After making those initial decisions about style, size and formality, you should start to consider venues and vendors. It’s very important to look for sites for both the ceremony and reception early on in your engagement. Venues are booked several months in advance and your date may be taken if you don’t act fast. So, how do you find a venue that fits your style?
Your bridal consultant can help you find the perfect place. If you don’t have one, ask family and friends for recommendations. After that, you can do a lot of your research online. Think of what you want in the basic framework for your wedding and starting searching for those things. A grand entrance? An English-cottage-looking house? Roman pillars? Crystal chandeliers? Marble staircase? Courtyard with a fountain? Rolling green hills beside a lake? Also come up with descriptors to help you communicate to people what you’re looking for. Victorian. Greek. Tuscan. Intimate. Grand. Fresh and clean. Rough and earthy. Unique. Traditional.
While you are searching out the perfect spot, you should also be actively looking for vendors. Start with the photographer and the caterer. You will need to give your caterer an estimate of how many people will be eating–don’t forget the wedding party, your family and yourself. Next on the list is your music. This includes both the ceremony and reception. That may be a string quartet and DJ. Then, look for a good florist. If you are talking to florists several months before the wedding, remember to ask what flowers will be in season during the time of your wedding.
Once you have your vendors and venue, the big parts are done. Of course, actually hiring all of these people will take longer than it did to read this post. That’s okay. You should try to have contracts with your venue and all the vendors about four months in advance.