When Should I Book My Vendors? {Ask a Wedding Planner}

Stephanie A. Smith Photography

Stephanie A. Smith Photography

It's been a while since we posted an Ask a Wedding Planner post, so we figured we would tackle a question we get asked rather frequently: "When should I be booking my vendors and in what order?"

The simple answer is as soon as you can, given your budget, available funds and planning time frame.  However, it isn't always a simple process.  Before you book any vendor, you should first choose your general location and narrow down a range of dates or the date, depending on what you want.  Some couples are dead-set on a certain venue and will choose their date based on when that venue is available; while others are set on a certain date and will choose the venue based on what's available for their date.  Once the date and location are set, you can begin to book your other vendors and build your vendor team!

We generally recommend that you should book your vendors in order of importance to you, just like you should allocate your budget based on what's important to you.  You can find lots of information on both of these topics, but the most important piece of advice we can give is to do what works best for you and your wedding.  Just like no two weddings are the same, neither are budgets or booking processes!  

Esther Louise Photography

Esther Louise Photography

If hiring a wedding planner is important to you and an absolute must (we definitely think so), then this is one of the first vendors you should book.  We find that many clients will book our services at the onset of planning so that we can really help with the entire planning process, including helping find a venue sometimes.  Some clients wait to book us until after they secure a venue because many venues require a planner.  Regardless of when you book your planner, make sure to utilize them to the fullest by getting their input on vendor recommendations and when you should book said vendors.

While there is no set timeline for booking your remaining vendors, our friends at WeddingWire made this handy infographic that lays out a general booking timeline.  It is important to remember that this is just a general timeline and you should do what works best for you and your fiance.  Things like ordering your wedding dress and invitations will depend on where you are ordering from and may require more customization, so make sure you factor those things into your timeline. 

Courtesy of WeddingWire

Courtesy of WeddingWire

Remember that some vendors only will take one wedding per day (i.e. Photographer, Videographer, DJ/Musician, etc.) unless they have a team of people, while others can take multiple weddings in a day depending on schedule (i.e. Baker, Florist, Hair & Make-Up artist, Officiant).  That being said, it important that if you want a specific photographer or musician for your wedding that you try and book them as early as possible.  Respectable, professional vendors are in high demand just like top venues, so be sure that yo do your homework and find out how far in advance you can book these vendors.  Be sure to utilize your resources when researching venues and vendors.  WeddingWire breaks down popular venues in each state and city to help couples find their ideal locations.  We love the  Florida wedding venues page for obvious reasons, but be sure to check out some of their other popular venue list for inspiration: NYC wedding venues page,.

Like we mentioned, there is no right or wrong answer when it come to so much of the planning process and that definitely applies here, so just do what feels right to you and your fiance.  You can drive yourself crazy researching timelines and when you should be doing things.  We suggest that you sit back, relax and do a little vendor homework (maybe with a glass of wine).

Megan Ellis Photography

Megan Ellis Photography

Best of luck in the planning process!

-The Just Save The Date Girls