This week we are going to be talking about hiring vendors! Hiring vendors can be fun, but can also be stressful. It is important to follow an order to make sure you are hiring the right people at the right time, in order to get all the vendors you want. An example of this would be a photographer can only take one wedding per day, so they need to be booked early, while a florist can take multiple weddings in a day so they can be booked a little later. Below are our suggestions on which vendors should be booked first in order of priority. We hope this helps, and of course if you book with us we will be more than happy to help you in even more detail!
Venue - Good venues go fast, even a year and a half out. so its important to find a venue that fits your style and budget and BOOK IT!
Planner - They will recommend amazing vendors, making your job easier. they will also assist you in finding a venue if you need it. They will keep you on track with all your booking and all the wedding details you might not even think about! So even if you don’t book with us, we definitely recommend getting a planner regardless because we just want your day to be as special as it can be!
Photographer - Top photographers book out very early, so grab your favorite fast. They can only take on one wedding per day, or even one per weekend if it is a destination wedding so don’t wait to long to pull the trigger!
Caterer - Similar to photographers, they can only take on so many weddings. The more you care about food, the higher up on your list they should be.
DJ or Band - They create the mood of the wedding, so the good ones go fast. DJs also take on multiple types of events like parties, reunions, corporate events, ect. so that limits their availability. If you find a DJ you vibe with and you feel would be a good fit, go for it because most likely someone else is thinking the same thing!
Officiant - This can sometimes be the vendor people think about last, but it definitely deserves to be in the top priority list. The ceremony is the most important part of the wedding, and if there is someone special you have in mind or if you want to ask a friend or family member to get ordained, this will need to be done as soon as possible.
These vendors listed above are your top priority! Of course your priority list can change if one aspect of your wedding is more important than another, but this is a good list to help guide you. Below is the second round of important vendors:
Videographer - The videographer captures exactly what was said and done on the wedding day, so this is pretty high on the list. sometimes videographers can take on multiple weddings in a day with their team, which is why they are not in the top priority.
Florist - Booking about 8-9 months in advance should give you enough time to be able to get the florist you want since they can take multiple weddings a weekend.
Cake - Top wedding cake designers put a limit on the number of cakes they will make in a weekend. it is important to get on their list if there is a special baker you want making your wedding cake.
Hair and makeup - These usually go hand and hand. The most talented artists can get booked up pretty early, so definitely keep them close to the top priority list. If the hair and makeup team come to you on the big day, then they will generally only take one wedding per day.
Transportation - The availability of limos, shuttles, and vintage cars depends on their location and the season. If its spring time, book your transportation early because you will be competing with prom goers and other events.
Rental company - They are equipped to take on multiple events in a weekend. If you know you would like a specific type of linen, chair, ect, though, I would move it up on the list to make sure someone else doesn’t rent them before you.
Now we move on to the third priority. This is not to say that they are not important. just that it is easier to book them out later than the ones above.
Ceremony musicians - If you are having a church wedding or want something besides your DJ, there is always the option of hiring a talented local artist to perform.
Lighting company - Sometimes lighting is able to be booked through your DJ. and they set up ahead of time and can take multiple events in a day. Make sure and ask when you book your DJ though, so if they don’t do lighting you can find someone else to do it if you are wanting some.
Invitation designer - You can have them custom designed, 4 months out. There are also online options if you want to design it in your home.
One thing to remember when seeking vendors, is that you should interview your vendors before hiring them. Remember to not interview more than 3 per category though. It will just get too overwhelming if you do. You also don’t want more than three, because you will just be wasting your time and the vendors time and will most likely run out of time trying to meet with all these vendors! Make sure to do your research before, or hire a wedding planner to help do your research for you! It is also safe to go with recommended vendors from your planner, but check out their work to make sure you like their style before booking just off recommendation. Make sure to ask the following questions, but trust your gut as to whether the vendor seems knowledgeable and inspires confidence, and whether or not you feel that you will gel with them.
How long have you been in business and how many weddings do you do per year?
Are you available for my wedding date?
How much is the deposit? When is it due? When is the balance due?
Will you be on-site at my wedding?
How is the pricing established and what is it based on?
Can you provide three references, preferable recently married couples?
How do you get most of your business? The best vendors get most of their business via referrals.
What is your cancellation policy?
We hope this list helps, and remember to keep Sara Michelle Weddings and Events in mind for all of your vendor recommendation needs! Happy booking!