The New Year is here, and you find yourself ready to take on a brand new and exciting milestone: marriage! Planning a wedding is a wonderful time of discovery, but as any newlywed couple will tell you, it requires a certain degree of foresight to ensure your big day is stress free.

One of the first tasks at hand is selecting your venue, especially if you’re contemplating having a ceremony outside your locale. To ease your search, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you get started.

1. Plan to book ahead, and be flexible with your date

As the term “Wedding Season” suggests, there are certain periods where venues experience high demand from wedding parties. This means that many have their schedule fill up quite quickly. If you have your heart set on a specific day, it may be hard to book a venue that can accommodate during the same calendar year. That said, it never hurts to reach out to a venue to see what they have available. The other benefit of being flexible with your date is that you could stand to save a significant amount of money if you’re open to having a mid-week wedding opposed to a weekend one. It’s also wise to check whether your location requires a minimum deposit to reserve the date for your special day.

2.Find Out What Your Venues Specific Requirements Are and if They Meet Your Needs

Once you have a day in mind, you’ll need to take into consideration the number of people you plan on having attended. Venues are equipped to handle a specific number of guests and thus may be tailored to smaller or larger crowds. Different variables, including on whether you plan on having the service/reception indoors or outdoors (or transition between the two), will typically impact the headcount available. Be sure to talk this through with your representative. If you find you’re still not sure, ask! You’re making a large investment and questions should never be discouraged (most venues typically have a FAQ section for you to reference as well). Other considerations to be aware of are: if the location supplies its catering, if outside alcohol is permitted, during what hours onsite set up is permitted, etc.

3. Make Sure to Visit Your Venue in Advance, Preferably During the Same Time of Day your Ceremony Will be Held

It may seem common sense, but some couples get so caught up in the other aspects of planning that they forget to take a trip out the actual venue itself, relying solely on website photos and other external visuals to envision their wedding. While it can be tricky to plan for some destinations, the peace of mind granted by inspecting your chosen location first hand is irreplaceable. Each wedding has a unique feel, and it’s far better to find out ahead of time if there are any unexpected complications that have changed your landscape. It’s also immensely comforting to meet your venue staff and know that you’ll be in the best hands possible ahead of time.

Once you’ve locked down these three basic steps, you’re well on your way to planning a successful wedding. We invite couples considering a picturesque Rocky Mountain wedding to contact us today to find out more about our facilities, and how we can help you plan nuptials, you’ll remember for a lifetime. Be sure to subscribe to our blog’s RSS feed and stay tuned for our follow up feature on planning accommodation for out of town guests.