What order should I book wedding vendors in?

April 28, 2021

Planning your wedding can be absolutely overwhelming. There are so many moving parts and people involved that it can be difficult to clear your head enough to even know where to start.

Here is some guidance to help you get started by prioritizing what you should do to start making traction with planning. It does require some focused time to sit down with your fiancé and to talk about what you both want at your wedding. Plan a breakfast conversation, or door dash dinner and have a productive night in. No matter how you do it, communicate with each other that you need some time to just talk through stuff without distractions.

So…without further ado, here we go…

Step 1: Pick a date….and then pick a backup date. Every vendor will ask you for your date before they’re able to commit their resources to your wedding. This is the most critical piece of information to get started.

Step 2: Figure out what is most important to you and your fiancé. For example: If there is a particular venue that you both really want to get married at, make this your first call. If there is a specific thing you really want at your wedding, or a certain DJ, that needs to be your very first phone call.

Black and white photo of a bride walking with her father down the aisle to the alter

**Step 2 may change your date…and that’s ok. If it is the most important piece of the wedding day for you guys, it’s ok if you need to change your date to accommodate it.

Step 3: If Step 2, wasn’t your venue, then this should be your first phone call. You gotta have a place to get married. Even if you’re getting married at a family members farm, make sure it’s ok to be there. If the venue doesn’t offer catering themselves, that should be your very next call.

Step 4: The photographer. As a wedding photographer, I can tell you that from March until November, we book up fast. And we can only shoot one wedding at a time, much like the venue can only host one wedding at a time. That means if your date is already booked, we’re stuck. Locking in your photographer and your venue are two of the most critical parts of the day.

Step 5: The DJ would be another individual that you’ll want to book early. Unless it’s a DJ company that has several individuals, this could be one that, once they’re booked, you’re out of luck.

Step 6: Flowers…the florist may be able to take several weddings on your date, but there is still a limit. You’ll want to have this booked and discussed next.

picture of colorful bridal bouquet

Step 7: The bakery. Similar to the florist, they’ll be able to take a few weddings at a time, but they need to be sure they have time allotment for baking, decorating, and delivery.

Step 8: Rings! This is sometimes overlooked until it’s a full on panic. If your engagement ring is not part of a set, you’ll need to get out and go ring shopping about 12 weeks prior to the wedding.

Step 9: Hair and Makeup: Talk with your own stylist about whether or not they do bridal parties. If they do, they may be able to recommend a makeup artist that they’ve worked with in the past.

Picture of bride checking her makeup while getting ready

Step 10: Tuxes: Because these are rentals, and there are only a handful of places in the area that rent tuxes, you’ll need to make sure these are picked out and arranged about 12 weeks prior to the wedding as well. This can be done sooner, but no later than the 8 week out mark for sure!

Hopefully this helps guide you towards making your wedding planning smoother. Check our website starting in May for a wedding vendor recommendation list! We have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly so we feel really good about the people we recommend on our website!

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