South Asian Weddings

Question on booking venue

As you guys know, FI and I had pushed the wedding back till March of 2013, which leaves me to put off planning the wedding for a while....a long while.  But I want the wedding held in downtown Chicago and they usually get booked up fast.  FI and I are planning to look at venues in the summer and book it 1 year and a half before the date, but I am worried about booking it so early.  What if the hotel bankrupts or something or closes?  What if I find a better place that I like or something along those line? 

Should I wait?  What if I wait and the place I want is already booked for the date?  What did you guys do?  What was your process in booking your venue?   What did you need to have as a must? 

Sorry for my ranting, usually with school I can avoid worrying, but when I am free, I start to panic a little, because I am never that indecisive.

Help please!!

Re: Question on booking venue

  • temurlangtemurlang
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary Combo Breaker
    member
    edited December 2011
    A couple of thoughts:

    1.  As far as going out of business, that can and has happened.  However, I would say that some places are more likely to than others.  Our venue was well established (been around at least 30 years) and bustling.  If it were going to go under, there would definitely be rumors in the community.  A trendier, newer place might not make it another year.  If your desired venue is a Chicago institution, you're probably safe.

    2.  There is probably a rule of thumb in your are on how early you need to book.  March should be off season and so you can probably wait much longer than if you want a June wedding.  Here, certain venues have to be booked a year to year-and-a-half out for Summer weddings, but we got ours in less than 6 months because of having it in November (which was the earliest date I could get, October was already fully booked).  This is something your social circle would know, but you can always ask the venues when you need a final date by.

    3.  I saw over 30 venues and it was awful... they all had some horrible problem or enormous hidden cost.  I just wanted a place with decent food and a decent hall that didn't have a 20K minimum.  I wanted it to be reasonably close to the church (i.e. in San Francisco), and preferably near to paid parking.  Seriously, I saw places that didn't allow music, closed at 10:00, had exposed pipes and visible water damage, crappy food, world's worst parking situation, and countless other drawbacks.  That said, I was really happy with our venue, because it was attractive, the food was good, the location was great, and the service was awesome.  It turned out great and we booked it under 6 months before the wedding!
  • edited December 2011
    My advice about booking something and then finding out that you like something else...is book it and then don't look at venues anymore!

    I put myself thru torture when I book our photog and realized later that I like antoher one better!  I would keep up with the better photogs blog and wish that my pics would be like that.  They didn't LOL

    Just book and don't look back! 
  • HinajHinaj
    1000 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    Thanks guys!!  Your advices definitely helped me worry less. 
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Question on booking venue:
    My advice about booking something and then finding out that you like something else...is book it and then don't look at venues anymore! I put myself thru torture when I book our photog and realized later that I like antoher one better!  I would keep up with the better photogs blog and wish that my pics would be like that.  They didn't LOL Just book and don't look back! 
    Posted by MrsBM
    I agree! I did this with my reception/wedding dress and it wasn't good. But then again I wasn't 100% on it in the first place, so perhaps it was OK, but I don't recommend it.

    I agree with Tem that if you book with a venue that is proven over the years to be reputable and an institution in Chicago, you shouldn't have a problem. I'd just keep in touch with them every so often for something or other so that you're on top of anything that happens, which I am sure you will be.

    I think it's smart of you to start looking now though so that when your FI is back in the summer you can make the decision then with a list of front runners that you've already vetted and boiled it down to.
    ExerciseMilestone
  • edited December 2011
    We booked a year and some change ahead of time, but I had the June wedding so it had to be done early. There are some places who won't even do reservations that far in advance. Sadly, we had girls in Dallas who's venue closed a week before the wedding. It was huge news here. Luckily, one the hotels took the girls weddings and while it was stressful it worked out.

    I looked first of course for somewhere that would fit the large guest list we had. Then I needed to see if we could have Indian food and a loud DJ. What the hidden costs were and time deadlines. Pretty much I just wrote down the most imporant things for me and went from there. Think about if they will allow fire and such.

    One of the big things with ALL the vendors once you book them Stop looking at any other options. If you don't there will always be something else you find which you like more or think you want.
  • edited December 2011
    FI's cousin married at the Chicago Cultural Center in June 2010 and booked the venue just under 1 year to the wedding date. It was a great location to be because we were near the main Chicago attractions!

    I know the Indian buffet was catered and I think the American style food was too. Not sure.

    Also, I think if you book a wedding in a museum or other non-profit sort of place, you can take a percentage of the cost of the venue off as a charitable contribution on your taxes. If you wish to explore this route, look at your museums.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
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