How soon should I book my wedding reception venue?

Your partner has just popped the question and you’re excited to get the ball rolling on your wedding plans but when is the right time to book your reception venue? Here are a couple of hints to help you maximise your time and avoid disappointment.

Put It at The Top of The List
The venue at which you celebrate with family and friends after you tie the knot is one of the most important choices you make as a bride- and groom-to-be and should be made a priority. Wedding venues book out well in advance so it’s important to start gathering research early on. However, before you pick the most beautiful location, there are a few things to lock down.

Guest Numbers
Probably the most important of all is the capacity of the space. There is no point looking for a venue unless you know how many people you plan to invite. Sit down with your partner and start the process of listing and culling until you arrive at a number you’re both happy with. You may want to make two finite lists; one smaller, one larger. This will help you when you look at how much you have to spend.

This is huge in helping inform where you can and can’t hold your celebrations. Once you have your numbers, you need to match your desired capacity with your budget. If you’re desperate to invite more people, you may need to opt for a cheaper venue option; or if you’d rather celebrate in opulence, you may have to compromise on numbers.

Once you’ve finalised the guest list with budget in mind, it’s time to decide where you want to get married. Is it in the city, the country or maybe you’d like to get married overseas? This is the time for your creative thinking to take place. Once you’ve decided, you need to begin looking for both ceremony and reception venues that are within close proximity. Your guests will thank you for not selecting two venues on opposite sides of the city!

Now it’s time to think about when you want to get married. Which season: summer, autumn, winter, spring? Remember that the date of your wedding will be the date you celebrate your anniversary for the rest of your life so choose wisely. Generally, we’d suggest to narrow it down to a season and be flexible within that time frame.

But how long do I have to think about these details?
Realistically, not long. You should be aiming to have your reception venue booked and confirmed within 6 to 18 months of the big day. So, if you’re planning a short engagement, it’s time to get a wriggle on. Depending on the season, you may have more or less time. For a more comprehensive breakdown, see the table below for our suggested timeframes: