The 5 Wedding Vendors to Book First

Apr 22, 2022

Wedding planning can be overwhelming and stressful, especially early on. Where do you even start?! Don’t worry, with this guide we are giving you our recommendations for the first five vendors that you should book for your wedding before doing anything else.

The First 5 Wedding Vendors You Should Book

Here are the first 5 wedding vendors that we recommend booking before doing anything else!

1. Planner

If you are planning to hire a full-service wedding planner (one that helps you plan the wedding from start to finish), then we suggest hiring them very first thing! 

Your planner can help with literally everything, starting with venue selection. They typically have great relationships with vendors in the area, so they can get you the best deal possible with the best vendors around.

There are a lot of couples who book their venue first, then a planner, but if you want their help with venue selection, then you should hire them first!

We recommend hiring your planner at least 12 months before your desired wedding day. If you are looking for a trusted wedding planner in the area, check out our sister company, Moore & Co. Event Stylists!

2. Venue

Next up is to book a venue. Your venue truly sets the tone for your entire wedding day! It’s important to book a venue that fits that vibe that you’re going for. For example: you probably won’t want to book a vintage-style venue if you are going for a trendy & modern vibe.

Many venues (especially those in larger cities) book up a year or two in advance, so it’s important to book early! If you are planning a wedding on a shorter timeline, then you may just need to be flexible with your date.

We recommend booking your venue at least a year or two in advance of your desired wedding date/season.

3. Dress

We know that your wedding dress isn’t a vendor… but the bridal shop you buy your dress from is! And, a lot of brides are shocked to find out that you should start shopping for your dress about a year before your wedding. 

Your dress is such an important piece to your wedding day, so you should devote the right amount of time to picking it out! 

How do you know when you’ve found your perfect wedding dress? Click here for some advice on this!

4. Photographer/Videographer

Next up is to book your photographer & videographer! Be sure to give yourself enough time to research and meet with multiple photographers (and videographers if you are using one)!

When you are searching for a photographer, make sure to consider their style of photography. You should also make sure that you get along with each other — you will be up close and personal with each other all day!

We recommend finding a photographer/videographer at least 10 months before your wedding. Popular photographers can book over a year in advance, so keep that in mind!

5. Caterer

Finally, one of the first wedding vendors that you should book is your caterer. If you booked an all-inclusive venue, then your catering may be included with the venue. Great – one less thing to worry about! If not, then you will need to find an off-site caterer.

Your wedding planner can be a huge help when it comes to finding a caterer. If you do not have a planner, then you can always reach out to your venue and see if they have a list of recommended caterers that have worked at the venue often!

We recommend finding a caterer at least 10 months before your wedding. A good rule of thumb to follow is to start searching for a caterer once you book your venue, because those two vendors are likely going to take up the largest chunk of your budget!

And there you have it — the first 5 wedding vendors to book when you start wedding planning! Keep in mind that these are just our recommendations and are a good place to start if you’re feeling overwhelmed. If there are other vendors that are a huge priority to you, then of course you may want to book those earlier! For example, maybe you can’t imagine your wedding day without your favorite hair stylist or makeup artist. If that’s the case, then of course prioritize that vendor!