So you’re preparing to tie the knot — congratulations! Planning a wedding is inevitably exciting, but often equally as stressful. Normally it’s a good idea to book your wedding reception site as soon as possible once you’re engaged — at least a year to nine months before the wedding. But if you’re struggling to find that picture perfect locale you’ve always dreamed of, it could hold you back from the next steps of the planning process.
Here are just a few smart tips to remember if you’re struggling to make a final decision for your wedding location.
Let your vision lead your budget.
Many people feel as though they need to set a strict budget before they even begin the early stages of the planning process, but this isn’t the case at all. According to a 2011 report, 86% of consumers will pay more for a better experience, but even if you do have some flexibility, setting a strict budget this early may only add unneeded stress.
Instead, let your vision lead your budget by making a list of details you want to prioritize and viewing venues based on these factors. You may be surprised at the financing options you have available, so don’t hesitate to leave no stone unturned when it comes to searching based on features — not budget.
Get the opinion of a professional wedding planner.
Even if you don’t hire a wedding planner to assist with every single aspect of your wedding, you can at least get some valuable input, seeing as wedding planners often have the inside scoop when it comes to newly available venues or best options based on your sizing and aesthetic needs.
“Talk to a planner first — yes, before you start looking at spaces! Planners are much more familiar with the capabilities of a space, the layout, and the time and items you’ll need to really transform it. If there’s a creative way to make it unique or a quirk about the space that could make your vision hard to accomplish, your planner will know!” says Brides.
Get a rough headcount.
Finally, even though you haven’t sent out invites or maybe even save-the-dates, gathering a rough idea of how many guests are expected can help to narrow down your options and make your decision a bit easier.
Of course, you always want to overcompensate when making this prediction, so guests aren’t packed like sardines into a space that can barely hold them. Functionality is just as important as aesthetic value.
So, there you have it — some wedding location planning tips from the pros. Above all, be patient, and you’ll know exactly when you’ve found the perfect venue.