barn weddings were really popular, and now she regrets not getting married outside at a rustic barn. 3) The venue may not even allow bookings this early. I know our photographers do not book more than a year out. 4) Houston wedding prices haven’t been skyrocketing, so I wouldn’t be worried about the cost of the venue skyrocketing between now and 2015. The most popular wedding venues seem to fill up about a year in advance, so you might want to wait to lock into the venue in 2014. Trust me, a year in advance will be plenty of time. This isn’t NYC or LA.
If you haven’t found any venues with food/bev minimum less than $12k, you need to expand your search, girl! There’s plenty of budget options in this area. In fact, I haven’t seen very many venues that charge based on a minimum for food and bevs. Most venues offer different packages, depending on what type of food and how many courses you want, and whether you want just beer and wine, or bottom-shelf or top-shelf liquor. You will see food and bev minimums at restaurants, but that shouldn’t be an issue at most other types of venues.
But I WILL tell you that it’s gorgeous in Houston in May!! That’s a great time of year to get married! PM me if you want any vendor recs or just general Houston wedding planning tips!
Post # 8
I would wait until about a year and a half out, but def. keep it on the radar, you NEVER know what you might discover in the meantime! That is what happened to me, fell in love with a venue, waited a couple months and found one that was SO much better! Good luck
Post # 9
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Most states limit contracts like that to one year. That means if you book earlier than one year you risk them going out of business or booking another wedding closer to the date. That said, we booked our site at about 18 months but we plan to resign the papers at 1 year to make sure we’re protected.
Post # 10
Yes it’s way too early. The place could close down by then! Or change their prices, or be in the middle of a remodel, etc. I would wait until you’re about a year out. If you’re worried about it booking, ask them to just put your name down as a hold and contact you if anyone else tries to get your date.
Post # 11
I think its too early for a 2015 wedding. I live in Houston as well and I booked a very popular venue 13 months in advance so I think you will be fine. But just like @MsVoyageur Im interested in knowing about this new venue in town.
Post # 12
@Luvnseptember: Where are you getting married? There’s surprisingly not to many Houston girls on the bee!
Post # 13
@Luvnseptember: & @MsVoyageur: Its Le Virage Ballroom, they just opened it maybe a year ago or less? At least thats what im seeing from all the PR websites I find. Theres veery few reviews of the place, which also led me to believe its relatively new.
Do you ladies mind sharing info on venues? My budget is anywhere from 15-20k, and I want a romantic/elegant look. I plan on having whites, ivory, peach, etc. Maybe even attempting a gold/silver combo theme. My cousin got married 2 1/2yrs ago at the Courtyard on St James and I had another cousin get married out in Houston about five years ago, so they can give me advice but it only goes so far having been years ago.
I agree with you ladies though, I should wait. Its a total bummer because I love the place, but god forbid they close down or drastically change something before 2015.
@alejandria: Thanks for the advice! I didnt even know venues would hold a date, I am going to look into that when I visit in December!
Post # 14
@MsVoyageur: I have noticed there arent too many of us on here. Not sure why because i know a lot of women getting married. But we just booked at the petroleum club for our reception and our ceremony at u of h religion center. How about you?
@Excited To Bee: there are a lot of places that fit in that budget. We almost booked the Marriott west loop, they have a great glass enclosed reception space. But the petroleum clubs views sold me. If you want more info send me a pm. I have info for quite a few places.
Post # 15
@Luvnseptember: Ya so true! No one I know who’s planning a wedding in Houston is on the bee! I LOVE the Petroleum Club, that should be so beautiful!! I live in the Museum District close to downtown so I admire all of the venues downtown with pretty views. I’m getting married at Oak Tree Manor out in Spring. Wedding planning on a budget 🙂
@Excited To Bee: I think one of the best places to research venues is photographers’ blogs. Find a photographer in your general price range – or even less – and look at all of the venues where they photograph weddings. That’s how I found my venue – they’re not on The Knot, so I wouldn’t have found them through any wedding websites, but I saw some gaaooorgeous photos on a photographers’ blog of a wedding there a couple years ago. I haven’t heard of Le Virage but I’ll try to drive by there! It’s actually pretty far from where I live. Some other venues that you might like are the Belltower on 34th, Magnolia Hotel, The Heights Villa, and Hotel Alden, Agave Estates, and Chateau Cocomar are all places that seem to match your taste, based on the photos of Le Virage.
Post # 16
Oak Tree Manor is gorgeous! 🙂 I looked into it, but Spring was just too far away from me.
OP- Yes 3 years is way too early to book. I don’t know of any place that is even taking booking for 2014, much less 2015. You have plenty of time and a budget that is totally do-able. I know we are on WB, but The Knot is a great place to go when venue scouting. It isn’t that active, but if you post your budget, time frame and style people will chime in with tons of suggestions. What area of Houston are you looking into? That can held narrow down the search as well. I don’t know if this it too far out from Houston for you, but this would be my suggestion http://caney-creek.com/