You just got engaged, the excitement is in the air because you cannot wait to plan your special day and now you have to figure out what to do next. But for the bride who has never done this before, as many of you haven’t, you may not even know where to start! Let me give you a little insight from a vendor perspective on when is the best time to book.
First and foremost plan your vision! Because choosing your wedding vendor list can be extremely overwhelming, you want to make sure you know what you want when you reach out to your vendors. If there is one thing I hear over and over again on my first calls with my beautiful brides is, they start to look at venues and then they realize ALL of the things that come with it and then you just stop looking because it freaks you out! Don’t worry, we have all been there! 🙂 The biggest thing you have to remember is breathe, relax, and then create a vision for your big day! You cannot plan out your vendors or even your venue if you do not have a vision of what you want your beautiful day to look like!
Once your vision has come to life, look around at the wedding venues and see which ones speak to your vision. If you do not see yourself getting married there when you are looking in to it, it probably is not quite the place for you. Certain venues have certain vibes. Depending on what your vision is, you should pick a venue with the vibe and vision you imagine.
Picking your venue should be the very first thing you do! You cannot begin to plan out the rest of your vendors until you have an official date set because we need to know if we are available for that date. Some of you may have a specific date set regardless. Your trouble then is making sure you can find a venue that is available on that date that fits the vision you have created.
After you have your date and venue picked out, you need to book your wedding photographer! These are two of the most important things to book up front because both venues and photographers book out in advance and only take one couple per day. It use to be you could book a photographer 9-12 months out and be okay. Now it’s closer to 12-18 months out when we are booking. Remember, your photographer is with you ALL DAY LONG! More than you will even be with your groom. Make sure you pick a photographer whose work you not only love, but personality you love as well. They will make or break your wedding day experience!
Booking both of these are the biggest step. Because a lot of venues now are either all inclusive, have a preferred vendor list you will use, or the photographer has a vendor list they love to work with. If you are wanting a videographer, they are next on the list of things to book. Usually your photographer will have a list of videographers they love to work with. Make sure they get along well because that makes a huge difference as well.
If the venue does not have florist and caterer, they are the next on the list followed by hair and make up. usually these vendors work in teams so they have a few options per day. However, still get them booked within 9-12 months to make sure all of your major vendors are out of the way and you have everyone you love.
Once those are done, you have made a huge dent in your wedding planning. From here, the florist, photographer, and venue will help create the look and feel of your big day and lead you to the direction on where to go next and how to find what you really want! 🙂