Just Engaged and Proposals

How early to book venue?

Hi everyone! We're planning on having our wedding in May 2017 and even though it's 19 months away I'm worried about our favorite venues being booked quickly. We're looking at a few local ones and some that are an hour drive away. But the top two are the Picnic House at Prospect park and the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. I was wondering if anyone has experience on these venues and know how early they usually get filled up. Thanks!
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Re: How early to book venue?

  • Call them and ask. They'll be able to give you a better time frame.
  • Agree with PP. Call them and ask--find out what dates are still available in May 2017. I don't think it is too early to book your venue as long as you *know* it is the venue you want and you've gotten all of the information. But I'd look at a handful of venues just to make sure. We looked at 4 venues, and were almost certain we wanted to book the first one we visited. But we ended up booking the third venue we visited after we toured it and found out it was better for us and our budget.
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  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
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    Also, ask around on the local boards for advice and reviews on venues near you.  This is an international board so most of us will have no idea.

    FWIW, we booked our venue 17 months in advance and a lot of places we called already had at least one of our dates booked.
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  • Before thinking venues - put together a real world budget (if it's not in the bank, it doesn't exist!)and real world guest list.  Also discuss some of these types of things with your VIP's (i.e. you never know when a parent(s) is going to financially contribute which can change the dynamic of the planning... or if your second cousin twice removed has already set their wedding on that date)...  Once you have that info, go ahead and start looking at venues now to see if they fit your budget and size constraints..
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  • feenymichelefeenymichele
    Third Anniversary Name Dropper First Comment
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    edited September 2015
    We're in the same boat! My FI proposed on the 19th, and we looked at our first venue this here in the Hudson Valley this past Sunday (which I've been in love with since we went to a wedding there last year). Originally, we were thinking about a late August/early September wedding, but the venue is booked pretty solid through the winter. Now we're planning for May 2017, and have a hold on a date in late May. Luckily, this venue had several openings, but they are already booked for Mother's Day (5/14/17) and the Sunday prior to Memorial Day (5/28/15). They also had every Saturday for June 2017 booked already.

    I'm not familiar with how quickly your venues might get booked, but it seems likes popular dates (i.e. holiday weekends) are already going quickly. I would say if you love a place, but still have others to look at or research, inquire about putting a temporary hold on the date you had in mind. The venue I did this with allows you to hold a date for a short amount of time without putting any money down, which is great. Hopefully your prospective venues could allow you to do this as well. Best of luck!
  • Thanks guys. I booked an appointment to see our top choice for the end of October. It's exciting! Gonna try to view as many as we can within the next few months so we can choose. Since we're from NYC I can't be too certain if it's booked or not, ha.
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  • ohmrs2014ohmrs2014 Dirty Jerz
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    Being from NJ, we booked our venue 22 months in advance and they were already booking for 2014 when we booked.  We also booked the last venue we saw and we looked at about 5 of them.

    I agree with PP, figure out your budget.  Make a list of what's important in terms of the venue, like your non-negotiables and go from there.
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  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
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    Maggymeow said:
    Hi everyone! We're planning on having our wedding in May 2017 and even though it's 19 months away I'm worried about our favorite venues being booked quickly. We're looking at a few local ones and some that are an hour drive away. But the top two are the Picnic House at Prospect park and the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. I was wondering if anyone has experience on these venues and know how early they usually get filled up. Thanks!
    Where are you having your ceremony?  That is where you must start.  No matter how awesome your reception venue is, it is imperative that the time and place of your ceremony coordinate with your reception venue.  It is the only/best way to avoid a gap between the two events. A gap tells your guests that you put your wedding vision first and foremost above the hospitality of your guests.

    If you do book a venue that far out, be sure and get a written commitment regarding prices.  Your venue may be quoting you current prices, and those prices may increase at the start of the new year.  Some venues, such as the one my daughter selected, might actually lock you in at the current price.  If the venue cannot/won't do that, at least make sure they write an increase "cap" into your contract so that you can budget accordingly without any unexpected increases.
    kimmiinthemittenthisismynickname2[Deleted User]
  • MobKaz said:
    Maggymeow said:
    Hi everyone! We're planning on having our wedding in May 2017 and even though it's 19 months away I'm worried about our favorite venues being booked quickly. We're looking at a few local ones and some that are an hour drive away. But the top two are the Picnic House at Prospect park and the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. I was wondering if anyone has experience on these venues and know how early they usually get filled up. Thanks!
    Where are you having your ceremony?  That is where you must start.  No matter how awesome your reception venue is, it is imperative that the time and place of your ceremony coordinate with your reception venue.  It is the only/best way to avoid a gap between the two events. A gap tells your guests that you put your wedding vision first and foremost above the hospitality of your guests.

    If you do book a venue that far out, be sure and get a written commitment regarding prices.  Your venue may be quoting you current prices, and those prices may increase at the start of the new year.  Some venues, such as the one my daughter selected, might actually lock you in at the current price.  If the venue cannot/won't do that, at least make sure they write an increase "cap" into your contract so that you can budget accordingly without any unexpected increases.
    Yeah definitely need to be sure on prices, after asking for quotes it seems some already have  higher 2017 prices =\. We want the ceremony and reception at the same venue since our top picks have awesome options for both :D
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  • I booked my ceremony/reception venue (in NJ) in June of this year for April 2017. We got locked into 2015/16 prices, and had our pick of dates, but apparently there's a lot of couples booking 20+ months out. I'd start emailing places and setting up appointments now - first for the ceremony if you're doing it at a separate location, and then for the venue itself.
  • THe Knot planning checklist is extremely helpful to guide you as to how much you have to spend. So, once you've established your budget, there is a tool that can tell you how much you should be spending on what. Be careful of what these venues include...eg. if you are going to have to pay extra for tables, chairs, etc.  IF those things are not in the budget you may need to forgo those venues for something that does include those extra rentals. 
    Things in NYC area book up very quickly. Most brides are planning 2 years in advance. 
    But your budget and approximate guest list are very important to establish b/c the number of guests may dictate the aspect of the venue you can use and the overall cost.  eg: 1 venue with 3 reception areas.  the largest room will be the most expensive. 
  • I agree with a lot of the other commenters, we booked a venue 4 weeks after getting engaged simply because we wanted to get married in October of 2016 (got engaged August 2015) and found that many of our favorite venues were fully booked (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays) for all of October and all of 2016 for that matter. 17 months sounds like a long time but when you start planning you realize how quickly this places book.


    We fell in love with our venue and it worked perfectly in our price range so we booked as soon as we got the chance. Long story short, it's never too early to book your space to avoid losing it.

  • lhill128lhill128
    10 Comments Second Anniversary
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    edited October 2015

    We just booked our venue for 7/1/17 its about 20 months away!  I don't think its ever too early I would just call the place and discuss with them.  My venue was already booking for 2018! Good luck!

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  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
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    rmm2233 said:
    Book your favorite vendors as well in 2017 because they get booked up quickly!!! http://www.nextgenphotobooth.com


    @GoldenPenguin vendor alert! 

    Is it just me or have these been popping up more frequently?
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  • book the big things first or the ones that matter the most.
  • My wedding date is 09/30/2016 and I booked in 03/2015.  I am so happy that I booked early!! When we went to the venue he said that all but one Saturday were taken.  I luckily was going for a Friday date.  They told me that if I had waited another 6 weeks they would have been booked solid for the entire month of September.  Granted I am in the Midwest and September is the new June in these parts!

  • If you have a venue you love/are 100% sure you want book it ASAP! Don't risk letting it slip through your fingers.
    MCmeow
  • My fiance just proposed to me last month (September 2015) and we're wanting / looking to get married next summer (June, July or September 2016) in New Jersey... And we were extremely worried about finding venue options but so far, we've found a few really, really nice ones in those months. We're more than likely going to make a decision on one by this weekend and we haven't even been engaged for a month yet. You have way more time than I have lol so no worries :) You'll find something AMAZING !! *Good Luck* xoxo
  • I researched quite a few online before choosing the only one we visited. My fiance chose it out of my entire list. Most of the local ones were just not in our budget. We visited about 16 months before our date (August 13, 2016). While we could not book them (they only write contracts six months in advance), we do have a hold on that date. They will not allow anyone else to have that date without calling us to confirm that we still want it. We are doing the ceremony and reception in adjoining ballrooms at the Crowne Plaza Hampton Marina.
  • Hi,

    I was engaged in August of this year and my wedding is September 3rd, 2016. We were able to find a venue easily-because we looked right away. We wanted September and we got Labor Day weekend to boot. If you really want availability-opt for a day wedding because almost no one does that and you can get a Friday discounted price and still have your wedding on a Saturday. Just call as many venues as you can and ask for availability of dates.  
  • My wedding is going to be next october and we have our first appointment to go look this saturday. (:
    Love is a magical thing, and no one is too old for a fairy tale.. <3
    kimmiinthemittenMCmeow
  • We went to a venue yesterday and we love it so much. Just gonna show it to a few people, maybe see a few others, just in case, and then book :D
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  • I would definitely call the venue and find out what their scheduling looks like or will look like.  That's the only way to really know if you need to jump on it quickly or if you have some time.

    My FH and I booked our venue this weekend for a July 2017 wedding. We got the last Saturday, for that venue, in July. They're now sold out on Saturday and Sundays in both May, June & July. It's an awesome venue so I can see why.

    But definitely call and find out :)  *Good Luck* <3 

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  • I agree with the other postings...We just booked our wedding for April 2017. We were originally shooting for September 2016, but after speaking with the venue manager we learned that every Saturday in 2016 is already booked! I think it's better to lock something down sooner than later if you are sure of the venue you want. Plus, engagement around the holidays are common and once January hits I think there will be a lot of brides shopping for venues which could limit your dates of choice. Good luck!

  • Our wedding is May of 2017 and we have our reception and ceremony venue booked already! Do it as quickly as possible because a lot of places book up to a year in advance. Also a lot of places give discounts if you book early!
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