How Far in Advance Should I Research and Book Wedding Venues?

by | Jan 25, 2024

You’ve said “yes” and after you’ve basked in the glow of being newly engaged, it’s time to get down to the reality of planning a wedding. The first step is to sit down with your fiancé and discuss how soon you want to get married or how long you are both willing to wait. Once you have a general idea of your timeline, it’s time to start researching venues to host your big day.

So, When Should You Start Researching Wedding Venues?

The answer is as soon as you have a rough idea of when you want to get married. Doing your research can take a while before you narrow down a few wedding venues to tour and compare before booking.

Having a general idea of your wedding date is a good idea because most popular venues are typically booked at least a year in advance. If you’re planning to wed within a couple of months of your engagement, you may have to settle for a venue that’s lower on your list.

How To Start Your Wedding Venue Research

The overwhelming number of options out there can make it difficult to know where to start. Answering a couple of key questions can help narrow down options.

How many people will be attending?

Start by determining how many people you are planning on having at your wedding. You don’t need exact figures just yet; a ballpark will do. Factor in things like how big your family and friend circles are, whether you want to invite second cousins twice removed along with all your coworkers, or if you want to have a small and intimate gathering. Doing so will give you an idea if how large or small a wedding venue you’ll need. Remember, you can still host an intimate ceremony in a large venue if you want to create a feeling of space, but the reverse doesn’t work.

Location!

Next, it’s time to decide whether you want a destination wedding or want to be married close to home. This will help you decide where to start looking for wedding venues.

What time of the year do you want to be married?

Do you want to have a spring, summer, fall or winter wedding? The prices of venues and their availability can all depend on the month you want to get married in.

June, September, and October are the most popular months for weddings closely followed by August, May, and July. February, March, and January (in that order) are the least popular wedding months, and you may be able to find plenty of wedding venues that are available during those months.

What’s your wedding budget?

Your budget is a vital factor when it comes to choosing your venue. As a rule of thumb, your wedding venue should cost about 15 percent of what you want to spend on your entire wedding. Knowing how much you want to spend on your venue will help you book tours of wedding venues that fit within your budget.

Do you want to host both your wedding and reception at the same venue?

Another consideration is whether you want your wedding and reception to be held at the same place. Some venues allow you to do both. In the former case, you’ll need to scout out and make sure both venues are available on the same day.

Booking Your Wedding Venue

Once you have a fair idea of what kind of event you want to host – large or small, indoors or outdoors, etc., it’s time to get down to booking your venue. Your date can depend on the availability of your wedding venue. Having a bit of flexibility in terms of dates can help.

Get as much of a head start as you can. Weekends in popular months can be booked as far as 15 months in advance. It’s never too early to book your wedding venue, especially if you want a Saturday in June.

Off-season weddings can be easier (and sometimes cheaper) to book, and you may get away with just a few months notice.

Booking your wedding venue as a first step in your planning process is a great way to help other things fall into place, like your caterers, florist, photographers, and your invitations.

SKY Hangar offers a unique wedding venue with oodles of space for your dream wedding! The gorgeous white aesthetic allows you to create the perfect world for your perfect day.  Get in touch for pricing and availability.