Wedding Reception Forum

Locking in reception venue without ceremony venue?

So I'm sort of confused as to how the process works for locking things in. We have a venue we like for our Sept. 2013 wedding, but my FI, who is the one who really cares about the religious stuff, does not have an officiant selected and we do not have a ceremony venue.  I feel like we need to start somewhere - should we lock in the venue and work on finding an officiant and a wedding ceremony location?  Or wait until we have an officiant and a ceremony location? 
Daring to dream a bigger dream

Re: Locking in reception venue without ceremony venue?

  • if you lock in any venue just remember both should be in proximity to each other
  • loca4pookloca4pook member
    First Comment Name Dropper 5 Love Its First Anniversary
    edited August 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_locking-in-reception-venue-without-ceremony-venue?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:5Discussion:f91e7066-16db-4274-87c8-246d4df5937ePost:92dcfa5c-33c0-4798-8b39-38fb721be755">Locking in reception venue without ceremony venue?</a>:
    [QUOTE]So I'm sort of confused as to how the process works for locking things in. We have a venue we like for our Sept. 2013 wedding, but my FI, who is the one who really cares about the religious stuff, does not have an officiant selected and we do not have a ceremony venue.  I feel like we need to start somewhere - should we lock in the venue and work on finding an officiant and a wedding ceremony location?  Or wait until we have an officiant and a ceremony location? 
    Posted by gottadance64[/QUOTE]

    We kinda did it hand in hand..I knew exactly what chuch I was getting married at, so I picked a "tenative" date they were free and they told me some "back up" dates, then I looked at venues...When our venue didnt have our date, they put another date "on hold" until I could check with the church to make sure the alternative date was free. They were pretty accomodating in that manner. I was more flexible with the date, so not sure if that is your case or not.. I did NOT sign any contracts until I knew BOTH places worked out..That's my biggest piece of advice on that one
  • If it is important to you or your FI who marries you or if you get married in a particular church, I would get that set up first.  Get a list of the open dates for your reception venue that will work for you and your VIPs, and then find your officiant.  Your ceremony venue and reception venue should really be within half an hour of each other.  

    We actually had some trouble finding our officiant, because we were planning about 7 months out and were getting married on a very popular day for a Jewish wedding (Sunday of a holiday weekend), so many religious officiants were already booked.  We didn't sign a contract with our venue until we found someone to actually perform the wedding on the particular date.
  • For our girls, we contracted those together because it could cause all kinds of logistical issues if you booked one and then had to settle for the other one being an hour away.

    Once we knew the desired location of both, we called and got a list of open dates for each one and then signed the contracts.  
  • I'm kind of in the same boat you're in. We found a GREAT reception venue that was available on our date (9/14/13) and we also talked about possible alternative dates. I decided to hold off on booking it until I found a ceremony site that was in close proximity. We have some specifications for a ceremony site (non-religious, under $1000 for rental fee, etc) so it's a harder task than I thought it was going to be.

    We found a place that I THINK could be the ceremony site but they're not available on 9/14. My advice would be to:
    (1) Not lock in a date with the reception site until you are close to locking in a date with the ceremony site (i.e., don't book it blind)
    (2) Definitely talk about alternative dates with the reception site
    (3) Keep in contact with the venues. For instance, our likely reception site sent us a proposal last week and I sent the coordinator an email saying that we've reviewed it and will be in touch with questions -- we just want to square away a ceremony site first. She appreciated my heads up.

    Good luck!
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_locking-in-reception-venue-without-ceremony-venue?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:5Discussion:f91e7066-16db-4274-87c8-246d4df5937ePost:1962fdea-74f8-46b4-959e-292731233bbe">Re: Locking in reception venue without ceremony venue?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm kind of in the same boat you're in. We found a GREAT reception venue that was available on our date (9/14/13) and we also talked about possible alternative dates. I decided to hold off on booking it until I found a ceremony site that was in close proximity. We have some specifications for a ceremony site (non-religious, under $1000 for rental fee, etc) so it's a harder task than I thought it was going to be. We found a place that I THINK could be the ceremony site but they're not available on 9/14. My advice would be to: (1) Not lock in a date with the reception site until you are close to locking in a date with the ceremony site (i.e., don't book it blind) (2) Definitely talk about alternative dates with the reception site (3) Keep in contact with the venues. For instance, our likely reception site sent us a proposal last week and I sent the coordinator an email saying that we've reviewed it and will be in touch with questions -- we just want to square away a ceremony site first. She appreciated my heads up. Good luck!
    Posted by Lilshell812[/QUOTE]

    Is there a ceremony site at your reception venue?  We had our ceremony outside in our reception venue's garden (and the reception in the ballroom), and it was lovely.  As a guest, I appreciate not having to drive in between (and you wouldn't have to worry about your transportation). 
  • Our reception site does offer to hold ceremonies too, but it would be in the same room where the reception is supposed to be. (ceremony in room, guests move to cocktail area while staff rearranges the room for dinner, guests come back to the ceremony room for dinner).

    Eh, nah.
  • Yes, my venue has an outdoor site, but weather in Chicago is SO fickle - September can be 90 or 50 and rainy. They do not have an inside venue and so if the weather was bad we'd have to get married in our reception room, which I really don't like.  If they had an alternative indoor option, I'd definitely get married there. I've been to weddings where the wedding is in the same room as the reception and it's awkward. People don't know what to do once the ceremony is over - I just am not a fan. 

    The FI used to go to Catholic church but he lived an hour away at the time - and now since he's divorced and doesn't want to go through the annulment, that's out. We went to a church down the street - a very nice pastor I know from the neighborhood - but it's a more open minded church, not full of the tradition and pomp that the Catholic church has. He liked the pastor, but didn't love the church (besides, this church is local to our house, not to the venue - the venue is about 45 min east and south - closer to his family). So...here we are. He's a slow mover, so I hope he starts to understand that if we want to get married in a year, he needs to get a move on. I'd do rent a rev - lol - but he hates that idea.  Also, once we find a pastor, we have to find a ceremony location, if the pastor's church isn't near the venue.  We're in a weird position since we're not getting married close to where we live and we don't have a pastor. Well, we'll talk some more about it and I guess it'll work out. I'd just really like to get the venue locked in.
    Daring to dream a bigger dream
  • Totally agree that you need to do them hand in hand, just to make sure they both work out!  We knew we wanted to use my home parish which doesn't see a lot of weddings, so worried about the venue more.  We found the perfect venue and they gave us a date, then held it for two weeks (at which point we had to sign the contract and have the deposit!).  I immediately called the church to make sure the date worked for them, too.  Luckily, it did, which meant I coudl sign the venue contract, worry free!

    I definitely envy the people who get married at their reception venue - so much easier!  But FI and I are both practicing Catholics and knew we wanted to get married in the church :)

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