Weddings need vendors, and we know just who you’ll need on your checklist!
Planning a wedding for the first time can be confusing. Figuring out how, when and who will help you put the event together is not always obvious during the initial stages of research. Which is why having a solid wedding vendor checklist prepared, early on, is so vital if you want things to run smoothly.
Whether it’s the venue you marry in, the person who marries you, or the musicians who soundtrack the event. All of these professionals, and more, are essential to the celebration, and missing out just one of them can affect the entire vibe, or smooth-running of the day.
Your Essential Wedding Vendor Checklist
We’ll start with the wedding vendors you should prioritize on your checklist, to give you an idea of where they should be placed on your planning timeline.
Wedding planners can really be hired at any point in the planning process. But they are most effective when brought on from the beginning, as they’ll be able to guide, or take control of, all the major initial decisions. At a time when you probably need their expert assistance the most.
Not only can an experienced wedding planner guide you, but they can also help you negotiate the best prices, sort out paperwork on your behalf, and provide you with access to their own vendor checklist. A little black book of professionals you wouldn’t necessarily be able to contact without a wedding planner.
If you’re not hiring a wedding planner, then booking a venue should definitely be top of your priority list. The place in which you tie the knot and celebrate in will affect every other planning decision you make on the timeline. Alongside dictating the number of guests you can invite. Essentially, nothing can really be decided on until a wedding venue is booked.
Wedding Photographer & Videographer
The only wedding vendor on this checklist that you can call a true investment, is the wedding photographer, and videographer. They are the people who will document your celebration. Preserve it for all time and make sure that no detail is forgotten. Without them, no one will remember how beautiful your centerpieces were, or how incredible you looked in your dress. And beyond the physical, moments will also be lost to the sands of time.
Book your wedding photographer and/or videographer early in the planning process, as the very best vendors get booked up early. Sometimes years in advance.
It can take time too to find someone who can capture things in the way you’ve been dreaming of, and whose personality matches your own. An important point when you consider how much time you’ll be spending in each other’s company during the big day.
If you’re not having a religious ceremony, then booking an officiant who gels with you as a couple is key. Especially if you want a personalized ceremony.
As with hiring a wedding photographer, officiants can also be difficult to decide upon, due to the creative nature of their work. With this in mind, prioritize booking this wedding vendor, and keep them high on your checklist.
The decor of a typical wedding is defined by its selection of flowers. Be it sweeping green vines intertwining their way across the guest tables, or stems of red roses thoughtfully placed in centerpieces. Flowers, and floral arrangements will always create impact. Therefore, it pays to find someone who can create a look just as you dreamed.
What’s the one thing your guests are likely to remember most of all following your wedding? How long they had to wait at the bar for a drink, and how good the food was. Good or bad, the food served at any wedding will always be remembered. Which is why catering should never be overlooked, or just left up to the venue to deal with.
It’s important to select a menu that reflects your celebration and that you feel will please the majority of your guests. Of course, you can’t please everyone. But it’s good to find a selection of dishes and an overall style that should work.
Every wedding will involve some form of rental. Be it a tent outside, a dancefloor or smaller decor details. Rental companies can help transform a space, and provide the facilities you may not have had otherwise.
We’re getting to the fun part of the wedding vendor checklist now! Because every couple loves a cake tasting session.
It may well be that your caterer is providing the cake for your big day, and if so, you will simply have to describe what sort of taste and design you desire. If not, then you may have to visit several bakers to find the professional whose style you appreciate, and cakes you love to eat!
Whether you want to keep things simple by hiring a DJ who can also MC, or you’d like a live band and musicians playing during your ceremony. The music they provide will dictate the atmosphere, and how much your guests enjoy the experience.
Good live music can lift almost any mood, and experienced performers can really help bring a room full of near strangers together.
Hair & Makeup
However limited your budget, you should always try to include hair and makeup artists on your wedding vendor checklist. The experience of having your look created for you is often a once-in-a-lifetime event, and the results a professional can produce are typically worlds apart from anything we can do.
Be sure to book trials with both hair and makeup artists before you fully commit to a look, or even the full down payment. As it’s imperative both of you are on the same page when it comes to the look you want for your wedding day.
The best wedding stationery creates an image of your celebration in the minds of your invited guests. A well-designed save-the-date card can brighten someone’s day when it lands on their doormat. And a thoughtful seating chart can delight, and inform, even when one too many mojitos have been consumed during cocktail hour!
Stationer may well be at the bottom of our wedding vendor list, but you’ll actually need them at various points in the wedding timeline. Take a look at our wedding planning checklist (link) to see when exactly they’ll be required.
Explore additional pertinent subjects that are interconnected with the checklist
The online Wedding Planning Assistant features an extensive suite of professional tools and checklists meticulously curated to help you organize your celebration.
We offer an international wedding planner service, open to all. Soon we hope to make our software available in all languages, so far, we have created versions for these languages: