When Is It a Good Time to Start Hiring Wedding Vendors?
I have always said that the best-planned weddings are the result of a collaborative effort of a team of industry professionals who work together to make your vision a reality. As soon as you determine the right budget for the wedding and choose the style, the planning process will start to take shape and you can begin your search for your vendors.
From endlessly browsing the internet to weighing the options against your budget, inevitably, time is of the essence when hiring wedding professionals.
I get it! – Planning a wedding is a massive undertaking, but its success depends on having everything set well before your special day.
When to Hire Wedding Vendors
Hiring vendors is not something that you start doing a month before your wedding day. Sooner rather than later goes a long way in the wedding industry. Most in demand vendors are sometimes booked a year or more out. And to guarantee a spot on their calendar, you will need to start the booking process as soon as you can.
I put together the following guidelines that will make hiring your dream team a breeze!
- Reception music, wedding band or DJ – 9 months
- Hotel blocks (if it’s an out-of-town wedding) – 8 months
- A licensed wedding officiant – 8 months
- Wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses – 1 year to 8 months
- Cake baker – 6-7 months
- Honeymoon travel coordinator – 7 months
- Photobooth – 6-7 months
- Hair and makeup artist – 6 months
- Men’s attire and accessories – 5 months
- Transportation – 3-4 months
- Wedding rings – 2 months
12 months or earlier:
Wedding planners are there to help unburden you with the stress that comes with wedding planning. They are no longer available only to the super rich or for those who are too busy to do the planning for themselves. Using the services of a wedding planner means that you value and recognize the benefits they provide more than your hands-on policy.
When hiring a wedding planner, the general rule of thumb is to do it as soon as possible. The longer they are involved in the planning process, the better they will get to know you and your style.
To read more on this, check out our 10 Reasons Why You Need A Wedding Planner
Right after getting engaged you should start to think about securing the wedding venue. Some popular venues have limited dates left going as far as 18 months out. Another good reason to book your venue early is that they can include many of the typical services like the wedding cake or centerpieces in their package. Some venues even have a preferred vendor network with exclusive deals on DJs or Photographers. This helps many couples consolidate some of the costs into one bill and takes much of the legwork out of searching for each individual vendor.
Wedding photography is a booming business nowadays, and it is almost impossible to get a good wedding photographer last minute. Your individual style and cost matter when choosing one that fits your needs. There are so many amazing photographers out there (just take a look at our beautiful real weddings), as long as you do your research, you will find one that will perfectly capture your vision. Like all the other vendors in this category – make sure you book them a minimum of 12 months out.
You can’t have a photographer without a videographer. When well shot, cinematic films will keep the special moments of your wedding alive for years to come and serve as a priceless memory of the day you exchanged vows. And pretty much like when choosing a photographer, be sure to do your homework and make sure their style fits yours!
I like to think of florists as artists! Flowers can bring on the wow factor when done right. Find a vendor who is willing to listen to your ideas and is able to accommodate requests and of course, ones that are known for using quality flowers. Essentially, this should be someone who will understand your vision, style of the wedding and budget. Find them and seal the deal no later than 12 months before the wedding day.
Based on research and our own polls, the food is one of the main things your guests will remember from your wedding day. Whether you have the caterer who is part of the venue or if you can bring in your own, whatever the case, make sure to again – do your homework. Go for tastings, review menu options and ask around for opinions. Most caterers will allow you to build a custom menu made just for your day, so if that is important to you make sure to find one that will do this. It’s a good idea to book your caterer right after you book your venue. This will allow plenty of time to prepare for logistics and accommodate any special setup requests with the venue well in advance.
Also, be sure to check out our ultimate wedding planning checklist.