Ready to start planning your big day but aren't sure how to find and pick a venue? Here's everything you need to know about how to book a wedding venue.
Few things in life can compare to the excitement, joy, and underlying anxiety of planning your wedding. You're overcome with happiness because you're planning a ceremony that represents the love between you and your partner. However, you're also feeling stressed out because planning a wedding is no walk in the park.
Let's face it, wedding planning is a complicated process. There are a lot of details to address and any small hitch can upset the whole event. That's why one of the most important things to learn is how to book a wedding venue.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about when to book a wedding venue, how to pick the right location, how to negotiate costs, and more.
What Should You Book First for a Wedding?
Of course, the wedding venue is important, but is it more important than the dress? What about catering? This leads us to a very important question - what should you book first for your wedding?
Most couples plan their entire wedding around the date they wished to be married and the venue that will host their ceremony. Booking a wedding venue should be your top priority to lock down the perfect location for the date of your choosing. Everything else, such as food, decor, and even wedding attire can be taken care of later.
When Should You Start Looking for Wedding Venues?
Learning how to book a wedding venue in advance means starting the search process early. This will give you and your significant other plenty of time to tour different locations, compare and contrast costs and services, and save money for the big day. Additionally, it's important to do wedding venue walkthroughs to ensure the top contenders meet all of your standards.
Depending on how soon you plan on getting married, you may want to start looking at wedding venues as soon as possible. Since the average couple spends 13-18 months planning a wedding, you should book your wedding venue anywhere from nine months to one year in advance. Although, most wedding venue locations will allow couples to book a date as far as two years in advance.
However, that's not to say you can't get lucky and book a venue with only six months or less before the big day. If you and your future spouse don't want to wait to get married, plenty of venues offer late booking options. Although, you may be required to be more flexible on the exact date, time, etc.
Finally, starting your search early will improve your odds of booking your ideal venue for the right date. Popular wedding venues don't always have the best availability, as they're in high demand. The sooner you can book a venue, the better.
Do You Pick a Wedding Date or Venue First?
This brings us to another important question. What do you pick first, the venue or the wedding date?
The answer depends entirely on your priorities. For some couples, the date of their future marriage carries a lot of significance. In this case, the date is non-negotiable and they must pick a wedding venue based on availability for their proposed date.
On the other hand, some couples have a more flexible time frame and just want to get married during a certain season. In this case, they should find the absolute perfect venue and allow the date of the wedding to be secondary.
How do You Negotiate a Wedding Venue?
Learning how to book a wedding venue to fit your needs may mean negotiating with the venue. For example, some venues offer in-house catering, DJs, event decor, beverage services, and more. However, just because they offer these features, it doesn't mean you must use them.
When negotiating your contract with the wedding venue, keep your overall budget in mind and be willing to negotiate prices, reject extras services, or walk away when necessary. Make sure you do your homework first, however, as all-in-one venues are typically less expensive than hiring out individual companies for each service.
What Questions Do You Ask a Wedding Venue?
When interviewing potential wedding venues, be sure to ask the right questions. Of course, you need to ask about the in-house services they offer, as noted above. However, here are some other important questions to ask:
- Are the ceremony and reception held in the same place?
- What are your payment options?
- Are there any cancelation fees?
- Are there fees for changing dates?
- How many guests can the venue hold?
- What about parking?
- Are there noise restrictions?
- How many bathrooms and other amenities are available?
- Are there any restrictions on decor?
- What happens for outdoor ceremonies in the event of inclement weather?
- How much is the booking deposit?
- Is there a security deposit to cover potential damages?
What Should I Look for in a Wedding Venue?
Learning how to book a wedding venue can be much easier if you start with a list of priorities. What's most important to you about your wedding venue? Here's a quick checklist of things to consider:
- Cost and payment options
- In-house services
- Style (industrial, rustic, modern, etc.)
- Decor options
- Space for activities and entertainment (dancing, games, eating, live bands, etc.)
What Makes a Great Wedding Venue?
What makes a great wedding venue depends entirely on you and your future spouse. Your ideals, style, and goals for your special day dictate the type of venue you need. Keep your priorities in mind when determining the best venue for your wedding.
For example, if a couple spends most of their time hiking or camping, they may prefer an outdoor ceremony. On the other hand, some couples may be primarily focused on food or ambiance.
Additionally, a great wedding venue is one that will work with you to give you the wedding of your dreams. While this may mean compromising in some areas to make the event planning meet your budget, it's nice to have a venue genuinely invested in your happiness.
How Important is the Wedding Venue?
Finally, learning how to book a wedding venue means understanding just how important it is for your wedding. The right location and wedding venue team can make your wedding much less stressful for the bride and groom. Sometimes, an all-in-one service venue is the best option for relieving as much pressure off the couple as possible.
Additionally, the wedding venue sets the tone for the entire event. From decor and lighting to music and catering, the ambiance of your wedding can significantly influence the overall effect of your perfect day.
Have More Questions About How to Pick a Wedding Venue?
Whether this is your first time getting married, or your second, or if your wedding is large or small, we know how stressful the planning process can be. While learning how to book a wedding venue that fits your needs is a top priority, it doesn't need to add to your stress.
Take a look at some of our venues or contact us today for help. We can help you book a wedding event or answer any questions you may have about our services.