So you’re engaged!! Congratulations!
Have you been planning your dream weddings for years? If you recently became engaged, you’re finding out that planning a wedding is no cake walk.
What’s the next step? Do I really need this vendor? Well, we can limit our guest count to 85… right?
One of the most overwhelming tasks? Figuring out when to book your vendors! If you’ve already looked into finding your vendors you might be getting a lot of emails that sound a bit like, “Congratulations on your engagement! Unfortunately I am not available for your wedding date.”
So What About Booking Our Vendors?
You’re in the beginning process and you’re not getting very far. Since COVID hit you’re learning that vendors have been booked for MONTHS.
What does that mean for you?
It means that you better run to book your vendors! How many couples had to reschedule in an entire year in just the United States? Heck- just in your state! All of these couples are either going through with their wedding (elopement-style!) or they chose to book out to 2021 or later, leading to an overwhleming amount of weddings over the next 2 years!
I spoke to vendors of all types to get their input on when you should start reaching out and inquiring with them! Some are completely booked for 2021 and don’t have many dates open for 2022!
If you haven’t started to book your vendors yet and you’re much closer to your weddings than some of these dates & times suggest- just breathe. This is not meant to stress you out, but it is meant to give you a realistic timeline for planning.
Venue: 12-18 months
Arguably the most important vendor is your venue. You can’t tie the knot if you have nowhere to go! Your venue could be anywhere from The Duke Sculpture Garden at The Dixon Mansion to your Best Friend’s living room! My husband & I chose to get married in a Chapel while my brother & sister-in-law decided on our grandparent’s house. There is no right or wrong answer!
Coordinator: 12-18 months
Right after (or even before!) you book your venue do yourself a HUGE favor and get yourself a Wedding Planner! I can’t possibly tell you everything that they do for you here. I wrote a blog post solely about them when speaking to Taryn of Taryn Blake Events!
Photographer: 12-18 months
Why don’t we just book all of our vendors 12-18 months in advance? Well, technically you can! You can book them all 5 years in advance if you want to- but the top 3 vendors to book are right here.
Cake: 8-12 months
I spoke to Blayre from Flouretta Sweet– who is fully booked for 2021! She highly suggests that her couples inquire about 8-12 months in advance. Though she highly recommends booking a vendor right away if you find one that you fall in love with!
Hair & Make Up: 6-8 months
When booking your hair & make up team consider booking them 6-8 months in advance, but if your wedding falls in September or October then book your team ASAP!
Invitations: 6-8 months
I spoke with Julia of Julia Kay Calligraphy about invitations and the details here! Check her out if you’re in the market for wedding invites, watercolor florals, or a beautiful line art design! She suggests reaching out to your calligrapher 6-8 months in advance for custom invitations but only ONE month before you decide to send your invitations out if you’re looking to purchase a set from her Invitation Shop! Check out our post where we do a deep dive with Julia here!
Signage: 4-6 months
Working with some awesome vendors allows you to pick their brain! I’m thankful for vendors like Tess of Line & letter Designs where I was able to do exactly that! Not only does she suggest reaching out with 4-6 months until your wedding date, but also suggests that you speak with your rental company (should you decide to hire one!) She explains, “You can get signage from them and have your calligrapher letter it!” There are so many things that you can have done for your wedding, and if you’re looking for wedding signage please check her out!
Videographer: 8-12 months
Have you heard of Fraimeworks? A beautiful set of women that run this videography company and they have their own thoughts on when to book your videographer! “I usually suggest a year out like you would with any other vendor. We usually see an influx of inquiries right after the holidays!” Given that weddings season picks up at an ungodly speed right around September reaching out to your videographer about 10 months ahead of schedule seems pretty appropriate!
Dress/Suit: 6-8 months
Unless your looking for a designer to create a custom dress then I would say that 4-6 months before your wedding day would be the best time to choose your wedding dress! You can start shopping as soon as you get engaged, but so that you have enough time for fittings and for the dress to arrive if you need to order it!
Jewelry: 2-4 months
If you’re choosing to buy your jewelry at a store then I would suggest having everything (including shoes!) choose about 1-2 months before your wedding date. If you have decided to order custom pieces to really add to the details, then Jenn from Blushing Gold Bridal urges you to book at least 2-4 months in advance!
At the end of the day…
Planning your wedding isn’t easy- but you’re not alone! On top of endless blog posts about when to book your vendors I highly suggest joining a Facebook group for couples! This will help you find your vendors and give you a chance to talk with others that are going through the same exact things as you!