As a wedding and event planner, I get a lot of questions. Which I love, so keep them coming!! But, out of all the questions I get, there is one frequent questions regarding the couple’s wedding services and how far in advance they should be booked. While there will be some unpredictable circumstances, like a certain venue is booked out very far in advance or a certain DJ, you cannot book too early, but could be way late!
Here’s a guide that works for most weddings, traditional, and non traditional alike:
Venue: First thing is first, book the venue near the beginning of your wedding planning, at least 9-12 months before the wedding date, if not sooner! This is the easier vendor to start your planning considering it will help you know what kind of vendors you can have, the guest list, etc.
Wedding Transportation: Remember how important it will be too get from point A to point B. You will want reliable transportation on your wedding day, so book a good service about six months ahead of time.
Wedding Planner or Day Of Coordinator: If you’re working with a Full Service Wedding Planner, you’ll want to hire her near the onset of your planning to maximize the use of her expertise. For day-of coordinators Wedding Planners, you can generally wait until 6-8 months before the wedding. She won’t be working very intensely with you until about one month before the wedding, but she should still be available to answer questions leading up to that time.
Officiant: If you’re not getting married in your place of worship, you’ll want to hire an independent officiant or if you have a choice at your place of worship like I did, some may be busier than other. Begin screening candidates about 9-12 months before the wedding and try to work out an in-person meeting if possible to discuss the ceremony style and vow options as well as if there are insured via venue contracts.
Photography/Videography: This will depend a bit on the popularity of your wedding date, but most photographers and videographers recommend hiring them at least 12 months before the wedding…18 months if you can manage it because they will most likely be able to help with engagement shoots as well as alter to your likely and figure out the best places to shoot for you big day
Wedding Stationery: Save the Dates can be ordered shortly after you book the venue and secure the time and date and have the photo you’d like to use (if you choose to use a photo; I know I didnt for my save the dates)! You’ll want to order your wedding invitations about six months before the wedding to give people time to re plan because well, save the dates can get misplaced!
Florist: You should brainstorm what kind of décor you’ll need, however its never too early to start thinking about the types of flowers you want for budget reasons as well as look! It’s also helpful to know the number of wedding attendants and approximate number of guests who will be attending so you have an idea of personal floral and centerpiece numbers. With this in mind, hire your florist about 7 months before the big day.
Musician(s) or DJ: If there’s a particular musician, DJ, or band that you want to hire, you should try to book them 9-12 months before the wedding. If you are like me and use a DJ or DJ company, you can usually wait to about 6-9 months ahead of time, but make sure the DJ is the type of DJ you’re interested in having so my personally opinion is meet them first!
Cake Maker: Some venues will have your wedding cake built into your catering package that comes with the venue or might have preferred vendors. If not, I suggest you schedule some tastings and grab your baker about 8 months before your big day.
Stylist: I recommend booking your hair and makeup stylist 9-8 months before the wedding. It’s a good idea to book a trial run of your hair and makeup beforehand to ensure you and the stylist are on the same page. Speak up if you do not like something!!
If you have a question about a service, please let me know!!
xo, Dayna J