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. We are two and a half years out and already calling around and pricing. We want to have one reserved in six months at the latest. Ten months is perfectly fine.

  2. Definitely not too soon. I did the same because honestly you can’t do anything until you have the venue and the date. I booked a bunch of things over a year out and then did nothing wedding related for a few months. Now, it’s time to pick the planning back-up, but since I have the venue, caterer, officiant, and photographer already, it’s more relaxed.

  3. 10 months? where we are 10 months is even maybe a bit tight if you’re picky about your date. We had only 6 months to plan. then 4 month by the time I got around to it and where we ended up having it ended up being perfect but it wasn’t what I had in mind in the first place. I’d be looking now if I were you…

  4. Book as soon as you get the itch! Honestly, I have been ready for this shindig for years and was totally relaxed about the whole thing.
    And then I lost my ceremony venue.
    Twice.
    Seriously, if you like something, put it on the books!

  5. I am a really big fan of taking time to enjoy your engagement and be in love and excited and working out a joint vision with your partner. (Let alone, prepare for the actual marriage) What are your reasons for this strict deadline, is it all about your personal individual dreams or does it have something to do with relationship milestones or family needs or practical concerns? If your fiance is telling you to relax, how much have you and him/her actually talked about what you both really want for the wedding? (Even if the tell you they really doesn’t care and to run with it, there’s probably something they wants that will only come out after you make a choice that’s different.) I’m really glad that I waited a few months before starting to plan, because once we started, things got kind of crazy. I still don’t feel like we were quite on the same page on vision and budget, but taking more time to argue and hammer that out might have made me miss the window I felt I had to get going. Now retrospectively, I wish I had let us take that time.

    However, I am having a small wedding and mostly looked at alternative, not weddingy venues, so losing out on something in high demand wasn’t a huge concern for me; there are a number of places I could have done it and I was flexible with my date. So if its going to break your heart to lose something you really like and/or your date or other specifics that you need are really important, than I would say book your venue and hire your photographer (My one regret about having a short planning window is that all the affordable professional photographers I got referrals for were all booked up for my Saturday summer date), let the people who its most important to you to be there know when and what city its going to be in, maybe get your dress if you are going the route where they have to order it, but then sit back and don’t do anything at all for a few months or weeks at least and enjoy your partner and focus on your transition to marriage. And resist the efforts of people around you to rush you into other decisions and put in their two cents on things you haven’t even gotten into yet or only ask and talk about the wedding. I know this is not the case for everyone, but frenzied wedding planning changed me and challenged my relationship in ways that were not sustainable for a whole year. Good luck!

  6. Definitely book now! My wedding is two years out and we’ve already selected our venue and started the “okay we’d like to book this now what” conversation with the venue coordinator., and I know that they’ve already booked every single weekend next June. There’s lots that can be done at 10 months and you need your venue before anything else.

  7. Simply put:

    It’s never too soon to book ANYTHING wedding-related.

    However, that said, your information in your question is a little vague. You talk about how YOU want a wedding in 10 months, and how YOU’VE called around about catering and venues. Have you guys talked about this stuff at all? Does your fiance want a wedding in 10 months? Do you both agree about where you want to get married? Do you both share the same vision for the wedding?

    While it’s never too soon to book anything wedding-related, (I started booking stuff for mine about 14 months out – one month after I got engaged), you both need to sit down and talk about what you want your wedding to be. I started booking things ASAP…but only AFTER both my fiance and I were on the same page about everything.

  8. My fiance and I got engaged over Christmas Eve last year, The first thing we did when we got back from our Christmas break is start making lists of locations that fit what we envisioned to be our ceremony and reception site. Venu is important – because it helps you pin down an exact date – especially when you don’t have some “significant” date that you just have to get married on. We originally wanted to get married in November, but ended up having to push things back to December time. But booking your venu solidifies your date and also helps with the process of picking your other vendors. Especially critical when you are selecting a location that is not necessarily in the same town you live in.

    Now, when I’m talking to vendors, I can give them an exact date and even time of when I will be needing their services.

    We booked our venue in Feburary. We also booked the rest of our vendors (except for cake) by the end of March. The earlier you set up vendors, the better you can keep track of budget, even consider breaking down monthly payments if needed, and also the less you have to juggle leading up to the months counting down to the big day. (at least in my opinion, there are other possible stressors that can come of booking early.)

    Just make sure you both know what you want and don’t pack in too many venue tours in one day or even weekend… burnout makes choices hard to make and by the end you can end up just picking something you didn’t want because you just want to get something.

  9. It totally depends on your area and the kind of venues you’re looking at. We got married at a restaurant and didn’t have any trouble booking about six months in advance (and, honestly, probably could have booked it way later in the game and still be fine). But another couple we know is getting married in a small resort town at a fancy wedding venue, and had to settle for a second-choice date even though they booked almost a year and a half in advance. Totally depends on your circumstances, but it’s probably better to err on the early side.

  10. I think you’ve gotten some great advice from everyone about checking in with your fiance to make sure that things aren’t moving too fast for him. With all things, openly talking about what’s going on is the number one solution. That being said, I will also add that him saying he doesn’t think you need to book a venue yet might just be him not being familiar with how far in advance weddings need to be booked. When I first looked into wedding planning, I was frequently surprised as to how soon things were supposed to be done, and my fiance who has been less involved in the planning (but would’ve been happy getting married the day after he proposed if possible) frequently tells me that we have plenty of time to get certain things done when we’re actually behind schedule… because if you don’t know, it doesn’t seem like it’d be necessary to have a dress more than six months in advance!

    In general, I’m definitely of the opinion that there’s no such thing as too soon for weddings, as you’ll have more options available if things aren’t booked up yet and can more carefully pick and choose what fits best. And the venue in particular is an important one, as most other wedding decisions revolve around knowing things you can only know for certain once you have a venue booked. That being said, it is definitely doable to book things later on in the process than recommended, but you’ll probably need more flexibility in terms of what you want (i.e. how much it costs, what particular date it is, what kind of a place it’s in, etc.)

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