Though the holiday season is full of laughter and good cheer with friends and family, it's also the most popular time to get engaged. According to the pros at Wedding Spot, 43% of engagements occur between November and January, which means that on top of being the most wonderful time of the year, it could also be the most stressful.
To celebrate the engagement — er, holiday — season, here are a few tips for knocking out the biggest item on the wedding to-do checklist — the venue. Though it seems like a daunting task, narrowing down locations and organizing what you really want in your venue will help bring the wedding of your dreams to life.
Be realistic about your budget.
Look over your finances with your fiancé and see how much is reasonable for you to spend on your venue. Keep in mind that there will be more expenses involved with your wedding day, but the venue is a great starting point. The wedding venue of your dreams may end up over budget, but planning what you are willing to spend most on (and what you're willing to sacrifice) will help keep you at the price point you're comfortable with.
Keep things cohesive.
If you're wearing cowboy boots with your wedding dress, you might not want to get married on a venue by the beach. It's all about selecting a specific theme or tone that you'd like for your day, and sticking with it throughout the entirety of your wedding planning. The venue is incredibly important with this, since it will set the tone for all of your guests as soon as they arrive. So if you're a country girl at heart, check out any local barns or venues that have outdoor arrangements. If the vineyards are your favorite place with your significant other, think about holding your reception at a winery.
Narrow down a location.
Be sure to visit any venues that seem like top contenders for your wedding. Remember to take a tour and ask all the right questions, especially seeing how many guests the venue can hold, if they have your date available, and if they have any vendors that they recommend. If you're planning on inviting nearly everyone you know (and then some), that quaint cottage venue may not cut it.
Book that spot!
Keep in mind that popular venues get booked up a year in advance, so be prepared to start your search as early as you can. Online services like the Wedding Spot can also help you search and price out venues, so that you can get the information you need on venues you may not have had a chance to visit yet. Once you check out the venue and agree that it checks off most or all things on your list, book it! This isn't a time to be impulsive, so make sure you've both thought long and hard about this decision, and that you both are in agreement that it's where you can envision this incredibly special celebration of yours.