“When Should I Book My Wedding Vendors?”
We have been asked this question a lot from engaged couples. The hardest part of the wedding planning process is figuring out when to contact these vendors. To assist with the process and make your wedding hassle-free, we compiled a vendor booking timeline. But first, we suggest you follow these rules:
- Hire a wedding planner.
- If you require a specific vendor/person, book immediately.
- Check out reviews before hiring a vendor.
- If you are getting married on the most popular dates during the year, start your researching and booking even earlier.
- Be open to flexibility.
- Have a budget.
Now, when should you book these vendors, you’d ask. Keep scrolling!
12 Months Before Your Wedding
Before hiring any wedding vendor, you should book your venue. This is the official kick-off of your whole wedding planning process. During this pandemic, almost every couple’s wedding is affected so it’s possible your preferred date is taken since everyone is trying to reschedule at the same time. Popular wedding venues get booked very fast, so if you are going for one, it’s advisable you should book at least 12 months in advance. It’s also advisable to be open to flexibility. What are you waiting for? Call that venue and secure your date!
Your wedding planner should be the first vendor you hire especially if you want a full-service wedding planner to assist with your entire process. It’s essential you get one so you can have a stress free wedding planning experience. Hire someone whose personality works well with yours. Just like a venue, book a wedding planner at least 12 months in advance.
10 Months Before Your Wedding
There is a general rule of thumb that you can follow when booking your wedding vendors. That is; If it requires a specific vendor, book as soon as possible. These vendors get booked faster because they can only do one wedding per day. Examples are;
Wedding photographers and videographers play important roles in your wedding. The top-tier wedding photographers and videographers would be in high demand so start booking at least 10 months in advance. This would enable you to confidently leave your pictures and videos in the hands of a professional to capture every sacred moment – the smiles, tears, laughter. This trust comes with hiring top wedding photographers and videographers. If getting amazing photos and wedding videos isn’t a priority (it should it is a priority though), then you can wait till later.
For a professional bridal makeup artist, the rule still stands. Makeup artists and hairstylists are always fully booked. A professional makeup artist should get booked at least 10 months to your wedding especially if you are hiring for a full day. You and your girls (bridesmaids) need to get glammed with a popping face beat. Secure your spot and book that makeup artist now. Don’t forget to schedule a makeup trial a few months before your wedding as well.
The same goes for a professional bridal hairstylist. A wedding hairstylist would give you that gorgeous look that will last the whole day and night, be it a bun, curls, ponytail or an updo. As with a makeup artist, schedule a hair trial a few months before your wedding.
The same rule from above applies to your wedding DJ as well. Waiting too long to book your wedding DJ will leave you with a limited number of available DJs to choose from.
If your wedding venue does not come with catering service, you’ll need to include a caterer in your wedding vendor timeline as soon as possible. Go for tastings. You don’t want bad food to ruin your wedding. You would require their services for the whole day so it’s important to book on time.
8-9 Months Before Your Wedding
Now we’re getting into the wedding vendors who can do multiple weddings in one day. Unlike the 10 months in advance vendors, ceremony officials and wedding florists can usually do more than one event a day, so you don’t have to book them quite as far in advance.
Most florists can do more than one wedding a day, so booking before your wedding isn’t as crucial. Although, a good florist gets fully booked during peak season so booking at least 8 months before your wedding is okay. Some variety of flowers would no longer be available due to the season. Not forgetting there might be issues shipping in flowers, due to the restriction. That’s why you shouldn’t make it too late.
If your wedding venue doesn’t come with a licensed professional ceremony officiant, hire one. Your wedding planner can help you find the right officiant that will suit the type of wedding you plan to have. You should start selecting your officiant 8-9 months in advance. Meet them in person and have a chat with them.
If possible, start your search for the perfect wedding dress about 7 to 9 months early. This will allow you to really take your time and find exactly what you are looking for. It would also give you ample time to finalize your style or any little detail and make alterations.
6 Months Before Your Wedding
Some caterers include wedding cakes in their service. Otherwise, plan to hire your cake baker about 6 months in advance. Most bakeries can handle producing multiple wedding cakes a day, so you don’t necessarily have to be too early. A 6 months in advance timeline is fine. However, if you have your heart set on a specific bakery, book them as far in advance as possible. Also, schedule a tasting to pick the flavors for your wedding cake.
Lack of preparation is the biggest honeymoon planning mistake couples make. It’s time to start thinking about your honeymoon. Save that last-minute panic-stricken moment by consulting a honeymoon travel agent early. This would ensure you have enough time to find out the best places to go for the time of year and research on extras.
Your invitation card can be ordered 4-6 months in advance. However, it’s recommended that you start sending ‘save the date’ cards to your guests as soon as you secure your venue and wedding date.
That’s it! We hope this was helpful.
If you enjoyed reading this, we have more for you here. Don’t forget to follow our feed on Instagram. To find black wedding vendors and other wedding suppliers who provide wedding services for black/multicultural couples like wedding photography, videography, wedding planning, black bridal makeup artist, and more, kindly visit our Black Wedding Vendor Directory page to contact