You’re engaged and so excited for your wedding. Congratulations! But you have no idea where to begin. Don’t worry, that’s what this blog is here for. Here is a list of what vendors you should book at different times of the year leading up to your wedding day.
Now, it might seem like a long way out to book vendors more than a year before your wedding, but a lot of popular vendors will get booked up to 18 months in advance. So if you have your heart set on a certain venue or maybe a photographer (hey) it’s best to contact them right away and try to nail down a date.
9-12 Months before your wedding
Videographer (hello again)
Nine months to a year out from your wedding is a great time to choose a photographer and/or videographer that will match the style of your wedding and also be with you every step of the way during your engagement and planning process. You can check our availability at the bottom of this blog, FYI. (shameless plug, haha)
Around this time you’ll also want to reach out to Hair and Makeup stylists, and any live bands you would want for your wedding. If you have a band in mind, you want to contact them early.
Gather your best girl friends, grab a few mimosas and maybe a couple tacos (I know I’d include tacos) and hit up some amazing bridal boutiques. A lot of these boutiques will probably have those mimosas ready for you anyway. Picking your dress this far out give the boutique time to order your size and make any alterations with plenty of time for your bridal session.
Speaking of your bridal portrait session, that is a great time to do a test run with your hair and makeup artist. A few of them offer that included in your wedding package cost, so be sure to ask.
There is never a wrong time to start thinking about your honeymoon travel. I’d suggest contacting a honeymoon travel agent (click here for an amazing agent). They often will have specials for places you may not have even thought about honeymooning. Plus you can give them a timeframe and budget and they can find you options. So easy!
Invitations/Save The Dates
Custom invitations are amazing and if you plan to have them you want to get ahead of the game. Work with someone who can take your style and incorporate it into your invitation suite. The best in the business is Davis Art Co. with the way she hand draws the designs and really connects with you. I love seeing her magic.
Your florist and caterers get booked out a ways too, so you’ll want to book them around that 7-8 months before your wedding.
Try to find a florist who will share with you some in season flowers that would still fit your style. Staying in season will help keep your budget happy and those flowers fresh and lovely.
One of my favorite things about planning my wedding was setting up tastings with caterers. I mean it was free food. Delicious food at that! So try a few and find those meals you and your guests would absolutely love.
Now is the time to talk to an officiant about marrying you, especially if you are getting married at a venue or outdoors.
Choosing music for your wedding can be difficult, especially if you’re going with live music. If you decide to go with a DJ you can wait a little longer in the planning process. But not much longer than going with a live band.
Back to those tasting meetings again! Now that you have your caterer, it’s time to get that delicious and stunning cake settled. Around 6 months before your wedding is a great time to taste some cake and get that design locked in.
It’s a good time for your bridesmaids to start planning their dresses too. Those usually don’t take as much time as your wedding dress does, so 6 months is good for them.
Any furniture, archway, backdrop, dinnerwear or any other rentals you might be purchasing should also be chosen around 5-6 months out.
You’ll want to get all the guests lodging and transportation information ironed out about four to five months before your wedding, so you can include that in your invitations.
Now is the guy’s turn to pick their outfits. If you can get all the guys together to get their measurements that is so much easier than individually going in to the Tux rental. Also you can all have some celebratory whiskey and cigars afterward.
Either going back to the bridal boutique or even checking out Etsy for some accessories will add so much to your dress. Veil, jewelry, shoes. All that should be starting to come together around this time,
You probably already have that shiny engagement ring on your finger. *pauses for you to look back up* And now it’s time to get that matching band. If you are planning to get any custom weddings bands, I’d suggest doing that closer to 6 months out since it’s custom and it’ll take much longer than an afternoon at a few jewelers.
Any fun wedding favors for your guests can be purchased at this time as well. Another fun thing for your guests, and I hope you too, is a photo booth. These are often last minute add-ons but are a ton of fun. Sidenote, we also offer photo booths.
I hope all of that was helpful for you as you plan your wedding. It can seem overwhelming, but separating it into sections like that can help ease the load of All The Things coming at you at once.
If you’re still early in your planning process and still looking for a photographer and/or videographer, we would love to chat with you! You can check to see if you’re available on your wedding date by clicking here.
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