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which is harder to book?

Hi all,

We would like a short six-month engagement and so are really wanting to get things moving as far as planning as much as we can right away. Is it usually harder to book a church (for the ceremony) or restaurant (for reception)? 

Thanks for any advice you can give us!

mk

Re: which is harder to book?

  • Check with your church first. Many have pre marriage counseling requirements. A 6 month engagement may not be possible.  Once you set a date with the church them find a reception site.
     
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  • I agree with HB. Don't book the reception site until you book the Church, since the ceremony is the most important part of the wedding. I would look into both ceremony and reception sites now though, since many sites book quick, especially for Saturday weddings. 
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  • ohmrs2014ohmrs2014 Dirty Jerz
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    Agree with Hoboken.  I was going to get married in a Church and they require a year's notice.  We opted to get married at our reception location for various reasons.  The year requirement included time to take the pre-marriage counseling, as well as other things that the Church required.  Def check with the Church first before booking anything.
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  • I think that it depends on the time of year and your city/town to some degree.  For us, getting married in August, the reception location was by far the hardest.  I'm pretty sure that we're the only wedding planned at the church during the entire summer (very old congregation) so nailing it down was much easier. 
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  • In Response to Re: which is harder to book?:
    Agree with Hoboken.  I was going to get married in a Church and they require a year's notice.  We opted to get married at our reception location for various reasons.  The year requirement included time to take the pre-marriage counseling, as well as other things that the Church required.  Def check with the Church first before booking anything.
    Posted by 50ShadesofMe
    Our church also had a year long counseling requirement.
     
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  • I really think it depends on the place but PPs have good points. As they said, some have certain requirements you need to fulfill before they will agree to marry you. Other churches will rent out the space (potentially with limitations such as music choices and who can perform the ceremony) to pretty much anyone.

    On the other hand, the restaurant could be easy or difficult depending on the place. If it's a super popular place that holds a lot of big events, it may be harder. If you're just going to section off the "party room" at regular restaurant, that might be easier.

    I did it by priority - would you rather have your dream ceremony space or your dream reception space? For us, it was the reception, so that was the first thing we booked.
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  • We had a very short engagement, shorter than yours.

    My first call was to the church, and I found out in a call that lasted less than 2 minutes, that they have a one-year "marriage training program."  Yep.  MARRIAGE TRAINING.  That's what she called it. 

    So we looked at four possible reception spaces, picked one,and then decided to get married right there and then have the reception there.  They did not have a required one year training program.  :-)
  • If getting married in your Church is important to you, then definitely book the Church first. As PPs stated, some Churches have pre-existing requirements you must complete.

    For us, it was important to us that H's pastor marry us, but we didn't necessarily HAVE to get married in the physical church building. While we talked to both the ceremony and reception venues simultaneously, we would have personally booked when the reception site and pastor were available. For us, we could still have a religious ceremony with his pastor outside or at another venue, and that was what mattered to us. It worked out the church was available so we did end up marrying inside.

    If getting married in the physical church is required or a high priority of yours, I would start there.


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  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl
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    Do you have a church? That is the first step.
  • thanks all for the replies and advice. here's what ended up happening:

    we quickly made some calls to our first choices, not necessarily out of research but just off our head and churches that our friends have had weddings in. thankfully, from our top three picks for church and restaurants, one was available for each and we reserved both.

    we personally have known many couples that have engagements of less than one year. we're both glad and relived that this very important step is almost taken care of (just need deposits down) and then we can move on to more planning. =)
  • We just started planning our April 20th wedding. Just over 3 months away eeek! Everything is going pretty smoothly. My suggestion is to get started don't get hung up on a date. We knew we wanted April or May..preferably May but we live in louisville and derby is in may so there weren't a lot of openings. I fell in love with a chapel. It had a bunch of dates available and we started looking at reception venues from there. we got our date by default. There were only 2 dates our church and reception had available..one was my fi's birthday so we chose the other. 6 months is totally do able. You just have to be pro active...all I do is research wedding vendors. I pretty much know all the vendors I want to book now it's just a matter of doing it! Good luck!
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