Wedding Vendors - Who to Contact and When!
You are engaged - congratulations! Now comes at least 8 months to 2 years of planning, depending on what you are planning for your big day. The race to find the right vendors and get them booked is on. Some people contact me only a few weeks before their wedding, and some contact me months in advance. The best time to contact me is in October the year BEFORE your wedding - if you are getting married in the high season (June, July, August). If it is any later in the year, January of the same year is plenty of time! If you contact me more than one year before your wedding, I may not be able to provide an accurate quote as pricing is not predictable this far before your date. The more time, the better is not always the best way of thinking!
So, what vendors should you secure first? My suggestion is venue & photography should be the first two vendors you look for. These vendors can book 1 year or more in advance of the wedding date, especially if they are in high demand! If you have your dress, and your flowers but no venue, you may run into some issues. Rather than reading paragraphs of me going on about who and when, I will make a bullet point list with time frames!
Venue - 18 to 24 months before
Photographer - 12 to 18 months before
Dress - 12 months or more
Bridesmaid Dresses - 9 months before
DJ - 6 to 9 months before
Catering (if not provided by venue) - 6 to 9 months before
Bartending (if not provided by venue) - 6 to 9 months before
Tux Rental - 6 to 9 months before
Rentals (chair covers, charger plates, etc.) - 6 to 9 months
Hair & Make Up - 4 to 6 months before
Cake - 3 to 4 months before (unless it is high season, then give more notice!)
Flowers - 3 to 4 months before (unless it is high season, then give more notice!)