Happy Wedding Wednesday! With our engagement party behind us and wedding planning on the brink of kicking off, John and I are really beginning to prioritize what our absolute must haves are, what can wait, and determining what we can save on. There are many vendors and projects that come with pulling off your dream day that can wait (such as rentals, DIY projects, and invitations,) but there are definitely a few key vendors that you want to lock down before they become unavailable on your date. Your priorities may vary slightly than the vendors below, but wedding professionals suggest booking these specific ones 12 to 9 months prior to your wedding date, or even further out is you absolutely must have a specific one!
The Venue & Wedding Planner
I think we can all agree- this is the most important vendor(s) of all! You really can’t (and shouldn’t) book any vendors without having your venue anyways, so it of course makes logical sense to determine what your venue might be! After you have found yours, you will know if your venues will supply you with a day of coordinator, which will work well for some couples just fine. For others, hiring a wedding planner will be valued immensely and often necessary for those that are planning a destination wedding. These two vendors go hand in hand, so don’t let your dream wedding planner wait around when you could book them and start the process of planning! Each planner will have different ways of working with you, so like many other vendors, the introductory call will be very insightful. For more guidelines on determining the best wedding planner for you, check out my guide here which helps breakdown all the essential questions you’ll want to ask any potential wedding planner before hiring them to ensure you a get the completely understanding of their work flow and experience.
Photographer & Videographer
If you place a high priority on the photographs taken at your wedding, don’t wait too long to contact and book your dream photographer. This is one the most important vendors at your wedding since they will be along side you and your bridesmaids as you get ready, in addition to them capturing the entire ceremony and reception with friends and family. I suggest researching photographers using Instagram (try searching #sanfranciscowedding or #bayareaweddingphotographer) as quick way to determine a photographer’s style and aesthetic through previous work. Then, head to their website to inquire about “investment” (meaning price) and schedule a call if it seems like a fit. If you feel you are well aligned, book fast! If not, keep on searching, The right photographer is out there, you just have to search! If a wedding videographer is in your bucket of “must haves”, be sure to book these quick as well. Quality videographers are a little harder to come by then photographers which means availability could definitely pose a threat when trying to book them.
Booking the caterer can be a huge weight lifted off newlyweds to be, since it is one of the biggest (and most pricey) vendor there is. Compare menus, get quotes, and be honest with who you are working with when it comes to budget. If you know that you will want to spend more money on tablescapes and rentals, talk to your caterer about creative ways you may be able to save here and there. When it comes to weddings, every penny adds up- and the vendors are familiar with revising quotes and working to get as close to a number as possible for their clients. With that in mind, trust what they recommend! While you do want to keep your dollars in mind, they are the professionals and know what ultimately will work best and is necessary. Once this is booked, you can then later on figure out all the fun items like linens, flatware, flutes, plates and more!
Are you planning your wedding and looking for wedding stationary? If so, don’t miss browsing Minted’s for their wedding suite stationary, or even their selection of personalized gifts perfect for newlyweds! Please do let me know if you have any wedding planning tips in the comments below, as this is a complete learning experience for me too!
Until Next Wedding Wednesday….
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