Planning a successful wedding happens over a period of time. For those who appropriate organization, this is your time to shine! The more methodical and organized you are with your approach, the easier it will be to pull everything together for the big day.
While there is no single order that a couple must follow when hiring wedding vendors, here are a few things to consider when assembling your wedding team, including practical order you can follow for hiring the right people.
- Wedding Planner
If you plan on hiring a wedding planner, this is the first call you should make. Your wedding is an important event, and you will want someone on your side who will help take care of details and bring your vision to life. They are a great resource for securing other vendors and walking you through an appropriate planning timeline.
- Photographer or Videographer
We recommend finding someone to take photos and videos immediately after securing your planner. Right now, vendors with talent in this area are booking fast. Since your wedding will be an emotional time filled with laughter and joy, you want to secure the right person to creatively capture memories of this day.
- Music Vendor
Music can bring a wedding reception to life. You’ll want to find someone who can make their own playlist with a good mix of music and will keep the party lively. They may also be the person who announces important events such as cutting the cake, throwing the bouquet, and the first dance. It is appropriate that you are particular with who you choose to hire.
Next, look for someone to officiate the ceremony. Your wedding officiant is responsible for reviewing the order of service, the readings, music selections, and vows.
If a caterer is not already included with your venue, hire someone around nine months prior to your event. Find a vendor who offers a variety of selections and is willing to be flexible with menu choices.
Next, find a baker and plan a date for tasting! Yes, wedding cakes are beautiful, but we want you to find someone who will create one of the right size, color, and taste.
Close to the five-month mark before your wedding, search for a wedding florist. You may want to customize a few items, and this will allow time for them to plan and prepare. We suggest you find a florist who is knowledgeable, confident, and has experience with weddings.
Once the vendors listed above are secure, search for someone to help with invitations, hair and make-up, transportation, or anything else you need help with on your wedding day. Ask your coordinator for a list of vendors who can help you with the small details and for ideas they have taken from past events that they have organized.
Your wedding day will bring a mix of emotions. In one minute, you may feel excited and eager to walk down the aisle, and the next you could feel a surge of stress. This is natural considering the enormous amount of detail put into your event. Now that the planning is over, it is time for execution to begin. Understand that you should not be the person making sure everything goes as planned! Now is the time for your wedding coordinator to shine. If you have not hired a wedding coordinator, it is important that you recruit a day-of coordinator to pull all the pieces together through the ceremony and reception.
Once your coordinator is provided with a list of vendors and their tasks, they will assure everything is properly executed. From guaranteeing the flowers look fresh to ensuring the wedding cake is delivered on time and staged nicely, they are your eyes behind the scenes. They can filter questions from the vendors and act as their resource for set-up and break-down throughout the day. When vendors arrive, your day-of-coordinator is the person they will check-in with and receive instruction from. Anything that will keep your vision on track is what your day-of coordinator is there to produce.
This person will also play an important role with the wedding party and guests. They will make sure everyone arrives on time, looks pressed and ready to walk down the aisle, and understands where they need to be. They can run errands for the bride and groom and pass along important messages while hair and makeup, photos, and pre-wedding activities are taking place.
Who to Hire?
The price of a day-of coordinator can vary anywhere between $500 to $2500, depending on many factors. Many brides will hire or recruit a trusted friend or family member to step in who is not already included in the wedding party. This person has one of the most important roles to fill, so it is essential that they are available to be pulled in many directions. Most importantly, be grateful to the person you hire, it is not an easy role to take on!
Planning a wedding can seem overwhelming, there are many details to bring together. If the thought of making it all happen at the right time creates anxiety, here are a few tips to help keep you on the right track.
Lists, Lists, Lists
If you are a list lover, this is an easy step for you. If lists are not your thing, give it a shot anyway. The point is – wedding planning can be a lot to store in your head. Here are organizing pieces that are easier to maintain with a list.
- To do’s – A planning list on paper will help you see your tasks in order so you can check them off as you go.
- Vendor list – Create a list of vendors you need to visit with names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails. It is a good idea to keep your vendor’s contact information handy, even saved in your smartphone.
- Guest list – You will refer to your guest list for showers, pre-wedding parties, invitations, and thank you cards.
- Wedding musts and wishes – As you are planning, write down the MUST happen items for your wedding alongside your list of wishes. Rather than throwing everything in all at once, this will help you prioritize and keep your budget under control. Your wish list items can be included through the process once you determine how your finances align with your preparation.
Hire a Planner
If you have the funds in your budget to hire a wedding planner, DO. It will be well-worth the expense. This person can ease your load by taking on tasks and details for you. She understands the planning process from start to finish and is a great resource for top wedding vendors.
If there is something extra you want for your wedding, ask. Whether is it a vendor, your coordinator, the reception hall, or a helpful comrade; sometimes the answer is “yes” if you simply ask! Perhaps you can expect a simple “no” for special circumstances and become pleasantly surprised to hear that “yes” is a possibility.
Save a Paper Trail
Keep a folder with a copy of all agreements and contracts. Even take note of the verbal agreements and promises to be stored in this file. You never know when this will come in handy. Your records should back up your demands in a crunch.
If you are interested in more planning tips, here is a checklist you can follow.