DIY Weddings

2 years too early?

Hi All,

My FI and I got engaged in July and I started planning almost straight away. When I say planning, I mean putting serious thought into what kind of wedding we want, researching venues, etc - not actually booking anything. I viewed some venues last week (with my Dad, because the wedding will be about a 4 hour drive away from where we currently live and my FI had to work - he'll view at a later date). We're thinking of making bookings and putting down the deposit on our venue by the end of this year. We want to get married in summer 2017.

Am I mad for planning this soon? We'll be moving next year, to close to where we'll get married - it's where I'm from originally and all of my family are there. So that will be time-consuming and stressful. Plus I want to DIY a lot of stuff for the wedding - partly to keep costs down, but mostly because I enjoy that kind of thing. Also, we figure that the more time we have, the more flexibility we'll have in terms of keeping in budget. Not to mention, I'm really indecisive so the more time I have to make my mind up, the better lol.

I just find myself feeling a little self-conscious when people ask...in case it seems ridiculous to be planning already. Other people I know seem to get married around a year after they get engaged so it seems natural for them to plan straight away.

What do you guys think? Did anyone here plan for 2 years?

Thanks xx

Re: 2 years too early?

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Hi All,

    My FI and I got engaged in July and I started planning almost straight away. When I say planning, I mean putting serious thought into what kind of wedding we want, researching venues, etc - not actually booking anything. I viewed some venues last week (with my Dad, because the wedding will be about a 4 hour drive away from where we currently live and my FI had to work - he'll view at a later date). We're thinking of making bookings and putting down the deposit on our venue by the end of this year. We want to get married in summer 2017.

    Am I mad for planning this soon? We'll be moving next year, to close to where we'll get married - it's where I'm from originally and all of my family are there. So that will be time-consuming and stressful. Plus I want to DIY a lot of stuff for the wedding - partly to keep costs down, but mostly because I enjoy that kind of thing. Also, we figure that the more time we have, the more flexibility we'll have in terms of keeping in budget. Not to mention, I'm really indecisive so the more time I have to make my mind up, the better lol.

    I just find myself feeling a little self-conscious when people ask...in case it seems ridiculous to be planning already. Other people I know seem to get married around a year after they get engaged so it seems natural for them to plan straight away.

    What do you guys think? Did anyone here plan for 2 years?

    Thanks xx


    My daughter booked her venue 20 months out from her wedding date.  It was a very popular venue, and even with that amount of lead time, there was only one Saturday evening date remaining.  It worked well for us.  The venue locked in their current rates at the time of the signing.  Not all venues were willing to do that.  If you do book far in advance, find out NOW how their pricing policy may change.  More often than not, they will not honor current rates.  However, you can negotiate and lock in some sort of price increase cap, so that you can at least continue to budget with a "worst case scenario".

    Do not lock yourselves into any venue until you have a firm idea of how many guests will be attending.  Many venues have minimum guest numbers, and if you do not meet that number, you will still be expected to pay the difference regardless of your guest count.  If you end up not meeting the required number of guests, some venues may allow you to at least make up that monetary difference in upgrades in one form or another.  Find out this policy before you lock in as well. 

    If you are having your wedding ceremony in a different location, it is very important to lock that location in as well.  There are many brides who book a venue for a 6:00 PM reception, only to discover that their ceremony venue only hosts a 2:00 PM service.  This creates a very rude gap between the events.  Many guests will end up skipping the ceremony because the gap is incredibly inconvenient.  Make sure the two locations are able to jive well with your timeline, without being inconsiderate to your guests.

    Don't buy too many reception items too soon.  Until you know the number of guests that will attend, at least in a ball park figure, you will not know how many tables/centerpieces you will need.  Even finding good bargains will be a waste of money if your attendance count ends up being much smaller than you thought. 


    kimmiinthemittenKnottie98935522[Deleted User]
  • MobKaz said

    My daughter booked her venue 20 months out from her wedding date.  It was a very popular venue, and even with that amount of lead time, there was only one Saturday evening date remaining.  It worked well for us.  The venue locked in their current rates at the time of the signing.  Not all venues were willing to do that.  If you do book far in advance, find out NOW how their pricing policy may change.  More often than not, they will not honor current rates.  However, you can negotiate and lock in some sort of price increase cap, so that you can at least continue to budget with a "worst case scenario".

    Do not lock yourselves into any venue until you have a firm idea of how many guests will be attending.  Many venues have minimum guest numbers, and if you do not meet that number, you will still be expected to pay the difference regardless of your guest count.  If you end up not meeting the required number of guests, some venues may allow you to at least make up that monetary difference in upgrades in one form or another.  Find out this policy before you lock in as well. 

    If you are having your wedding ceremony in a different location, it is very important to lock that location in as well.  There are many brides who book a venue for a 6:00 PM reception, only to discover that their ceremony venue only hosts a 2:00 PM service.  This creates a very rude gap between the events.  Many guests will end up skipping the ceremony because the gap is incredibly inconvenient.  Make sure the two locations are able to jive well with your timeline, without being inconsiderate to your guests.

    Don't buy too many reception items too soon.  Until you know the number of guests that will attend, at least in a ball park figure, you will not know how many tables/centerpieces you will need.  Even finding good bargains will be a waste of money if your attendance count ends up being much smaller than you thought. 

    Ok, all that makes sense, thank you. Definitely making a note of the potential pricing increase, hadn't thought of that! I think my timeline will work as I can have the venue for the day before and the whole day of. So my church ceremony (either 12 or 2) will work fine with it because we can head over straight away. I wouldn't want a gap - hungry and bored guests is no fun for anyone!

    Thanks xx




    MobKazSP29
  • Hey,

    My fiance and I got engaged in March and are planning for a 2017 wedding too. I didn't plan a lot because I was in university (my senior year) finishing up. We are like you, discussing what type of wedding we want, our guest list, budget, etc. and my mom and sister even threw us an engagement party 2 weeks after! But in July we started touring the hotel we wanted, and we are going to go back there this Saturday, but now I'm not sure because the church we want our ceremony one says they usually dont do it during Lent (we want a March 2017 wedding in an Episcopal church, which is Anglican in the UK).

    We even have the colors down: burgundy and blush pink with gold and cream accents.

    Don't worry about planning too early, it's good to get things done early! Plus it'll save a lot of money and you can have more time to spend with your fiance without everything being about wedding this and that. We've gone into great detail discussing this. It's really good to wait first and enjoy yourselves, save up, and it's also good if you guys have career goals in mind.

    I plan on DIY-ing a few things too especially because I am a graphic designer and I plan on designing the save the dates, invitations, table seating chart, table cards, etc.

    Also, my cousin had a 2 year engagement as well because the hotel she had the reception was very popular and 5 star in Vancouver, which was good because she had a big, lavish wedding and had time to save.
  • Oh good, I'm not mad then! I guess time is flying by anyway. By the time we book the venue, at the end of this year, it will be 18 months away, and like you say, venues get booked up. And I'm learning loads from these forums. I'm really enjoying the planning so it's no bad thing for me :)



    We even have the colors down: burgundy and blush pink with gold and cream accents.

    Wow, gorgeous colours! I'm thinking mid-green, with fuchsia and ivory as accents. Yeah, we need the time to save as well, especially with the big house move next year. And it's nice to have an idea of what we're saving for and what will be going towards what.
  • I think your fine, because like other PP, some venues can book over a year in advance depending on the time of year you want to get married. This will allow you to take your time to research venues, vendors and figure out what you want. And it will reduce your stress when it comes time to move because you'll already have a lot of stuff under your belt in regards to planning. There are a few things I would hold off on doing though, don't ask anyone to be in your bridal party until at least the one year prior to the wedding date. Relationships change, even the best of relationships can go sour. Also don't send Save the Dates out until you are closer. Who you want to invite could also change over that time period but once they get a STD, you have to invite them. Last thing, hold off on buying your dress until you have a date & venue & figure the style of your wedding. I've seen it too often on buy sell boards where a bride gets a beautiful dress but then decides to go a different route & then is trying to sell the first dress to recoup some of the money.
    lnixon8
  • Yeah, that all makes a lot of sense. Even if I spend the next year just gathering ideas (apart from booking church and venue), I want to do everything in the right order and at the right time. Other people do it that way for a reason so there's no point trying to reinvent the wheel and getting it wrong :) My only regret is that for years, my friends and I have discussed weddings and respective bridal parties, so bridesmaids have been kind of assumed. I know this is my own fault, and I'm not even sure I'd change them if I could, but I wish I'd left myself some room for change. I'm certainly not going to be asking them until next year though, as per people's advice. I can't see myself having any major regrets but like you say, a lot can change! I should never have talked about it with anyone! My bad :/
  • I also had a 2 year engagement and i have to say it was awesome! I started planning asap as well but also realized that it was unnecessary for most things. Our venue is my parents country club so it would not book, but many venues do book in advance so I don't think it's crazy to start planning for that. Especially during summer months when weddings are in height season.

    We also booked our photographer pretty early because it was the most important thing to me personally. We looked at flowers a year out to see seasonal flowers but only put down a deposit last week and are going next month to finalize. But by the 6 month mark I had everything but cake done.

    It was nice having time; when my sister got engaged she had a 10 month engagement and definitely had enough time but was also really stressed and fought with our mom a lot. My mom and I have barely fought at all and I've never once been stressed or wished we'd eloped (which I was surprised at!). So do what works for you, especially if you're going to have a lot of distractions next year. Good luck!!
    WriterBrideUK
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    I booked mine 18 months ahead.  But not because it would have filled quickly (it's not a weekend).  I did it to notify all the out-of-towners (country really) who would have to take vacation days/save money.

  • We booked our venue 18 months in advance.
    We wanted to guarantee that we could get the date we wanted. And we lucked out because about 6 months later their prices went up quite a bit, but since we had put a deposit down we are still paying the old cheaper prices.

    image
    WriterBrideUK
  • We began planning ours 22 months early. There's not a whole lot of cons to getting ahead start, IMO.
    WriterBrideUK100yroldblinddog
  • SaintPaulGalSaintPaulGal member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    edited September 2015
    We booked our venue at the beginning of this month, which is 22 months in advance of the wedding.  I have mixed feelings about planning this far out, but we want to be married on a specific date (our anniversary is on a Saturday in 2017) and the venue we wanted books up far in advance anyway.  But now I am having a bit of difficulty figuring out how to pace myself for this marathon.  It feels silly to do too much intensive planning at this point, but I do want to get some of the most important vendors locked in so they don't get snapped up by someone else.  And I have some labor-intensive decor items I want to try to DIY over the next 2 years.  I guess I will just have to wait and see how it all balances out in the end.
    WriterBrideUK
  • We booked our venue at the beginning of this month, which is 22 months in advance of the wedding.  I have mixed feelings about planning this far out, but we want to be married on a specific date (our anniversary is on a Saturday in 2017) and the venue we wanted books up far in advance anyway.  But now I am having a bit of difficulty figuring out how to pace myself for this marathon.  It feels silly to do too much intensive planning at this point, but I do want to get some of the most important vendors locked in so they don't get snapped up by someone else.  And I have some labor-intensive decor items I want to try to DIY over the next 2 years.  I guess I will just have to wait and see how it all balances out in the end.

    I had the same problems, but it was worth it, here I am 2 weeks out and I am planned and paid for, only things I don't have done are the things like getting nails and hair done lol so it seems like a long way out, but it was worth it to only have to do a few things a month and not be stressed about planning.. I was more stressed about things people said or did than my actual planning.. Just have a monthly plan/list of to-do's and stick with it.. I also took a 2 month break over the holidays which was awesome!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    http://i.imgur.com/vdLE8dJ.gif?noredirect

    <a href="http://www.thenest.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=HTML&utm_campaign=tickers" title="Home Buying"><img src="http://global.thenest.com/tickers/tt1cd146.aspx" alt="Anniversary" border="0"  /></a>
    MesmrEweWriterBrideUK
  • I'm planning a July 2017 wedding and just booked my venue this weekend, and I wasn't the first one to book that venue for that summer, so no worries about planning ahead! Working on getting the ceremony location booked soon too. We also have the guest list and budget planned so we can save, and I've been pinning away ideas for later. My mom suggested we do one thing a month, which isn't a bad idea, less stress later on!
    image
  • There are some thing you should wait to do but I am all aboard the early planning train! We were engaged Sept 2014, booked our venue Nov 2014 and are getting married Oct 2016. Part came down to venues booking up in our major city that we live in and part was wanting to give time to enjoy the planning, being engaged and also more time to save funds. Honestly I know some people who got engaged after us and have a wedding date before us and I have a moment of our why did we wait on the date but it has made planning so much more enjoyable!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Hi!
    My fiance and I got engaged in October 2014. We started looking at ideas for weddings and discussing some possibilities, like season and general area where we'd like to get married (we have family in IL and NY and had to decide between the two states for where we wanted to get married) Before we even set a date, a family emergency came up and all wedding planning got put on the back burner for a while. In May 2015 we began planning again. We went back to the basics we had talked about before, when and where. We picked a date (June 2017) and decided to have the wedding in IL since it is where we live, and we thought long distance planning a wedding for in NY would be extremely tough. Once we nailed those two things down, we started researching venues, ideas, and dresses pretty thoroughly. A week later we visited and book our venue. In July I bought my dress. And from then until now in November, we have booked the officiant, DJ, photographer, caterer, etc. Have already met with bakers and florists. Picked out bridesmaids dresses. Have the invitations all ready, just waiting until closer to the wedding to address them and send them. Etc etc. When we started planning a bit over two years out, I felt a bit silly as well, especially when talking to vendors because I thought maybe they wouldn't take me seriously or I've had them even assume my date was a typo and that I meant 2016 instead of 2017. But honestly I'm happy with it because it gives me plenty of time to research and plan, so that way I can take my time, rather than be rushed last minute into making decisions I might regret or not be happy with. Plus, it helps ensure you get the vendors of your choice by booking in advance because if you wait they might be booked up. It also helps the vendors because they can plan ahead and help accommodate your wedding, instead of trying to fit it in and see what they can pull together as you book closer to your wedding date. One other thing is that when you plan ahead, it gives you more wiggle room to take breaks from planning if you're feeling stressed, or if things come up that need your attention such as a family emergency, someone is sick, house floods, etc.
  • Never too early to book a venue, or at least within reason. I would hold off on wedding dress shopping and picking colors etc because you could change your mind later, or want a different look, and then regret already having bought a dress etc. 
  • edited December 2015
    When FI and I got engaged, I knew we immediately needed to start looking at venues, as we had about 11 months to the date we'd been talking about.  By the time we started calling around, most of the venues we were interested in were completely booked, and had been for at least a couple of months!!  We were very lucky to find a private property that is exactly what we dreamed of where the owner is willing to host our wedding, but if this hadn't been an option, we would have had to rethink our entire vibe.  I totally wish we had been able to book a venue two years in advance, and you're lucky that you can!! It'll definitely ensure you have lots of time to secure the venue that you really want. 
    Within the first month and a half, we had booked our venue, photographer, caterer, and officiant.  I'm feeling relaxed and well on schedule :)
    As for things like invitations, and asking your wedding parties, those are things that I've learned are better left until closer to the date.

    ETA extra details
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • You're not mad or ridiculous at all. I started planning wedding planning three years in advance of our finally chosen wedding date, and I still don't regret it. And I will say, I've talked to a lot of vendors, primarily at bridal shows, and every time I've told them I have even 8 months until my wedding, they look at me like I'm crazy! As PP have said, some of the final decisions should be held off.

    However, venues book early, and eighteen months is not ridiculous at all. At some venues brides will definitely be taking dates, particularly for a summer wedding. Don't be shy to consider booking your venue soon and jumping into planning!

    Some of my favorites of planning early were seeing sales year-round from vendors before I actually had to participate in them, having plenty of opportunities to go to bridal shows and get new magazines so I could meet more vendor options, and most importantly, relaxing! By now I'm so laid-back about it all. I don't feel swamped by information or overwhelmed by the process. With your timeline you actually can get right into making decisions. Don't feel self-conscious about this; in some ways I wish I still had another eighteen months left to spend in planning!




    Wedding Countdown Ticker

  • Wow, my fiance and I got engaged a few weeks ago, we're planning a June 2018 wedding. We wanted the extra time to save up money for our wedding and honeymoon. I've been doing little things mostly, but I wanted a June wedding but I also wanted a long engagement.
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards