Lena Mirasola Photography
Ready to start planning your wedding? Yes, it is a great company, but you have this. It’s about staying organized as you move through your wedding provider’s timeline and booking your providers – otherwise known as the people who will make your planning process a breeze. Read reviews online and schedule interviews to make sure you are hiring the best!
The average amount of time couples spend planning their wedding is 13 months, so this is how we’ve put together this vendor schedule. If you’re planning your wedding in less time than that, that’s totally doable (and awesome!).
Table of Contents
Feel free to condense this wedding vendor calendar to suit your needs, but try to fulfill the same request if possible.
12 months before your wedding
Wedding planner: There are many benefits to hiring a wedding planner. If you want to hire a full-service wedding planner to help you through the entire process (including selecting the venue), you may want to hire him or her first. Many couples choose to reserve their spot first and then hire a planner, which is another good way to get closer to your wedding provider’s timeline.
Wedding Venue: When it comes to the question of when to book your wedding vendors, this is a big deal! Until you’ve booked your wedding venue (and there are plenty of options to choose from!), You haven’t “officially set a date.” Whether you decide to have separate venues for ceremonies and receptions or organize your wedding in one location, it is best to reserve your venue or venues as soon as possible. And if you are booking an all-inclusive venue, other vendors such as your catering and rental provider may also be included, which can save you some time.
10 months before your wedding
Photographer: We all know that wedding photographers play an essential role in your big day, so be sure to allocate enough time to ensure you have plenty of photographers to choose from. When looking for a photographer, it’s important to consider their style and cost, but also make sure you get along with your photographer, as you will be spending a lot of time with him or her on your big day.
Videographer: Your wedding cameraman will create a motion picture movie of your wedding day, with motion and sound, an essential keepsake of your wedding day. Videographers tend to book early, so it’s best to start researching these professionals sooner rather than later.
Florist: Those beautiful flower arrangements that you are seeing all over Pinterest? They were probably made by a professional wedding florist. Find a florist whose work you like and who seems to better understand your wedding style, vision, and budget.
Catering: Don’t let your wedding guests get mad! If your wedding venue does not include a caterer, you will need to include an outside caterer on your wedding provider’s timeline in order to provide hearty and delicious food for your reception. Your caterer will help you decide the style of service for your reception and will provide a pre-wedding tasting to help you choose specific dishes.
9 months before your wedding
Reception music: A good wedding ring or professional DJ will set the mood for your reception with music. Whether you choose to hire a wedding band or a DJ is your decision, but make sure you allow enough time to find a music professional that you like, be it a DJ with a great personality or a band that has a great sound and a fantastic playlist.
Tracy Shoopman Photography
8 months before your wedding
Ceremony music: Hiring live musicians to perform at your ceremony will give this special moment a traditional and romantic feel. When it comes to ceremony musicians, you have many options, from a solo musician like a harpist or guitarist, to a group like a string quartet or a jazz band.
Guest accommodation: If you are hosting a lot of out-of-town guests, we recommend that you reserve a block of rooms at some hotels near the wedding venue. Not only does this ensure that there are rooms reserved for your guests, it can also help your guests save money on their accommodation. Be sure to include information about hotel room blocking on your wedding website or on your invitations or save dates.
Officiant: Your wedding provider’s schedule should also include a licensed professional officiant. Without one, you won’t really get married! Whether you are getting married in a religious or secular ceremony, it pays to hire an experienced professional officiant who can help you create and execute a meaningful and personal ceremony.
Wedding dress: Buying a wedding dress is very different from buying a t-shirt from your favorite store. It takes time (like months) from the moment you order your gown until it is in your hands. Give yourself plenty of time to shop for a wedding dress (the average bride tries on four to seven dresses before finding “the one and only”), and don’t forget about alterations!
Stationery (save the dates): If you are planning a destination wedding, we recommend that you submit the saved dates as soon as you have your wedding location reserved (rather a year in advance). If your wedding is closer to home, eight months in advance is an appropriate time.
7 months before your wedding
Baker: Your pastry chef will create a wedding cake that is both gorgeous and delicious, and they only accept a certain number of orders per week, so it’s best to book well in advance if possible. Once you’ve selected your pastry chef, they will schedule a tasting to pick out the flavors for your wedding cake (yum!).
Bridesmaid Dresses: Although bridesmaid dresses don’t take as long to order as wedding dresses, they can take months to arrive. Visit hair salons with your maids to create a look everyone agrees on.
Honeymoon Travel Consultant: It’s time to start thinking about your honeymoon! No matter where you decide to travel, including a honeymoon travel agent in your wedding provider’s timeline can help you plan your lifetime trip in a breeze.
Dana Lynn Photo, Video & Photobooths
6 months before your wedding
Stationery (invitations): Your invitations will give your guest a clue as to what your wedding style will be like. While you don’t have to send your wedding invitations until six to eight weeks before your wedding, ordering the invitations from a wedding stationery (and handling and assembling them!) Can take time.
Makeup artist: A professional makeup artist can make sure that you will look your best on your wedding day, both in person and in photos. Don’t forget to schedule a makeup test a few months before your wedding, too.
Stylist: Whether you’re going for a sleek hairstyle or loose locks, a wedding stylist can create a gorgeous look that will last all day (and night!). As with a makeup artist, you will also want to schedule a hair test before your wedding.
Rentals: If your location does not offer rentals such as tables, chairs, sheets, dishes, cutlery, etc. or if you want more options, you will have to hire a rental company as part of your wedding provider’s timeline. Work with your caterer, hangout and florist service provider to make sure you are renting the items you need, in the right quantities.
5 months before your wedding
Male clothing: Suit or tuxedo? Rent or buy? Whatever you decide, you will want to close it a few months before your wedding day. This is true for both the groom and the groomsmen: you can often receive discounts if you rent or buy their clothes at the same time.
Accessories: Veils, headphones, shoes, underwear and more – be sure to buy whatever wedding day accessories you need in plenty of time before your wedding day. Brides will want to shop for shoes and underwear so they can have those accessories on hand for their first tryout.
Transport: Hiring a wedding limo, shuttle bus, or other form of transportation is a good idea to make sure your day runs smoothly and everyone arrives safely and on time. Finding a reputable shipping company to help you with all the logistics is an important part of your wedding provider’s timeline.
3 months before your wedding
Favors: The wedding favors that you choose should reflect the style of your wedding, and there are many great ideas to choose from! Be sure to buy your wedding favors in plenty of time to allow for any customization or special packaging.
Wedding rings: Your wedding ring is a piece of jewelry that you will wear every day for the rest of your life (no pressure!), So take your time shopping for your rings.