Generally, most couples tend to book their venue around a year in advance of their wedding date – at least! But, is it necessary to give so much notice?
We have written a previous article that outlines what steps you should take in the months leading up to your wedding. We certainly recommend you give that a read. You should give as much notice as you can if you have your heart set on a particular venue, though. You don’t want to run the risk of having to wait three or four years for the perfect date for you.
However, how soon you should confirm your booking really depends on several factors that are personal to you. For example, the popularity of your chosen venue, the time of year you are planning your wedding, and the day of the week that you would like to get married on.
Unsurprisingly, you’ll find that most venues will have longer waiting lists during the summer months, especially at the weekend. If you have your heart set on a particular venue but don’t want to wait years for a summer slot to become available, you could consider marrying on a weekday or in an off-peak season.
You may even be able to bag yourself a substantial discount!
In this article, we explore the different seasons you may choose to marry in, and how far in advance you realistically want to book that dream venue.
The new year is blooming. With pretty, fresh flowers opening their petals, spring has long been a popular time for weddings. So, you will need to book well in advance! Don’t forget those dreaded April showers in the UK though. There’s no point falling in love with some gorgeous gardens and grounds if you will be marrying in an area of the country that is prone to bad spring weather.
Instead, consider indoor venues, or at least somewhere where you have the option to duck inside if the weather turns. While a beach or seaside wedding may sound idyllic, the spring could mean blustering winds. Find somewhere that can adapt to your needs and give you outdoor space if the weather happens to be particularly agreeable.
However, spring weddings are not as popular as in the height of summer. Nonetheless, make sure you give a good amount of notice to your venue and your guests. For instance, six months for midweek or up to a year for weekend. Furthermore, the plenitude of bank holidays in the late spring make perfect times for matrimonial celebrations – and other couples know this too.
The holiday months of June, July and August are the most popular time of the year for weddings, so this is the period you will need to book furthest in advance for. We’re talking at a year in advance, or even two.
If planning to marry during the high summer, be sure to give your guests plenty of notice too. You don’t want to find out half of your loved ones can’t make it because they’re away on holiday. The same is true of suppliers, even though many will try to remain available for the busy wedding season.
Also, summer weather in the UK is unpredictable! So don’t count on a balmy summer’s day even if you are planning to get married well into August. Although, we can get lucky and have some beautiful long summers days and warm evenings. Pick a venue with plenty of gardens if you want to take advantage of this. This is the perfect opportunity for a marquee as you get the best of both worlds.
When accompanied with that gorgeous deep rich colour scheme in the trees and amongst the crisp leaves on the ground, autumn can be a very picturesque time to marry.
You’ll find you have a much wider choice of wedding venues and suppliers during this time, too! Prices also tend to drop during this season. Furthermore, you often need to give a lot less notice than at other times of the year – try no later than nine months before the big day.
If you are lucky, the weather will still be fairly mild and late afternoon sunlight will make for stunning photographs. A September wedding will give you the lowest chance of rain on your wedding day than any other month in the whole year and temperatures still average a healthy 20°C at midday.
Moreover, think Bonfire Night celebrations complete with fireworks and sparklers. If you are planning a wedding with this theme, it will definitely be worth checking out our article for some ideas.
Aside from Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, winter can be a whimsical, romantic, and comparatively very affordable time to tie the knot. If your perfect venue would make for a cosy winter spot with ample inside space, a winter wedding might mean discounts.
In the winter, we know what to expect in the UK so the likelihood is that you will be prepared for all weather scenarios. This eliminates any weather worries. There can be some truly beautiful winter days in the UK. Frosty and misty mornings coupled with crisp sunshine in the afternoon.
A cosy manor house with log-burning fireplaces, snug sofas and hearty food sounds spellbinding to us. Just be prepared for rain! You’ll definitely want to book well ahead if you’re planning a wedding anywhere near Christmas and New Year.
However, a lot of wedding venues cater for other events, and winter tends to be booked up early with parties for the festive season. Unless you intend to book an off-season January wedding, it’ll be best to give well over a year’s notice, especially if you want to hit a Friday or Saturday.
Keep in mind…
If you are the sort of couple who may be likely to change their minds, it may be best to put off booking too early. This is especially true if your chosen venue is likely to be available months down the line. On the other hand, check the cancellation policies in place when you research and visit each venue.
Furthermore, book the venue and have a date settled before you start booking other services. There will be nothing worse than paying to reserve a photographer, DJ and coordinator for a specific date only to find that your venue has been taken.
Finding a wedding venue at short notice is all well and good, but just remember to make sure you give your guests enough advance notice to attend!