The Right Time to Book

One of the largest questions any bride faces when planning her big day is, what comes next? The rush and excitement of planning a wedding can easily fall in to confusion and frustration; however; with a little guidance from professionals who live and breath weddings every day, this process can become seamless and return the fun and joy of this momentous occasion. We've created our suggested list below; however; keep in mind, just as no two couples are alike, no two planning processes are alike. You should always rely on your vendors (and most often a full time Wedding Planner) to guide you to the path that is the best fit for you, your fiancé, and your lifestyle. The biggest thing to remember is to find the joy!


Event Planner/Wedding Planner/Event Coordinator/Event Designer...and on and on: First and most important it is important to understand there is a difference in these two specialties. Understanding which best suits your needs is key. Titles are tossed around in the wedding industry, so it can be challenging for couples to best understand who is handling what on their day. We recommend starting your planning process by having a chat with you fiancé and your family about what specific needs you will have and what your wants will be throughout your planning. When talking with vendors you need to make sure you fully understand what their roles are no matter what the title may be (planner, designer, venue manger, etc.). Don't be afraid to ask them "what all will you be responsible for" "what are items you don't handle", this will essentially help you decide if you need both a full service planner & event designer or one or the other. Either way, this is a great "first to book" vendor that will guide you on your path to wedding bliss.

Venue: This will probably be your biggest and hardest decision when planning your wedding (besides the dress of course). You will find that there are many options to choose from which is why booking your venue so far ahead is crucial. You can have a 'set date' when you begin venue tours; however; being flexible with your date may help if the venue you want is already booked. Our recommendation... hold off on printing those 'save the date' invitations just yet! { check our our venue website for helpful booking tips: }


Caterer: Another crucial component to your big day, the food and beverage! This vendor often ties in with your venue selection and can range in booking recommendations from 10-12 months. As you meet with caterers make sure to understand, not all chicken is alike! Service standards and style are a big part of determining the best fit for your wedding. This vendor is one of the most important to ensuring you aren't left embarrassed on your wedding one wants to run out of food or be left with long lines at the bar!

Florist: We’re sure you’ve spent the last few weeks (or years, no judging) building inspirations boards, and looking at flower arrangements and wedding inspiration...heeelllooo Pinterest. Until you’ve had to, most people don’t know the many variations of flowers available to them or when they are available. (We're looking at you Peony brides!) Those pretty flowers you’ve seen on Pintrest were made by actual professionals. This is the perfect time to find a florist who understands your vision/budget and can create that for you. This vendor may also be an exclusive or preferred vendor tied to your venue. One important thing to keep in mind when booking your florist: style! If you are being shown a package or a portfolio to select from and it is important to you that your wedding reflects your own style not a copy and paste from another then the vendor you're meeting with may not be the best fit for you!

Photographer: Another big big deal. Photographers play such a significant role to your wedding day, seeing as though they will be responsible for the visual memories you will have from your big day. Things to consider when selecting a photographer, their style, pricing, & how many images you will receive. And although this seems like a no-brainer, make sure they have good energy and that you connect-- they’re going to be around you and all of your guest for a long time.

Videographer: If you are wanting to have a video from your wedding (and we highly highly recommend you do), you should book a videographer. Yes, everyone will be on Snapchat and recording videos of their own, but you’re going to want nice cinematic footage of your wedding day. One thing you will always hear from couples is the day went by so fast and they wish they could relive it...well there is only one way to do just that and the quality of the video will matter when you are wanting to remember dancing with your Grandpa or hearing your sister's speech again. Videographers book up fast for weddings, so contact your favorites soon.


Wedding Dress: Buying your wedding dress is much different than buying any other piece of clothing. You want to give yourself ample time to search around, and try dresses from different stores. Only 10% of brides walk into a bridal store, and walk out the same day with a dress selected. Trying on a bunch of dresses will help assure you that when you find ‘the one’ it’s truly the best one.

DJ: A good DJ/Band is very important. They will control the vibe for your reception, so you want to make sure you really check out their work before you book them. Their playlist and how they mix songs will matter when you and your guest are trying to get-down on the dance floor. Remember this person will be on the microphone guiding your guests throughout the night and should not only be able to play great music but be a great host!


Save-the-date: After you have a venue booked, your date is officially set. That means you can take engagement pictures and order your invitations. (You won’t need to actually mail out your invitations until 6-8 weeks before your wedding date). This is the first impression your guests will have of your wedding, so style is important!

Cake: Just like you see in the movies, it’s cake tasting time!! Bakers only take so many orders per week, so you definitely want to have yours booked quickly. { check out our post on cake tastings for some helpful tips on this big part of your planning day. }

Officiant: I think we can all agree that above all, this is the most important booking you will make during your wedding planner. Without an officiant, you won’t actually be married. This is another vendor you will want to ensure you have a connection with. If you are having a non-traditional ceremony, making sure you've covered exactly what you would like included in your ceremony will be an important step to making sure this (THE) moment is perfect for you.


Beauty Professionals: Although it’s popular, we doubt you’re going to be watching YouTube tutorials to do your hair and makeup for your big day. These are the people who are going to make you look your best for your big day, so it’s important you pick them out in advance. Both your make-up artist and hair stylist will probably want to do a trial-run with your look, so that they know it’s exactly how you want it.

Men’s attire: Choosing both the groom and groomsmen attire will be much simpler than wedding dress shopping. Whether you choose a suit or tux, and to rent/buy, you’ll want to get it done a few months before the big day. Keep your eye out for discounts when dress shopping.