Post # 1
We are aiming for a Fall 2014 wedding in downtown Chicago. I was just curious if any fellow Chicago bees are already booking their venues for that time period? If so, what is your venue?
I am excited to begin booking vendors, but many people have told me it seems really early to begin planning already. What has your experience been?
Post # 3
I’m a summer ’14 bride and we booked our venue (fountain Blue in Des Plaines) last month. Some vendor reactions are “wow you’re so early to be on the hunt!” and some act like it’s no big deal.
Go with makes you guys comfortable. If you like things done early, then by all means,starry looking as soon as you want:)
Post # 4
Philadelphia area bride, here.
We booked our venue 14 months in advance. The day that we went to talk over a few more specifics (our second time viewing the venue) we were informed that we had first bid on our date, but there were 3 people lined up for the same date if things didn’t work out with us. This could have been some kind of ploy to get us to sign our contract, but I actually believed them. I had been engaged 2 months before we found this venue, so I’m glad that I didn’t wait too long.
Do what feels most comfortable for you. Don’t rush into anything, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with looking around either.
Post # 5
Just booked our venue yesterday! I don’t think it’s too soon to book at all.
Post # 6
@LittleSassLotsofClass: We are somewhat identical! Haha, I’m not in Chicago but about 40+mins suburbs – our wedding is Nov. 2014 and we just mailed the contract to our venue yesterday! It makes it easier to make payments I think, and with so much more time, it’s easier to spread out the planning than to cram it all into just a few months.
Post # 7
Our wedding is in Oak Park summer 2014, we booked in February. Everything was booked solid for 2013, but booking early means we get our first pick of everything
Post # 8
I was origanally going to be a 2 year bride and I started looking right away. I would suggest doing it asap because you will lock in a cheaper price. Our venue went up almost $8 a person for everything we are getting for the 2014 year…
Post # 9
I’m not a Chicago bride, but we booked our venue 16 months out. We toured the place and fell in love. We didn’t even want to look anywhere else. When we were there (January), the owner said there were only 2 days in May left, and every Saturday from June-August 2014 was already booked.
We had two weeks to make our deposit, and the day I paid it, she told me that she had already had 2 other inquiries on our date. I’m so glad we booked early!
Do what feels right for you — it’s never too early. But, make sure you LOVE the venue, otherwise you’ll be second guessing your decision all the way up until the big day. I haven’t second guessed our venue once. I absolutely love the place.
Also, like PP said, you can lock in current price if you book now. If you wait, and there price increases, you might miss out on saving a few bucks.
Post # 10
Book as soon as you know the date. We had ours booked in June 2012 for a September 2013 date. The rates go up and dates fill fast for popular venues e.g. when I emailed Salvage one in May 2012, they told me all Saturdays were booked through December 2013!
next on the list? Photographers. The good ones are in high demand and their rates go up by $150-200 every year.
Post # 11
@maenadinchicago: Thanks for the heads up! Where did you end up booking?
We are really interested in the non-traditional venues, The Rookery is probably our number one choice at this point. But as a PP mentioned I don’t want to book super early and then second-guess our choice.
Post # 12
We booked our venue 15 months out. Every vendor we have talked to, including family friends who are involved in the wedding business in Chicago, said the earlier you can do it, the better. Fall weddings are now more popular in Chicago than June/July weddings and things book fast. We booked our venue in July of last year (getting married in October of this year) and we acutally couldn’t get our first two dates at our church for the ceremony. A few weeks after we booked the reception, a friend tried to book the week after us and it wasn’t available.
Post # 13
We booked Salvage One over a year and a half in advance. We were lucky they had the Saturday that they did (it was a cancelation). Other places told us that they were almost 2 years out booked. The more pricey, the sooner to book.
Post # 14
@LittleSassLotsofClass: We booked last September for our May 2014 wedding, but only because I’m crazy paranoid 🙂
When I met with our photographer in January of this year, she said that they were booked all through 2013. Definitely book your priority vendors ASAP
Post # 15
@LittleSassLotsofClass: we couldn’t find anything we liked price-wise downtown, so we booked the Swedish American Museum. There are a lot options, but SAM is close to my church so it made the most sense. For $1000 for all night, tables, chairs and an open vendor policy, we decided to go there. We are spending the rest of our budget on decor upgrades.
Somewhere in the local boards I have a list of every venue we looked at.
Post # 16
We got engaged in July 2009, booked in August 2009 for an October 2011 wedding (i.e. 14 month engagement). We got lucky, the only reason the date was open was because someone else cancelled and we were on a waiting list. We booked at the Newberry Library, but other venues we looked at were available much sooner, we just fell in love with the Newberry. You can definitely plan a wedding in less time in Chicago if you aren’t picky about every detail and vendor.