Post # 1
So we just got engaged in Christmas Eve! We set a date in June. The beginning of June… Before we got engaged we started planning ahead and has a specific venue in mind as our number one choice. We want outside venues. Well today I called the venue and turns out the will be sold to a different person by June. Therefore it was a no go. That was a major roadblock considering there’s not many outside venues around where we live. We DID find a place however it was $5000 which is entirely way too much… I will call another venue tomorrow to see what they charge and if they are available BUT it’s a type of place that you gotta know people to get into. So I’m really doubting availability for that venue… I am dead set on outside wedding but if I absolutely had to I would find a church closeby. We are religious but I just never wanted a church wedding. I know I’ve only been engaged what 3 days? But considering we have 5 months it’s a bit stressful. I’ve gotten a photography, caterer, florists, etc. all in two days. I thought the venue would be the easier part!? Has anyone else had this scenerio??
Post # 2
You’ve gotta get a venue before you can get most of the other vendors unless they are open to different potential dates? Did you pick an exact date and then now you are looking for a place? We found a venue that was open for the months we liked and picked a date they had open instead of going to them with a specific date in mind.
Post # 3
Why not be more flexible with your date to give yourself more options?
We had a three month window we were considering for our date and still a lot of venues we talked to were booked up for most of the summer and that was looking a year in advance. We actually ended up going with a Friday so that we could get the venue we wanted.
Post # 4
Most venues in my area are booked AT LEAST a year in advance. We booked our dream venue for fall of 2018 because it was booked solid in 2017. If you’re only giving yourself five months to plan, your options are going to be very limited.
Post # 5
pepper1115 : I hate to say this but that’s why you can’t set a date until you actually have a venue booked. Of course it’s nice to have a date that has a special meaning or one that is during your favorite time of year, but in the end wedding dates are based on venue availability. People typically book their venue a year or more in advance, so I’m not surprised that you are having trouble finding one with only 5 months until your desired date. Having a “date” and booking your other vendors before the venue is basically putting the cart before the horse and will undoubtedly add unnecessary stress. If you’re lucky you’ll find something that’s available in June, but most likely you’ll have to become more flexible. Good luck!
Post # 6
Do not lock yourself into contracts with vendors for a specific date if you do not have the venue booked yet!
Post # 7
For me venue was the hardest part unfortunately. I found a venue thankfully, but many venues I contacted said every Saturday in 2017 was already booked (this was in Oct). Some venues only had 3 or 4 Saturdays open next year.
I highly suggest looking at a Friday or Sunday wedding. Even if you’ve already booked your vendors for a specific date, they probably wouldn’t mind switching to a less popular day of the week.
Post # 8
I asked a number of venues for the list of dates they had avaliable for Saturday evenings any time 2017. Most came back to me with 5 or less dates, mostly in winter. Some had no Saturdays left at all. Like you I was a bit suprised, although now after further research I know that was to be expected. We ended up booking a winter date cause it was what was left!
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2016 - Painswick Church and the Falcon Hotel
I emailed my venue and church for available dates before I planned anything else. I thought this was the norm?
Post # 10
- Wedding: May 2018 - Historic Mansion
My venue search was very hard to do too. It was either a conference room or a historic mansion. My sister (matron of honor) helped my fiance and I with the search.
Your only 3 days into it! I would suggest looking at all your options on The Knot website or moving your date. Good Luck!
Post # 12
I did have some issues because we are on a tight budget and my first choice had a high deposit (although overall it is quite affordable) so I looked at other places like state run manors etc. They have tents and allowed you to bring in your own catering. Maybe there is something like that in your area. We did end up being able to get our first choice afterall.
We aren’t getting married until May 2018 so we had more time but honestly a lot of venues were already booked up since I live in the DC area. What area do you live in? Maybe we can help you find something.
Post # 13
Agree with others – your planning is a bit backwards.
1. Set your budget.
2. Set your guestlist (or at least figure out how many people you can afford to host and at what pricepoint – I’ve seen lots of horror stories of people finding a great venue for 100 and now don’t know what to do because they send out save the dates for 150).
2a. Determine what kind of wedding you can afford to host. If you want to invite 150 but don’t have the budget for that, then your option is cut your guest list or change the type of wedding (i.e. have a less formal cake and punch afternoon wedding instead of a formal evening wedding with dinner).
3. Find a venue within your budget that can accommodate your budget and guestlist.
4. Book everything else.
You don’t have a date until you have a venue and you can’t book anything else until you have a date. Most traditional wedding venues will book a year in advance. 6 months is do-able (people plan big events and parties in less), but you’re probably going to have to be a lot more flexible about your vision then and start thinking outside the box – public parks, restaurants with outdoor spaces, amphitheaters or outdoor concert venues, sports fields, places that rent out space but aren’t a wedding space proper so you have to bring everything in (which can also be expensive). Or, compromise on the outdoor thing if you won’t compromise on your general date.
Post # 14
We booked our venue before we were officially engaged (DH had ordered the ring) to make sure that I could get it. We had 7 months to plan, so it worked out for us. I only knew to do this because my friend did it. I agree though…you really need to pin down a venue/date before you do everything else. That could turn into a big mess.