The Bride Link
Editorial Category: 
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

What Order To Hire Your Wedding Vendors

What Order To Hire Your Wedding Vendors

Today, we're going to talk about the best order you should hire your wedding professionals!  When you're just getting started, it's important to have a wedding vendor list to refer to. We can help! Use the order below to create your wedding vendors checklist complete with suggestions for a hiring timeline. Grab you FREE copy of our Ceremony Cheat Sheet to help you get started!

The very first thing you should choose is your venue. 

You want to try to have your venue booked at least a year in advance, if possible. You won't have as many others as options available if you wait too long. Don't pay for anything (especially book dates with nonrefundable deposits) with other vendors until after you've booked the venue! The foundation of your wedding day rests on the site or place you choose. Be positive your date is available and within your budget before placing your down payment and deposits for the rest of your wedding professionals.

Next, you want to hire a photographer. 

When hiring a photographer, it's essential to ask yourself if you want a videographer, well. If you do, you might want to hire them at the same time. You should also try to pick your photographer 10 to 12 months in advance if possible, but the sooner, the better. Keep in mind; some wedding professionals can take on multiple events in one day. A caterer might have multiple crews, a baker can drop two to three cakes off in a single day, or a DJ may have other associate DJs that work under them. Photographers, however, can be only at one wedding at a time. Since photography is an art form, it's a lot harder to replace someone and keep that same artistic style you've picked. So book your photographer near the beginning of your planning process.

A licensed and insured caterer. 

We suggest 10 or 11 months in advance, but don't get stressed if you're planning your wedding with a shorter timeline. Make sure to pick your caterer early in the hiring process. Food represents a large part of your budget, and quotes can vary extensively. The goal is to get food out of the way early so we can see how your menu choices will affect your budget. Caterers will first ask for an estimated headcount early on so they can give you a quote. Typically they'll get a final headcount two to three weeks before the event, so you know you're ordering the correct amount of food for the number of guests attending.

Wedding planner or day-of coordinator.

If you decided not to hire a wedding planner, you should consider at least a day-of coordinator! They will make your wedding day run smoothly from beginning to end and can be of great assistance to you! They relieve stress during your wedding day and make sure that everything as far as small details and managing your vendors the day of your wedding planned and executed directly. You should hire this person at least three to six months out, but in all honesty, the sooner, the better! They can give you great advice and great vendor referrals to help in the planning process. They also may have other tools or programs you can use to help with the planning. Even if you're on you've picked a partial or day-of service wedding planner.

Next is hotel and guest accommodations.

If you want to block off hotel rooms for guest accommodations, you should do that at the beginning of your booking process. Remember, hotels are will only offer $10-$20 off per room per night. It's not substantial savings if you decide to skip it. Three months out, you need to have all of your hotel rooms blocked off so you can notify your guests, and they can begin booking. In all honesty, though, hotels can get booked up quickly. You'll need to include your accommodation information when you're sending out your invitations.

Let's talk invitations.

Invitations go out six to eight weeks before the event, but you're going to have to get these printed! To do that, you're going to need at least a month's notice, so start designing your invites 4-5 months prior. There are usually local print shops that specialize in custom work if a local company is preferred. You can also check with online vendors if you are more price-focused.

After that, you're gonna want to consider a florists.

Picking the right florist is essential because quotes can vary highly depending on what you order. Remember to book at least six to eight months in advance, if possible. This is an area you may need to adjust once you can see how it will affect your budget.

Now, it's time to choose your entertainment or your DJ. 

Live or popular local bands may need to be hired early in your process. They may be already booked for your date, and finding replacements who sound similar may be difficult. This is very similar to why we hire suggest hiring a photographer early on. A DJ is a little bit easier to replicate since they're going to be playing music from a playlist that another DJ could easily handle. You'd like to hire them at least three to six months out to make sure you still have a pick of great DJs that are available on your date. But as always, the sooner, the better!

Wedding cake baker.

Schedule tastings with you and your partner to ensure you're getting a dessert that you'll both enjoy! Make sure to do this about six months in advance.

Hair and makeup.

You want to make sure to hire this person three to six months out! If you'll be requesting that they com on-site the day of your wedding, you might want to look closer to that six months out, if not earlier. Be sure to specify this, in the beginning, to ensure travel requirements taken into account.

Wedding officiant. 

The ceremony is an essential part of the day, so this is a vital hire not to miss. We saved it for last on our list because there are several options for ordained officiants that are available in most communities. It should be relatively easy to find somebody that will marry you! Check with your local church or use social media to ask for recommendations! You can also elect to have a friend or family member be ordained. Just be sure to check local laws to ensure an online ordained is accepted and legal.

Lastly, you should hire transportation if it's needed for your venue. 

If you need a shuttle bus or a trolley to help get your guests from one point to another, or if you want your driver, like a limo service or getaway car service. Complete this about three to four months in advance to ensure they have your date available. 

For more expert wedding planning advice, follow us @thebridelink

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