Technically, you don’t have a wedding date until you book your venue, so it’s an integral factor in figuring everything else out about your special day. You also need that date to secure other vendors like caterers, bartenders, photographers, videographers and stylists. Plus, you can’t invite people without telling them when the wedding is. Many couples feel enormous pressure to book their wedding venue as soon as they get engaged, but you’re not out of luck if you don’t book your venue an hour after accepting your partner’s proposal.
Continue reading to discover how far in advance to book a wedding venue, plus other considerations that will impact your timeline and bookings.
The short answer is it’s never too early! Many people have an idea of what their dream wedding will look like very early in life — perhaps even before they have a partner they’re considering marrying. The venerable phrase “location, location, location” has penetrated many people’s consciousness, making the venue choice a paramount decision when planning a wedding.
The venue is the backbone of the wedding ceremony and influences all other factors. Do you want an outside wedding? You’ll need tents in case it rains and maybe even a ground covering to protect everyone’s formal shoes. Are you dreaming of a spring wedding in the botanical gardens, surrounded by beautiful plants? You might have a lot of competition for your desired date.
While many people begin looking to book their wedding venues about 12 months or more before their wedding date, you don’t always have to reserve that far in advance. If you’re considering a larger facility that can accommodate multiple events at one time or somewhere off the beaten path, you may even be able to score a reservation as little as six months in advance.
These factors will likely influence how to find and when to book your venue.
Different seasons of the year may bring various considerations on when to reserve your venue.
Many cities have a few well-known wedding venues that host events year-round. If you have your eye on one of these facilities, you should already know you’re going to have plenty of competition for your dates. You might feel tempted to plan your wedding around the venue’s availability, but things can quickly get complicated if you choose a spot solely based on its popularity.
Every couple is different, and so are their wedding needs and wants. The hottest venue in your area may not be a fit for you, so consider the conditions before you rush to book — especially so you don’t lose your deposit. A laid-back venue, such as a gorgeous golf course or park, may have more of your desired amenities than your city’s most popular spot.
When booking your venue, also consider the number of guests and their respective age ranges. For large weddings, you want a venue that can accommodate the number of guests you invite. Even if you’re relatively confident that far-flung family and friends will send their regrets and not attend, planning for a smaller number than you invite can come back to bite you in the end.
If you expect you’ll have lots of families with children attending your wedding, and perhaps some of your own, you may prefer a venue that keeps a strict eye on alcohol consumption and has safe areas for kids to play in. Some venues will even offer spaces for child care so parents can enjoy the wedding and kids can have a space just for them.
While most people don’t think about accessibility when planning their dream wedding, it’s an integral factor to make sure all your guests can enjoy your special day along with you. If your grandparents or older adults on your guest list use walkers or canes to get around, assess the venue’s conditions and whether they’re navigable. Similarly, wheelchair users will need unique considerations.
If you find a spot that feels perfect except for mobility challenges like stairs or uneven ground, ask if the venue can make accessibility accommodations for you.
Generally speaking, the wedding venue is the first thing a couple books when they begin planning a wedding. However, this isn’t always the case. Check out the general booking timeline below for information on when to reserve your venue and vendors, but know that every wedding is different, so what works for one couple may not necessarily be perfect for you.
Twelve to 14 months before your desired wedding date, you’ll want to reserve the following.
Around 10 months before your big day, once you have your date secured, you’ll want to start booking things like these.
Eight months before your upcoming nuptials, book or purchase these elements.
Between five and seven months before your wedding, you’ll want to secure the following elements.
Three months before the wedding, you need to figure out these factors.
If you need help choosing a wedding venue, check out the three most popular types of wedding venues.
If you want a traditional wedding within you and your loved one’s religious traditions, you can choose a house of worship as your wedding venue. Generally, you’ll host the wedding ceremony within the house of worship and have a reception at a separate location, such as a park or hotel, but some offer reception space you can rent. Remember, some religious traditions’ customs and rules might dictate some elements of your wedding, such as food, dress and music.
If your house of worship is in high demand, don’t forget to book it at least 12 to 14 months in advance.
A hotel wedding is standard if you are traveling to a destination, but they also often host receptions for weddings held at separate locations. Pretty much anything goes at a hotel wedding, and you can usually decorate the room as you like. Sometimes the hotel will have sound equipment and tables and chairs in-house, so you won’t have to rent them from an outside company.
One thing to remember about hotel weddings is that your wedding party probably will not be the only guests there, so crashers and other disturbances may be an issue to contend with.
With a country club or golf course wedding, you can get the best of both worlds. Country clubs and golf courses offer various indoor and outdoor options to accommodate different wedding sizes. You can select a more traditional indoor wedding, or try something different like exchanging your vows on the golf course. The benefits of a golf course wedding are numerous, and you can go as classy or laid-back as you want.
Since these venues are in such high demand, you want to try to book as far in advance as possible.
As one of central Pennsylvania’s best wedding venues, Colonial Golf and Tennis Club has the perfect solution for your wedding. We offer indoor and outdoor ceremonies, with accommodations for gatherings with up to 300 guests. With gorgeous grounds and rooms purpose-built to host large get-togethers, Colonial Golf and Tennis Club will be sure to have all the amenities you need to make your special day memorable.
In addition to weddings, we also host rehearsal dinners and bridal showers — and there’s no better spot for a bachelor party than on a golf course! Look at our wedding packages to see what we have to offer, or schedule a personal tour of our grounds to see the beauty for yourself today.