How Soon After Your Engagement Do You Really Need To Find Your Wedding Venue?

Photography courtesy of Kristy Ryan, Blush Photography shot on iPhone 11 Pro as seen in this story.

On a mountaintop, in an adorable local church or a massive hotel; picking your wedding venue is a big decision that will shape your wedding day. The location of your wedding will lend itself not only to the comfort that you feel surrounded by your friends and family, but also the wedding photos and memories that you’ll always cherish. Picking the venue is only half of the battle, as many venues are booked far in advance as extended engagements are becoming more and more common. 

Adrienne Buhr helps couples at Calgary restaurant Flores & Pine shape the venue for the wedding of their dreams. While wedding season used to fall within the warmer months of June to September, couples are opting more and more to expand beyond this traditional timeline. Buhr mentions that bookings typically go at least six months to a year before the wedding date. “Couples are looking to do things differently, including not only booking into the summer months,” Buhr notes adding that she “currently has a few weddings that are on Mondays and Sundays as opposed to Saturdays.” Expanding your ideas of when you’re looking to host the wedding will give you more options while searching.

Planning for a venue means you need to know the size and scope of the wedding you’re planning before you can make a decision. Buhr recommends that you “have a conversation about [your] needs before going to the venue so that [you are] on the same page.” Preparing for your venue meetings with questions and ideas about what you’re looking for will help you make this decision and give you everything you need when comparing different venues that you are considering.

If you’re shopping around for venues, Buhr says, “look for a venue that is willing to work with [you] and not pigeon hole you into the venue’s programs.” She adds that you should “enjoy the journey looking for venues—it’s fun and should not be stressful.”

Visiting venues and seeing what other couples have done may be the inspiration you need to realize your own fairy tale wedding, but remember that the ‘perfect’ wedding date you’re looking for may not always work out if you don’t plan far enough in advance. Making sure that you’re open to expanding your search if the venue you want can’t accommodate your timelines will ensure that you are able to have the wedding you’ve dreamed of in the place that’s perfect for you.

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