Finding your venue is one of the first steps in the wedding planning process (and can also be one of the most challenging!). There are plenty of things you should keep in mind when starting your search, but what about those things you should hold off on? I’m looking at you, over-planners. I was one of them myself! From dress shopping to securing the final guest list, make sure to hold off on these five things until you’ve found your perfect spot.
Hold Off on Dress Shopping
This can be a toughie, especially if you’ve been eyeing your dream dress for months (or years). But think about it like this—would you buy a dress as a guest to a wedding without knowing where it is? Probably not. You want to know the setting to make sure your style fits. That ballroom gown might be calling your name but if you end up having a casual coastal fete, it may not be THE one.
Hiring a Coordinator
Not to be confused with an event planner! A planner can be such a great resource in helping you find your perfect venue to begin with. But if you’re not hiring a planner or yours doesn’t offer day of services—hold off on hiring a coordinator until you know if your venue offers one for day of assistance. This was something my wedding venue offered and I’m thankful I didn’t hire one of the few I had chatted with beforehand. Lots of venues don’t offer this, so you very well may need to hire one.
This one is obvious for the date and location—of course you need to know your venue before doing this part! But you’ll also want to hold off on selecting your stationery design so you can tie it into your venue. We like to think of a save-the-date or invitation as your wedding’s first impression. Give your soiree a cohesive feel from start to finish by holding off on choosing your design until you’ve selected a venue.
The Final, Final Guest List
Going into your venue hunt, it’s very helpful to have a close to final guest list count. But this doesn’t mean you need to know an exact count! Choosing a venue we loved was on my husband and I’s top three priority list and we were willing to cut down our guest list to make that happen. Don’t shout out to the world and promise your distant relatives and once-a-year friends an invitation before you find your perfect venue. Once you’ve secured it, go ahead and create that final, FINAL guest list.
You might have good intentions and want to start crossing to do’s off the list early on, but make sure to wait on researching other vendors until after you’ve secured a venue. Similarly to hiring a coordinator, your venue might have lots of in-house resources, preferred vendors that’ll give you a discount or vendors that specifically work at that venue on a regular basis. So before you put time and effort into researching lighting, linens, rentals and more, find out what your venue offers first.