Whether unforeseen circumstances have added an element of urgency to your wedding day, or you just can’t wait to get married, finding a short notice wedding venue will likely be your biggest challenge. It’s no secret that wedding venues become booked months (sometimes even years) in advance and that it’s therefore usually one of the first stages of wedding planning – but don’t fear, it is possible to find the right venue for your day last minute!
The increase in micro-weddings over recent years has changed the wedding planning landscape and beautiful weddings can and are being achieved in shorter time frames (and lesser budgets, thanks). Our experts have put their heads together to provide everything there is to know on how to find a wedding venue on short notice.
Consider an off-peak wedding date
Unless there is a specific date that you’ve chosen for good reason (for example an anniversary or another day that is special to you) try to be a bit flexible with your wedding date if you can.
Weekday weddings are typically less popular with planners, so if you find a venue that your heart is set on but has no Saturday slots for years to come, ask about a weekday instead. Not only will this open up much more availability for you, it’ll also be much cheaper. Win, win.
Similarly, you may need to be a little more open to location options than you might have been if you had a year or so to plan your day. How to find a wedding venue on short notice 101: try to be flexible. Particularly if you live in a city and venues are likely to be booked, try exploring venues slightly further out of your immediate area – it might be a bit further for you and your guests to travel but, trust us, it won’t be what your guests remember about your day.
eve tip: Once you’ve got your venue locked in, communicate with your guests as soon as possible and give them a deadline to respond to you on catering if needed. Get their dietary requirements with your caterers as early on as you can – consider ditching the Save the Dates and go straight for an invitation with all the information they need for your short notice wedding.
Specialist wedding venues tend to be booked up in advance, so you’re likely to have better luck on short notice if you think a bit ‘outside the box’ when it comes to the kind of venues you look at.
Restaurants, barns, warehouses or even events venues that aren’t specifically wedding spaces can create truly beautiful environments for weddings that are genuinely unique.
Often with these kinds of venues, you can decorate them as you please, too – so you can ensure that the venue you choose helps bring your wedding day vision to life whilst having that all-important added availability for your short-notice wedding.
eve tip: If you’re not marrying in a religious establishment, you’ll need to make sure you’ve given legal notice of your intention to marry in enough time. In the UK, you’ll need to give notice at least 28 days before your wedding date, so ensure that you’ve ticked this off when planning a wedding on short notice!
Combine venue and logistics wherever possible
Top eve tip on how to find a wedding venue on short notice: look for a venue that will help you cover off as many logistics as possible to get more off your plate on a tight deadline.
If you need to source your own catering, alcohol, and music, this is likely to add both time and stress to short notice wedding planning. Even if a venue can provide a preferred suppliers list so that you’re not starting from scratch, it’s going to make the process much smoother for you to get various elements of the day in place when you’re against the clock.
Likewise, keeping your ceremony and reception celebrations in one venue will help to reduce the planning you need to do – transport from one venue to another, for example. When looking for a wedding venue on short notice, try to get as much in one place as you can and look for a licensed venue that will give you a ceremony space and a reception venue in one building.
Consider a micro-wedding
If you’re struggling to find a venue for your ideal wedding date, it might be time to cut the guest list. Whilst it might not be the solution you had in mind, if your focus is to get married ASAP and are struggling to find a venue that can fit you in, reducing capacity may open up your options. Intimate weddings can be just as beautiful too.
It might not mean that you’re now able to have your dream venue on short notice, but it might mean that options for venues that can accommodate you increase: finding a venue for 30 people is certainly easier than finding one for 130.