Post # 1
We have just started look at venues for a Spring 2014 wedding, and my dates are flexible, so I thought we were going to have no problem. We actually aren’t even openly engaged yet, due to other family weddings, so I thought we were just out looking for fun, and that we would have plenty of time to do this once we announce it in July. I was aiming for April, but I would be fine with anything from March to June in any part of MD or DC. We’ve been looking mainly at Baltimore.
It looks like everything is booking up insanely fast though! We have been to 2 places already and have plans to see 5 more in the next week and a half. One of the places I called said they have already booked ALL their Saturdays for 2014! And a lot of the places we are going to see have a few dates left in April, but are fully booked for May and June already.
Now I’m thinking we should be prepared to put down a deposit by the end of this month because at this point, I’m not convinced it can wait until July.
I don’t really like the idea of putting down a deposit on the venue when we still can’t even tell anyone we’re engaged though (due to his paranoid diva brother fearing the theft of both his thunder and his spotlight.) Our parents are going to end up paying for 2/3 of the wedding, but they aren’t the types to be controlling about what we choose to do with the money. I don’t think they will pitch a fit if they find out what we did, but I think they’ll think we are big sketchy weirdos. Also my mother may be disappointed that she didn’t get to be involved. His parents and basically his whole family know he has been ring shopping, but my mother has no idea. No one knows we’ve actually bought the ring.
The other wrinkle is that we don’t have the cash lying around to put down a big deposit (see above, re: we bought the ring!!) So there is a chance we would have to ask for a little advance on the wedding money from one of our families, or else possibly put it on a credit card, if that is even an option they allow. We’ll have great monthly cashflow once we move in together, but he can’t get out of his lease until October. Although really, the money is not a huge concern. If we book it, the money will come.
What would you do in my situation?
Post # 3
I just did this, we went and booked the venue a few weeks ago and we are getting “formally engaged” at Christmas after I meet his out of country parents. We really wanted that date and we fell madly in love with the venue, and they were already starting to book that far out!
I think the only thing is that your parents are paying (for part or most) and you aren’t giving them the heads up. My parents are hosting my wedding and so they know. Actually, they went with us to look at the venue. And our minister knows as we booked the chuch. Actually, this may end up being the worst kept secret of all time.
I was afraid people would think we are loony, but everyone we have spoken to (venue, etc) was full of stories of how people do this all the time.
I say book the venue you love (it is SUCH a weight off my shoulders) but you should include your parents for sure. Just ask them to keep it on the downlow. It has actually made wedding planning 100% easier because nobody is butting in on our business while we are making the big decisions.
Post # 4
I… absolutely feel you. We WANTED to get married in October 2013 (in the DC area). When we went to look at venues this past December 2012, everything was completely booked out. That is how we came up with a February 2014 wedding date that we still booked over a year in advance. [It’s the Carlyle Club in Alexandria, Virginia, by the way.]
Although his parents are paying for it, neither set of parents got to see the venue before we booked. We just jumped on it, to be honest, knowing what it’s like around here. Neither set of parents was bothered by this turn of events. You can make it up to your mom (if she is disappointed) by making her involved in other aspects as time moves forward.
Post # 5
Personally, I think his paranoid, diva brother needs to accept the fact that other people get married besides him. You have nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of. Announce already! And let your parents know that you called around to some venues, just to see what was out there, and they’re booking fast. If they’ve had a sense that this was coming soon, then I’m sure they have the funds available.
Post # 6
@TrousseauHorse: Hi! I’m in the Baltimore area too and yes, things do book up REALLY fast between MD and DC.
All of the venues take credit cards. If this is something you have to do until July, then do it. It will be worth it. Trust me.
I got engaged on Christmas (2012) and we signed a contract within 2 months! March – June are the most popular months here in MD and September – October are pretty popular too. No one needs to be included on the venue selection process nor does anyone need to know when you booked the venue but you and your Fiance. Actually, I went “venue hunting” BEFORE we were engaged (like a few weeks before).
So yes, it takes a while. Be patient, create some criteria for what you want your venue to look like and what you want included in the price, and have fun!
Post # 7
I think spring weddings are tough. You might have more luck with a fall wedding. But the deposits shouldn’t be too expensive. I think we had to put 1K down.
Post # 8
I voted for telling your mother, but you should book ASAP. We actually booked a venue that our parents hadn’t seen, but they went to some others with us and we showed them photos etc. My parents went to see it soon after we booked. We got engaged on Christmas Eve and booked the first week of February.
FWIW, you should put every deposit possible on a credit card because you have much more protection in case something goes wrong. I would be surprised if a normal wedding venue didn’t take a credit card. We are getting married at a grand old resort hotel in the White Mountains and the deposit was $1500 + tax.
Post # 9
Have you considered doing a Friday night wedding, or a Sunday afternoon wedding? If it’s your dream venue, definately check that out! Saturdays will book up so fast, no matter where you live! I would suggest looking into that – it will usually save you some cash, too. Vendors give discounts for off-peak weddings (my photographer gave me 10% off, as well as the DJ. AND my venue was cheaper on a Sunday). I am doing a Sunday afternoon wedding and serving appetizers instead of dinner – 15.95/person vs 25.00/person!!
Announce the wedding, tell your family, and book now! It will be a huge stress relief!
Post # 10
Book asap, you need to do it now, or you will have no venues to book. We booked a year and a half in advance and half the venues were already booked for the date we wanted.
Post # 11
We live in York, Pa but prior to moving here I lived in a suburb of Baltimore. We looked around for venues in MD, DC and S.Central Pa. but all the places we liked in MD & DC were booked WAY in advance. We ended up finding a place we love in York, but even here we had to book it 13 months in advance, for a Thursday night wedding! Also, I don’t think all places always take credit cards like a PP stated. Several we looked at, including the one we’re going with, only accepted checks.
Post # 12
If you’re heartset on a Saturday in 2014, I’d book sooner rather than later. Can you swing a $1,000 or so deposit? That’s how much ours was. I know that’s a lot though. And it also depends on how much your venue costs total.
Post # 13
@TrousseauHorse: I’m in the same situation! SO told me to just go ahead and start looking at venues. Places in my area book about a year and a half in advance, which means we’d have to book immediately if we were to wait until after we got engaged. I don’t know what to do either. 🙁
Post # 14
Gaa! Ok you ladies have convinced me! The first place I see that I like I am going to snatch up before I end up having to get married in a rusty abandoned shed out behind the bus station! Do most places let you put a hold for a few days to review the contract and scrape together the money?
Post # 15
@TrousseauHorse: we are planning for a June 2014 wedding and have already booked a venue. We went last weekend and they mentioned that all of April and May were already booked. We decided on June 7, 2014. I would definitely recommend booking ASAP!
Post # 16
I booked my August 2014 wedding back in January because I was not flexible on date (8th anniversary). I would definitely book sooner rather than later. Also if the drama is going to come from his side of the family I see no reason why you can’t discuss your engagement with your parents.
My venue gave me 2 weeks to mail in the signed contract and check before we lost the date. I think everyone gets the 2 weeks, but I’m not sure because we’re planning long distance.