Beginner’s Guide to I Do, Part 3: Changing Your Wedding Venue Four Months Out

I had more great findings to share with everyone this month, but they will have to wait. Instead, I’ll share a circumstance in which Future Hubs and I found ourselves–one that they say we’ll laugh about years from now, but that we haven’t found funny quite yet.

With less than five months until our big day, our original wedding venue ceased to exist. We had to find a new location for both the ceremony and reception. With some quick work and a couple days’ time, we secured new venues and were back on track…for two weeks…when our second location fell through. You can’t make this stuff up.

I couldn’t help but draw a parallel between our experience and a car accident. Seriously. When you’re driving along and something causes you to lose control and forces you off track, there are steps to assess your situation and fix it. We went through similar motions as that of an unexpected and sometimes traumatic event–stay calm, make sure everyone is okay, contact the right people and understand what to do next. 

If you run into a wedding venue snag (and I pray you will not), here’s some steps that you can follow to get back on track:

  • Don’t freak out. I know that’s like telling a rooster not to crow, but you need to keep a cool head and lock down alternative plans quickly and within reason. Ladies: If you must play your Bridezilla card, direct it at someone who will understand your frustration and need to vent. Do not take it out on your future spouse or vendors. Gents: This works both ways.

  • Tap into your network of experts. We immediately started asking our friends and family for recommendations and luckily had contact information on hand to reach out to venues and coordinators directly. We divided and conquered and narrowed down a list of still-available options. It was then all about comparing how close we could get to our original budget and how smoothly we could transition other details. 
  • Review your contracts and understand what you’re owed. At this point we had deposits paid all over the place. We focused on the original venue first and pushed to receive a refund per the original language outlined. Other contracts for vendors were unaffected (photographers and DJs are pretty flexible), but another wanted more compensation for transporting goods a further distance. (Yes, we will pay you whatever you need to safely deliver those delicious cupcakes.)

  • Consider those around you who may be affected. We already had our honeymoon booked, so of course I considered eloping. “How bad would it really be if we just sent a ‘Disregard the Date!’ in the mail and ran off together?” I thought. Well, pretty bad once you consider all the dresses and suits, plane tickets and hotel rooms already purchased. Plus, I was so looking forward to hugging all my family again and hugging a lot of Future Hub’s family for the first time. That idea came and went quickly.

This was a learning experience to say the least. Above all else, Future Hubs and I have reaffirmed what really matters in a relationship at the end of the day. We’re in this together through thick and thin…but that honeymoon sure will help.


How did you work through the bumps of your wedding planning? Share your story with Eriesense@erieinsurance.com, and you may find it featured in a future story.

A bride-to-be shares lessons learned when her venue unexpectedly fell through. /blog/wedding-blog-3 Erie Insurance