Is There a Specific Order I Should Follow When Hiring My Wedding Vendors?
Wedding planning is not a sprint—it's a marathon. A marathon that ends in what can easily be described as one of the best days of your life. In order to get from one mile to the next, you'll need to be very organized and methodical in your approach, hiring all of your vendors at the start of the track. While there's no specific order you have to follow when assembling your big-day team, there are a few things to consider when choosing your wedding vendors.
First: Hire A Wedding Planner
If you think you want to hire a wedding planner, this should be the very first thing you do. Your wedding planner will be able to help you source all your other vendors and select a ceremony and reception venue, too. You can always hire this pro once you're further along in the process and even after you've hired other vendors or selected a venue, but if you're looking for a full-service wedding planner, it's smart to sign a contract with one early. After all, part of their fee is intended to go towards helping you assemble a team of professionals who will be able to bring your vision to life. If, on the other hand, you're planning to hire a coordinator for the month-of or day-of only, you can go ahead and hire all of your other vendors first and bring this person on board later down the track.
Next: Prioritize Your Vendors
As with all things in wedding planning, you'll want to create a clear a priority list. If working with a specific photographer is the most important thing to you, reach out to this person first and get your wedding date on hold. If you haven't selected a venue or wedding date yet, the photographer's availability will be a key factor in narrowing down your venue search.
Once your wedding date and venue are determined, it's important to take a look at what else might be going on locally that weekend. Is there a major festival or convention in town? Is there a marathon that'll cause a lot of traffic? Is it a hectic time of year for wedding vendors? These factors are important to consider because they may mean that you need to sort out your logistics needs and book sooner rather than later. For instance, if there's a big convention in town and a lot of the shuttle companies are providing transportation for it, this could impact availability for your wedding shuttles. Hotel room blocks may also prove more difficult to reserve if you wait too long. In both cases, the sooner you book, the better off you'll be in the long run.
Remember: Keep Your Options Flexible
If you're striking out with vendor availability, don't fret. There are always other vendors out there who will work well for your style and budget. If you thought you'd only consider working with one specific videographer just to find out they're not available, ask them if they can recommend anyone they admire. If you're flexible throughout the vendor selection process, you'll be able to build a great team that works well within your specific needs.
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