wedding vendors

What Wedding Vendors Do I Need?

Choosing the vendors who will help you realise your wedding vision is a crucial step in the planning process. If this is your first wedding planning experience, you may be wondering who should be on your list of vendors. I want my wedding to be perfect, but I don't know what kind of vendors I should hire.

It takes more than just one person to make your wedding day dreams come true. Keep in mind your personal style and preferences when making vendor selections for your wedding.

Many wonderful wedding vendors are out there, but it's important to find those who are a good fit for your vision and budget. With that in mind, we have compiled a wedding vendor checklist to ensure that you don't forget anything in your search for the best possible service providers.

Table of Contents

The Venue

You should look around at various locations before deciding on a wedding venue. In order to secure your prefered venue 10-11 months in advance, it is best to begin your venue search as soon as possible.

If you have your heart set on a specific location for your big day, but fear that it might be booked solid a year in advance for your prefered date, hold off on sending out save-the-date cards until you've actually secured the facility. Finally, before making a deposit, make sure the place is perfect for the event you're planning.

The Wedding Planner

Hiring a wedding planner early on is highly recommended. It's a good idea to hire your wedding planner 11 months in advance, just like many venues are booked far in advance. Thus, the latest time to hire a wedding planner is nine months before the big day.

The Caterer

After you've decided on the location and the wedding planner, it's time to start thinking about the food. This needs to be completed 9–10 months before the scheduled date. If you're in need of a caterer, it's important to go into the process informed.

Having a tasting before hiring a caterer is also highly recommended. They may be able to recommend caterers they have collaborated with in the past who did a good job for your wedding.

The Wedding Officiant

A minister of the gospel, jehovah's witness, or other religious figure may be supplied by the venue. In case yours doesn't, or if you'd rather pick your own officiant, you can always do so by polling friends and family for suggestions.

Finding an officiant whose style resonates with you is important if you want to set the tone for a memorable reception. Hire someone 10 months in advance. It's a good idea to discuss composing your wedding vows with your officiant in advance, as some clergy are more open to the idea than others.

The Photographer

One of the service providers you should book in advance is a photographer. There are plenty of options, but the best ones are always reserved months in advance. It is recommended to book your photographer at least 8–9 months before the big day.

Find out if you and the photographers you're interviewing have the same vision for the project, and make sure each party knows what to expect from the other. If you have your heart set on a particular aesthetic for your wedding photos, make sure to express this to your photographer.

In addition, research examples of their prior work and customer feedback.

The Videographer

It is ultimately up to you to decide how far in ahead of time you need to book your videographer. How important do you think it is to have a wedding video? I was wondering if your photographer offers video services as well.

You should hire a professional videographer at the same time you hire a photographer if you want a high-quality film documenting your special day. However, you can reserve your videographer six months in advance if the video isn't a top priority. Ask the right questions during interviews to find the best videographer for your needs.

The Band

The music you choose for your wedding will have a major impact on how much fun your guests have. You should book your Performer or band at least 9 months before the big day. It's important to get to know the band's music and discuss your musical preferences before making any major decisions.

Don't act as the wedding DJ yourself, and feel free to hand over a playlist. Just tell the pro what genres and songs you like, and they'll do the rest. Just at end of the day, your loved ones will be right there with you, rocking out to whatever tunes happen to be playing.

The Baker

Choosing a wedding cake is a memorable and enjoyable activity. During the afternoon of your engagement, you and your future spouse will have the chance to sample different cakes and discuss possible embellishments.

You should probably check out a few bakeries before settling on one. The venue should be reserved at least six months in advance of the wedding. However, you still don't want to find out that the cake you have fallen in love with won't be available, and bakers are on the list of less time-sensitive hiring because they can usually prep more than one wedding cake in a day.

The Florist

Plan ahead and secure the services of your florist at least six months before the big day. Although florist availability varies with the season, it's best to have this supplier locked down ahead of time. If you know you want flower arrangements or flower crowns in a specific style, discuss this with your florist early on after you've seen their work and heard their voice.

The Transportation

Transportation for a wedding should be reserved at least four months in advance. Whatever mode of transportation you choose—limo, shuttle bus, or trolley—you want hospitable drivers and passengers.

The best way to organise your wedding without overextending yourself is to book all of the necessary vendors in advance. Make a wedding timeline so you know what to focus on each month.

If it helps, you and your fiance can divide the list between you rather than sitting down together or each taking on the entire task. Hiring your wedding professionals in advance will make you and your soon-to-be spouse feel more in control of the planning process, as well as give you more time to discuss your needs and preferences with each of them.

wedding vendors1

Choosing the Best Wedding Vendors

Plan ahead by doing some research and establishing a rough budget.

To avoid falling in love with a venue or vendors that are out of your price bracket or can't cover the size of your group, it's important to set your budget and the expected number of guests first.

Regardless of whether you end up spending less or more than expected, setting your expectations in advance is always a good idea. If one of you desires to book but the other is worried about money, you shouldn't end up having this discussion in the presence of the wedding photographer, DJ, or whoever else is involved.

You can get a better idea of how much everything will set you back as you shop around and compare prices.

Tell the person you're talking to about your major likes and dislikes. So, you'll both know what's a must-have for you, like a great band, an out-of-this-world menu, and beautiful photos to look back on, and what's a nice-to-have.

Last but not least, have a list of questions ready so that you don't get too swept away by their impressive portfolio, film, or demonstration and forget to get down to business.

Find out if your personalities get along well.

Assume you and your future spouse find that their work is of high quality and complements your vision for the big day. Chemistry with this person is another factor to think about that may not be immediately apparent.

Since you'll be depending on them for something crucial, it's important to feel at ease in their company. Keep in mind that you will be interacting with them on what is likely to be the most emotional day of your life; you should choose someone who can calm you rather than increase your anxiety.

Your subconscious mind may be telling you to keep looking if you have a nagging feeling that something isn't quite right but you can't put your finger on it.

There are some warning signs you should look out for: negative comments about other customers, a 10-call minimum to reach someone, assumptions about your budget that lead to pressure to upgrade or the feeling that you don't matter because you're at the lower end of their client roster are all red flags.

Ask for recommendations.

You don't always get what you pay for, as the old adage goes. Here's where recommendations from past brides come in handy! Request the names and numbers of recent customers who can attest to the quality of the vendor's work.

When you get married, it's important to show gratitude to the people who helped make your big day perfect by leaving them five-star reviews on YP and handwritten notes of appreciation.

Since many service providers in a given area collaborate closely with one another, you could also ask other vendors you've hired if they've ever worked with this person and if they'd recommend them.

Insist on having every last detail put down on paper.

The quoted price should include all costs, and the vendor should list them out for you. If you know, for instance, that you want hydrangeas, garden roses, and orchids for your centrepieces, include all of those things on the list.

This may seem excessive, but having this data on hand will protect you in the case of a disagreement or if the goods you requested are temporarily unavailable.

Be on the lookout for any unexpected fees when reviewing the contract. If there is anything you don't understand, please ask for clarification. If the wedding or ceremony runs longer than expected, you should also ask about their late fee policy.

Feel free to bargain.

Have a plethora of gorgeous photos of the two of you that can be used for wedding stationery? Your time and money would be better spent on a birth announcement photo shoot rather than an engagement photo shoot.

Confused as to whether a two-hour wedding video is necessary? Inquire about the availability of both an edited highlights clip and the raw footage in case you change your mind. It is possible to save money by using the same provider for multiple services.

When is a good time for vendors to eat and relax?

Accurate timing is crucial. If you want to make sure that your wedding planner, photographer, and videographer don't miss anything important, consider feeding them during the reception's meal.

You probably won't give these vendors any scheduled breaks, but they'll likely stay "on" until the dancing starts. Then they'll probably go to the back of the venue to cool off, grab a drink, and maybe even a treat.

This is not the case with your wedding's entertainment, whether it be a band or a DJ/MC. They should be fed as soon as possible after they have been served, preferably during cocktail hour before the dinner guests have been seated.

This will guarantee that they are prepared when it comes time to welcome the wedding party and the newlyweds and begin the celebrations. If the band has been hired for a specific amount of time, they will likely play in sets separated by brief intermissions; the wedding toasts also provide an opportunity for a more covert break.

Should we leave tips for our vendors?

To put it simply: yes! Tip your vendors and any help they may have provided you with if you were satisfied with their work. If the vendor's contract already includes a gratuity in the total fee, a separate tip is unnecessary. It is not necessary to tip your wedding planner, videographer, photographer, or baker if they are the owners of their respective businesses.

wedding vendors2

How do we express our discontent if it arises?

A dissatisfaction with your services is a bitter pill to swallow after the huge investment in your wedding day. Say something if you don't like what you're seeing in the trial or in the samples.

During the dress rehearsal, you can try out alternative arrangements for the flowers, alternate flavours for the cake and icing, and experiment with new looks for your hair and makeup. If an employee is being particularly difficult to work with, don't be afraid to seek advice from the company's owner.

They need to be aware if a member of staff causes you, the customer, to be dissatisfied. On the wedding day, if something is not as you had planned, look over your contract before addressing the problem with the vendor.

If you were charged for elaborate floral centrepieces but only provided with bud flower pots, you should be compensated. And you have options if the other party was unreliable or did not appear at all. Make an appointment and bring relevant photos to the meeting. Understand your position and rights, and be ready to negotiate.

Which vendors must we provide food?

Making sure your suppliers have enough to eat is crucial, and it may even be a contractual requirement. Your photographer, videographer ,wedding planner,  DJ/emcee, or band, and any necessary helpers, must be provided by you.

However, you won't have to provide meals for the florist, caterer, or anyone else who is only present for the ceremony. Discuss the catering company's options for vendor meals with them; most will have a standard menu from which to choose, whether it be a "restaurant's choice" or the same main dish as your guests.

Depending on the situation, it could be included in your food service fee or offered at a discounted flat rate.

Having learned what services are necessary for a wedding, you should check that they complement one another to create the day you've always imagined. Assuming you've completed all of these major items, your wedding will be very close to being perfect.

Conclusion

You'll need help from a number of different people to have the fairytale wedding of your dreams. There are many excellent service providers out there for your wedding, but you should only work with those who are a good fit for your needs and finances.

Conversing with your officiant ahead of time about writing your wedding vows is a great idea. You should schedule your wedding photographer at least eight to nine months in advance. To ensure that you have a high-quality film of your special day, you should hire a videographer at the same time you book a photographer.

Guests' level of enjoyment of your wedding is directly proportional to the quality of the music you play for them. The minimum amount of time required to book a Performer or band for a wedding is nine months.

You'll have more time to talk about your wants and needs with the wedding professionals you hire if you do so in advance. Having a firm grasp on both your budget and the anticipated turnout will help you avoid falling in love with a venue or vendors that are out of reach. You should keep an eye out for these red flags:

assertions about your spending plan and assumptions about other customers' experiences. The old adage "you get what you pay for" is not always accurate. Ensure the vendor's quality of service by consulting with references from their previous clients.

In case you change your mind, you might want to know if you can get access to both the edited highlights clip and the raw footage. If the person providing their services for your wedding is also the owner of the company, a tip is not expected.

A separate gratuity is not required if the contract between the two parties already includes a gratuity as part of the total fee. Don't keep your displeasure with the trial or samples to yourself. Someone should reimburse you if they charged you for fancy flower centrepieces but all you got were bud vases.

Don't be shy about consulting the business owner for guidance if an employee is being especially challenging to manage. Being prepared to negotiate means knowing your position and rights.

Content Summary

  • Choosing the vendors who will help you realise your wedding vision is a crucial step in the planning process.
  • Keep in mind your personal style and preferences when making vendor selections for your wedding.
  • Thus, the latest time to hire a wedding planner is nine months before the big day.
  • After you've decided on the location and the wedding planner, it's time to start thinking about the food.
  • A minister of the gospel, jehovah's witness, or other religious figure may be supplied by the venue.
  • One of the service providers you should book in advance is a photographer.
  • It is recommended to book your photographer at least 8–9 months before the big day.
  • It is ultimately up to you to decide how far in ahead of time you need to book your videographer.
  • You should hire a professional videographer at the same time you hire a photographer if you want a high-quality film documenting your special day.
  • However, you can reserve your videographer six months in advance if the video isn't a top priority.
  • Ask the right questions during interviews to find the best videographer for your needs.
  • The music you choose for your wedding will have a major impact on how much fun your guests have.
  • You should book your Performer or band at least 9 months before the big day.
  • The venue should be reserved at least six months in advance of the wedding.
  • Plan ahead and secure the services of your florist at least six months before the big day.
  • The best way to organise your wedding without overextending yourself is to book all of the necessary vendors in advance.
  • Make a wedding timeline so you know what to focus on each month.
  • Plan ahead by doing some research and establishing a rough budget.
  • To avoid falling in love with a venue or vendors that are out of your price bracket or can't cover the size of your group, it's important to set your budget and the expected number of guests first.
  • Regardless of whether you end up spending less or more than expected, setting your expectations in advance is always a good idea.
  • Tell the person you're talking to about your major likes and dislikes.
  • Request the names and numbers of recent customers who can attest to the quality of the vendor's work.
  • The quoted price should include all costs, and the vendor should list them out for you.
  • Be on the lookout for any unexpected fees when reviewing the contract.
  • If you want to make sure that your wedding planner, photographer, and videographer don't miss anything important, consider feeding them during the reception's meal.
  • This is not the case with your wedding's entertainment, whether it be a band or a DJ/MC.
  • They should be fed as soon as possible after they have been served, preferably during cocktail hour before the dinner guests have been seated.
  • Tip your vendors and any help they may have provided you with if you were satisfied with their work.
  • During the dress rehearsal, you can try out alternative arrangements for the flowers, alternate flavours for the cake and icing, and experiment with new looks for your hair and makeup.
  • If an employee is being particularly difficult to work with, don't be afraid to seek advice from the company's owner.
  • On the wedding day, if something is not as you had planned, look over your contract before addressing the problem with the vendor.
  • Make an appointment and bring relevant photos to the meeting.
  • Understand your position and rights, and be ready to negotiate.
  • However, you won't have to provide meals for the florist, caterer, or anyone else who is only present for the ceremony.
  • Discuss the catering company's options for vendor meals with them; most will have a standard menu from which to choose, whether it be a "restaurant's choice" or the same main dish as your guests.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Wedding Planner
  • Wedding Ceremony Venue
  • Wedding Registrar/Celebrant/Officiant
  • Wedding Reception Venue
  • Wedding Insurer
  • Wedding Photographer
  • Wedding Videographer
 
  1. Narrow Your Search.
  2. Provide as Much Information as Possible
  3. Add a Lovely Message
  4. Double Check Your Information
  5. Don't Be Afraid to Follow Up
  6. Don't Dismiss Consultations.
If the time comes that you're wondering whether or not to even bother following up… I would suggest doing so. If you haven't heard from the vendor that you inquired with within 72 hours, then yes- go ahead and follow up.
 
Within 24 hours, but some may need an extra day or two during their busy season to respond.
There are several reasons a venue can call it quits. For instance, a government order, due to a pandemic like COVID-19, can shut things down in a hurry, but other reasons could be structural issues, permanent closure, or bankruptcy. Whatever the circumstance, it's essential to know how to handle it.
Scroll to Top
Google Rating
4.7
Based on 167 reviews
Facebook Rating
4.8
Based on 201 reviews
js_loader