First when you become engaged take a few weeks or more and enjoy the moment. Celebrate, have fun. Tell your friends and family. Set up a Facebook account to post what's happening.
Then sit down with parents or whom ever is going to pay for the event. Ask straight forward questions about the date that you want to have your wedding and especially the budget. Its vital that you stay within the range that you can afford. On the show ”Say Yes To The Dress” they always caution brides NOT to try on dresses that they cannot afford. Because they will fall in love with something that's out of reach and will never be truly happy with any other gown.
As a wedding venue I totally agree. You may host your wedding reception anywhere from your backyard to art galleries etc.. The cost can easily go from a free back yard picnic to a $100,000.00+ wedding and event venue.
Once you have an idea of the most that you can spend that's when it makes sense to start looking. Most websites you ask you for the range so that they can help you narrow down what wedding venues are within your price range.
Make sure that you find out what's
included. If you have to purchase tables and chairs etc. that can really increase the price quickly. Do you need to use their OWN caterers or can you select which company will cater your wedding.
Maybe have an all in budget and then divide the into the categories that you will be needed to pay. But you always need to book the wedding venue first. You cannot get anything else until you have a date and location. That can also effect what type of gown you want to wear, the food that you will serve, how many flowers you will need and more.