When is too soon to book a venue?

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We just got engaged less than a week ago and have begun calling around to get pricing info for venues and caterers. Fiancé says its too soon to start planning and I have to relax. I want a wedding in 10 months and don't want to miss out because I waited.

Am I jumping the gun? When do you start making plans and putting down deposits?


Depending on your region and your venue, some spots can get booked out a year (or even two years!) in advance — so sooner is probably fine.

We'd love to hear from Offbeat Bride readers — when is too early to book wedding venue?

Comments on When is too soon to book a venue?

  1. I booked my venue in August last year and we’re not getting married until November 2014, so I’m a really early bird! The main reason being we had quite specific requirements – we wanted somewhere with lots of history, that was big enough for around 100 guests and would do the ceremony and reception, and was in the city where we met – and the place we have is perfect so I didn’t want to lose out by waiting until this spring. Most of the wedding magazines I’ve looked at say 9-12 months before your wedding is about the right time to book a venue, or even earlier if you want a summer wedding (the place we’re getting married already had bookings for certain dates in 2015 when I went to look!) so I think 10 months for somewhere you love is perfectly fine 🙂

  2. If you want to have your wedding in 10 months….I say book now. Often venues book a year or more in advance, so if you find something that is open I’d take it. Writer Boy and I were engaged for 8 months, and the first thing I did was book a venue. Those months fly by quickly!

  3. Honestly sooner is better. We booked ours I think 11 months out ish? Because with everyone’s schedules there was literally like, one weekend we had to work with.

    I mean, there are a couple negatives to booking early- in our case a festival got scheduled after we booked pretty close to us on our wedding weekend so traffic is probably going to be a mess, and it would have been nice to know before we booked. Plus if you find something else you like better later on, then you lose the deposit etc.

    But I think the pros outweigh the possible cons in most cases. It was such a weight off my shoulders to have the venue taken care of early on, and a lot of planning, guest list, etc etc stuff you usually can’t really get rolling on until you know your venue. Plus we got last year’s pricing on it since we booked you know, last year, they said they were going to raise it for this year so BONUS.

    • We were engaged for 5 years (on purpose) and we booked our venue 3 years out. We got an amazing deal on a wonderful location this way. The sooner the better definitely.

  4. We booked our venue about 18 months in advance, which I thought seemed silly, but the venue coordinator said she had already received many reservations in our time frame. I’m glad we locked in our venue, because it affected all our other plans in terms of the style of the wedding, the size of the guest list, and the logistics of the day. AND I actually met another bride (we were having our hair done at the same salon on our mutual wedding day) who tried to book our venue for the exact same day – but we had it locked in first, so we were the lucky winners.

  5. We put down deposits on our venues almost 18 months before the wedding date. We were a little early compared to most other couples looking to get married when we would, but beating the crowd made planning less hectic. Once we had the venues secured, we were able to relax for a little while and take it slow with research and planning other details. Now, we are only 3.5 months away from the big day and it’s still smooth sailing! FH and I are glad we started early.

  6. We booked our venue a little less than a year in advance. Depending on what city you are getting in married in and what date you are looking at holding your ceremony on, I would say the earlier the better. We aren’t getting married in my hometown for several reasons, but the availability of venues (some were booked two years out!!) was one reason we decided to look at another close-by city.

  7. We just signed contracts and will be putting down deposits on our venue and caterer this week – our date is about 9 months away. I started calling venues and gathering prices to tease out what we could realistically look at doing for how many people (and wrote a prelim guest list) at about 11 months out, we started trying to schedule venue visits at around 10 months out. Some venues thought we were a bit nuts asking for rental info so far ahead of time, some venues seemed to expect it and already had schedule conflicts for our dates. If it’s a popular wedding venue for your area, it might be booked 1-2 years in advanced, if it’s a little community church hall that might not be the case. So context and comfort level might be the key – but I wouldn’t say you’re early (or late) at this point. All the more time to not be freaking out about when that phone call gets returned and how fast the mail carrier moves today.

  8. If you want the wedding in 10 months, I’d definitely start booking now! You can’t really do anything else until you have your venue and such squared away, anyway. And some really popular venues book out that far in advance, especially if it’s peak season! I tried booking things two years in advance and people didn’t really look at me too weirdly.

    As for bridal party stuff, that can definitely wait until like 6 months out. A lot of things can happen with friends in 4 months!

  9. I think it is important to listen to your partner, though. Maybe he doesn’t want a wedding in 10 months. I obviously don’t know more than what your comment says, but I remember when I first got engaged, my fiance would get anxious every time I brought up the wedding (which was a lot in the beginning). I finally realized that he just needed to get used to being engaged before he could think about getting married. And so we were happily engaged with no wedding plans for five months. And then we planned our wedding in eight.
    But to the comment of venues, I think it really depends on what kind of venue you are looking. Big fancy, sure not too early. Casual and open, maybe a little early. We did ours in a friend’s back yard, so reserving really necessary.

    • THIS exactly. I was thinking this as I was reading all the other comments. There are two issues here: 1) logistically, how early is too early to plan, and 2) emotionally, how early is too early to plan.

      Sounds like OP is excited (as well he/she should be!) and that excitement looks like jumping right into planning. Maybe OP’s fiance wants to do something else with that excitement, like just talk about how nice the future will be together.

      I would not have felt emotionally comfortable beginning to plan so fast. For that reason, we extended our engagement so that we could get used to it, then begin the actual planning.

      So I’d agree with fiance- spend some time relaxing 🙂 Depending on how offbeat your wedding is especially, you can book a lot of things quite last-minute.

      • This is what I was thinking too when I read this. My fiance and I are still getting used to the idea of being engaged! We’ve been engaged for …oh gee 4 months now and have just started nailing down some logistics. Not that I’m not excited about wedding planning, I just wanted to enjoy being engaged a bit before it got too stressful. Make sure you are on the same page.

      • Agreed. Plus something else to consider is maybe he sees this whole wedding bit going a little differently than you are. Obviously if you have already had a chat about this its a moot point but maybe he is envisioning something super casual or maybe a fancy pants venue that needs to be booked in advance wasn’t even in his thoughts.

        Or maybe he just doesn’t understand because he’s never had to plan anything like this before and thinks its like renting a hotel room. If he just doesn’t understand then maybe explain how it works to him.

      • Such a good point – definitely good to be in touch with the emotional end of the question, we were engaged for several months before I was able to begin really focusing on doing actual work. (I dabbled in color theory and dress styles and frivolous bits because I was excited and avoided the guest list and venue questions because I was overwhelmed)

    • I was thinking along the same lines that there is a difference between what is logistically appropriate and what feels emotionally right. Logistically, 10 months out is definitely not too early. Places around me sometimes book 3 years out.

      Before you freak out though, you should talk to your fiance and determine if he wants to get married in 10 months. Maybe his idea of engagement is more of the “I intend to marry you… someday,” kind. Whereas yours is more of the “Let’s plan a wedding,” kind.

      I got engaged about 3 weeks ago. We both knew we wanted to get married for a while but the engagement was more of a signal to the world that we would be having a wedding soon. That said, my parents went in to full planning mode the same day we announced it. They were pushing us to get married ASAP (like 4 months). We realized that maybe we announced it too early because we really wanted to let it sink in a bit before we started planning.

      So we compromised. This past weekend we settled on a venue and a date, about 10 months out actually. That way my parents could rest assured that we did intend to get married reasonably soon (not let the engagement drag on for years) and my fiance and I insisted that since the venue is booked, and everything else requires shorter time windows, there must be a moratorium on wedding talk for a month or so to allow us time to adjust to being engaged and absorbing the magnitude of the promise we are making to each other.

      I suggest a compromise like this. After you talk, if your fiance does agree with the 10 month time line, research venues and book one. Then drop the wedding talk (no matter how much it kills you) for a bit to prevent him from feeling overwhelmed and rushed.

    • I agree. I loved getting engaged and wanted to start planning the wedding straight away. I soon realised that my partner needed to get his head round the idea of being engaged before we could even think about planning the actual wedding. I think us girls have been looking forward to the planning subconsciously for awhile, while the dudes just tend to think – cool, got engaged. And that’s it. Not COOL! GOT ENGAGED! dresscakevenueflowerscoloursholyshit… which is what I know I did. Good luck!

  10. Book ASAP is you want a wedding 10 months away. My fiance and I got engaged 12/27/12 and started looking for venues in January. We chose a date of 11/2/13 for our wedding and once we decided on a venue that date was gone! We are now 10/12/13 which I am fine with because we get to keep our venue and I get to marry the man of my dreams sooner 🙂 Give your fiance some hard evidence if he needs to be convinced. Get any wedding planner (free ones online) and you can show him how quickly everything needs to be done. if you don’t have a wedding planner, it can be quite overwhelming!

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