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.
You will spend a lot of time researching, interviewing, and selecting your vendors for your wedding. It is unfortunate and unlikely, but there are times when a vendor needs to back out at the last minute. This causes a lot of stress for you, but there are a few things you can do to take control, pull things together, and make it all work smoothly.
Try to stay calm.
Your first priority should be to calm yourself down and take a deep breath. If you feel anxious about the whole situation, just take a few minutes to release some stress. When you finish, you should try to relax and be proactive. Ask the vendor who canceled for a suggestion on who else you can call. If they don’t have a resource, let your wedding planner know immediately. They should have a bank of vendors who are more than willing to step in. If you do not have a planner, ask your other vendors for suggestions. Many vendors are in co-op groups or have worked together at weddings in the past. If all else fails, find a friend who can step in to help. Your last resort would be to DIY the task. Ask a local baker for a cake. Ask a local florist for suggestions. Ask a friend to take your photos. Create a playlist for your reception. It is likely that someone can step in to help. Remember, your wedding is about your celebration, so a missing vendor can’t ruin the entire day.
In the event that you can’t find a recommendation, begin searching online. There are local wedding Facebook groups and you can do a search on the internet for local vendors. As long as you tie the knot, everything will be okay, and remember to stay positive.
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!
Selecting the venue for your wedding is one of the most important (and expensive) decisions you will make during wedding planning. Perhaps you already have the perfect place in mind. Or maybe you are on the hunt for the space that suits you both. Either way, here are some things to consider and questions to ask the before signing on the dotted line.
Is there enough space?
Even if your guest list is not finalized, gather an idea of how many people you plan to invite. Find a reception space that allows everyone enough room to spread out comfortably without too much extra space. Most venues charge a minimum fee. So, consider the 15-20% of your guest list that will not be able to make it. Here are also some tips for keeping your list small.
What is included in the package?
It is important to obtain package details in writing so you can evaluate it against other venues. Do they include catering, or will you need to bring in an outside vendor? Is there staff available to serve food and work the bar, or do you need to ask your caterer to provide this service? Are there clean restrooms nearby that your guests can access? Make a list of the important items and have it ready for your meeting. Anything you need to take care of independently should be carefully considered before you make the final decision.
Is it in a convenient location?
Consider where your overnight guest will stay before you make the call. While there may be the perfect space in the middle of the country, it may be difficult for some guests to commute. Research suitable hotels nearby and find a reception hall close to the ceremony location. Ideally, you will select a venue where both can take place on site. There is no need for your guest spending precious time driving across town!
What about alcohol?
Be sure to ask the venue if the carry the proper licensing before you decide to stock the bar. If you choose to bring in your own supply, ask if they charge a cork fee. There may be a significant cost difference between the purchase of alcohol on site versus the per bottle opening charge you find on your bill at the end of the night.
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.
Amidst planning a wedding, you will sit down with many vendors. With so many options available, narrowing down your choices may seem a bit overwhelming. Keep in mind that not all companies are created equal. Here are few things to consider to assure you find the right person for the job.
First impressions are a big deal. When you walk into someone’s shop, do you
feel welcome? Do you feel like there is chemistry during the initial greeting?
Where some brides prefer efficiency, others may want a little more personality.
When comparing two choices, strongly consider the one that best suits your character.
Remember, you will be working with this person throughout the planning process
and they may be present on your wedding day!
For brides on a budget, price is defining factor. A few
things can determine why a vendor has quoted you a higher price. It could be high
overhead costs, better quality, or even greater demand. If you choose the company
that offers the lowest price, just be sure they offer comparable features. Do a
little research by checking customer reviews, requesting references, and taking
the time talk to other brides who are familiar with their service.
Yes, it is necessary to confirm that your vendor of choice
is available on your wedding day. This is one of the first items that should be
covered. After you fall in love with a certain company it is hard to steer in a
different direction. If your preferred selection has a team member you want to
work with, be sure to make that request in advance as some companies may have a
full schedule. The earlier you choose your vendors the better your chances of
booking them for your day.