Wedding Planning: When to Book Your Vendors

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Wedding planning is an intricate process that takes an immense amount of skill. And, in order to succeed in creating a fantastic event, you have to think of each part of a wedding as pieces to a puzzle that when put together, make up a bigger picture. Take the vendors for instance. They all play significant roles in making a wedding come to life, and without the services they provide, your wedding would not be complete. So, how do you secure them for your big day?  

Start by prioritizing what’s most important to you and your fiancé. If there’s a specific photographer or location you must have for your wedding it’s a good idea to book them right away.

Why Does Booking Vendors in a Certain Order Matter?

The reason you must book vendors in a particular order is that you may not have the information needed to book the next vendor. For instance, it would be difficult to secure any vendors without having a wedding date set, which is why it’s customary to book the ceremony and venue first. Similarly, you wouldn’t want to place rental orders before hiring a catering company in the event the caterers provide a lot of the things you need.

When it comes to vendors, some can’t assist with multiple weddings per day, like wedding planners and caterers, which is who you want to book first. Afterwards, you begin hiring other vendors, such as cake designers and florists, who work more than one wedding a day.

In What Order Should Vendors be Hired?

While you don’t need to follow this order precisely, the following list gives you an idea of when you should hire your vendors to ensure a smooth wedding planning process.

1.    Wedding planner – Not only do planners make your wedding beautiful; they make your job easier by taking on the grunt work. They also have a network of vendors they work with regularly, who they could recommend.

2.   Venue – You want to reserve your venue right away, especially in a major city like Central Florida, where popular locations can get snatched up quickly.

3.   Officiant – This step is crucial, especially since you cannot get married without an officiant. The right officiant will create a memorable and heartfelt experience for you and your guests and will collaborate with you to ensure you receive the wedding ceremony you want.

4.   Caterer – If your desired location offers onsite catering, you should be able to customize your food and beverage menu easily. Plus, they’ll most likely already have their own tables, chairs, linens, plates, silverware, glassware, etc. However, if your venue doesn’t offer a catering option, then you’ll want to research offsite catering companies in your area. 5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Caterer.  

5.   Photographer – Because popular photographers get booked up quickly, you don’t want to wait to take care of this task. Photographers are responsible for capturing and preserving the special moments throughout your day, so make sure to hire one whose vision aligns with yours.

6.   Music and entertainment – A great DJ or band will keep you and your guests having a great time on the dance floor, as well as keep everyone excited and energized. If you don’t have a specific entertainment choice in mind, try checking out different DJ and band performances, allowing yourself six to nine months before your wedding to book your favorite.  

7.   Florist – Typically, couples meet with florists after other vital components have been set, such as the date, venue, bridesmaid dresses, and gown. That way florists can come up with arrangements that will complement the colors and décor being used. It’s also a good idea to consult with florists in the same season the wedding will take place, who can inform you of which flowers are available, so you won’t waste time picking blooms that aren’t in season.

8.   Videographer – Ideally, you would like your photos and videos to look cohesive, so whenever possible, find a photographer and videographer that are familiar with each other. You can check to see if the venue has any recommendations, that way you know the videographer will already have experience working with the location.  

9.   Invitation designer – The invitation design process usually starts around five to eight months before the wedding. Because there are so many options to choose from, you want to give yourself enough time to decide what you like, in order to get your invitations out on time. Most calligraphers prefer to address the envelopes around four months in advance, ensuring they’re all set to go out eight to twelve weeks before the wedding. 7 Things to Include in Your Wedding Invitations.

10.  Hair stylists and makeup artists – Popular glam teams can be booked up six months to a year in advance, so if you have particular artists you would like to use, it’s best to secure their services ASAP. Otherwise, booking hair and makeup at least three months prior to the wedding date should give you enough time.

11.  Cake designer – Couples should hire a cake designer three to six months in advance unless they want an incredibly detailed or ornate cake, in which case you should secure a baker nine months prior to the wedding date.

At Heathrow Legacy Club, our Central Florida venue offers multiple gorgeous indoor and outdoor spaces for both your ceremony and reception. Our outstanding chefs, exquisite service, and level of accuracy are unparalleled. For more information on how we can help you create your perfect wedding day, contact us today by calling 407-562-0170.