A Quick Guide: When to Start Looking for Wedding Vendors

Once your partner gets down on one knee and proposes to you, the countdown to your wedding has officially started. It doesn’t matter if you are getting married within a few months or in a few years, the big day is on its way, and you need to start preparing for your dream wedding. 

In this article we look at how to prepare for your wedding, and when you need to get your vendors on board to make your big day a success. 

Create a wedding checklist

Once you have a wedding to work towards, you need to pull out your wedding binder and start listing down all the wedding-related services you will need to make the wedding of your dreams come true. Make lists of the people that you would like to invite, and start brainstorming themes, and venues. These will all give you an idea of the vendors that you may need to get on board to make your vision a reality. 

Your vendor list needs to consist of wedding planners, hair and beauty stylists, florists, officiants, stationers, party favors, and logistics, just to name a few.  

Create a timeline

After creating your checklist, you will have a strong idea of how to approach the timeline. If you have a concrete day for your wedding in mind, then you can start perusing and approaching vendors that would suit your theme and ideas. If you’re having a longer engagement, you will definitely have more time to prepare, and if you’re having a shorter engagement, there will be a lot of compromises that you will need to make in order to walk down the aisle. 

In an ideal setting, you should have about a year to plan your wedding, by spacing out your plans over the course of this year, you won’t feel too much stress and burnout from the preparations. 

Research Vendors

When you are in the process of researching vendors, there are some considerations you need to keep in mind. Look at their hiring process, availability, deposit amounts, logistics to and from your desired location, and cancellation procedures. This way you will be prepared for any hiccups you may encounter during the lead-up to your wedding. Also, be aware of when you need to pay the remainder of your balance by so that you secure them properly. 

Securing the venue

This needs to be booked as soon as you finalize your guest numbers. This makes sure that you are not stuck with any secondary options, especially if you are planning to have your wedding during peak season. Conduct a site visit to make sure that all your research is legitimate and that you will be happy to have your wedding there. 

Booking the buffet

When it comes to dining for your wedding, you need to look at potential caterers more than six months in advance, especially if you have a themed dinner. Giving them ample time to source their produce. They will also need to ascertain if all ingredients are in season, or if they need to order from another state, for example, the caterer may need to order premium live lobster from Maine to make their dish, or wine from California to serve during dinner. 

Closer to the wedding date, you need to arrange for tastings of your dinner menu as well as the flavors of the cake for your wedding. This is to make sure you are happy with the direction of the food, 

Photography and Entertainment

Ideally, when you book your entertainment, you need to do this as early as possible. This will include your live entertainment, DJ, lighting, sound system, and photography for the day. This is to make sure that these vendors will be able to block out their services on that day to cater to your wedding. Booking these vendors about 10 to 11 months in advance would be ideal. Especially if you are hiring live musicians or a photography service that does photo booths or even specialized filming and photography.

Remember to request examples of their previous work before you put your deposit down. You need to ensure that you will receive what you are paying for, and portfolios are a great way to discern this information. 

Wedding Rentals and Decor

About half a year before the wedding, it would be a good idea to book the services that will be handling your decor, florists, and other rental services that will bring your ideas to life. While these services will have an idea of what your end product should look like, a few months before the wedding, you should request a mock-up of what certain arrangements would look like, to have a better idea of how your venue will look when the time comes. 

Wrapping up

Your wedding will be one of the most important days of your life, and leading up to the wedding requires a whole lot of preparation. This is why you need a checklist of the vendors you need to hire, as well as a timeline in which to execute your ideas. By following this plan, you will be well prepared for your wedding without stressing about the small details at the last minute.