Bride | Booking your vendors

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Making the decision to marry your best friend, is the easy part. You’ve made the excited calls to celebrate your news with family and friends. You’ve joined the wedding blog world and began searching for your dream dress. What’s next? Time to begin booking your vendors for the big day. There are so many things to consider for these upcoming steps. How many guests, what day, if you’ll be providing your own caterer etc. We’ve compiled a list of the vendors you’ll need and time frames you should expect when booking for your big day.

The Venue

By the time you begin looking at your venue, plan to have number of guests in mind. Also, something to consider, is whether you want the ceremony and reception in one location or if you intend to use two locations. Keep in mind, the date you choose will effect the availability of your choice. Plan to book your venue at least 10-11 months in advance. Remember, more known locations could be booked more than a year out, especially if your looking at popular dates.

The Wedding Planner

Recently, I spoke with Jillian from Framed Worthy Events in Columbus, Indiana. One of the things she said, was that several brides end up coming to her just months before the big day telling her, they wished they would have booked more in advance. I share this advice as well. It is important for both you and your planner to have plenty of time to prepare. Your planner will be needing to book several parts to make your wedding perfect, well in advance. We recommend booking your planner about 11 months in advance.

The Caterer

If the Venue you’ve chosen either doesn’t provide catering or allows you bring in your own, you’ll want to choose yours shortly after you’ve booked your location. You’ll want to begin your search by looking at reviews, food options and schedule a few tastings to get an idea of what to expect. You’ll want to have this ready 9-10 months prior to your saved date.

Wedding Officiant 

You may be considering a friend or religious leader to officiate your marriage or you are seeking someone to fill this role. The Venue you’ve chosen may have someone available or your Wedding Planner may be able to assist you in this area, as well. Look to secure your officiate about 10 months prior.


I have grouped these vendors together because they all fall under the same importance for time frames. You may not choose all of these options, maybe just a DJ and Photographer. 6-9 months in advance should be plenty of time. For your photographer, consider booking closer to 9 months in advance. Wedding photographers can book well in advance, especially if you go with a well known company. Also, before you meet with these vendors, have some examples of what you are wanting. This will help them in creating around your budget.


This is probably my favorite stop along the way to the aisle. Cake. This was actually one of my first stops, not because it was needed, but because it’s the most fun! Just like with the caterer, do your research and check reviews before scheduling. Once you’ve found the baker you love, schedule your cake options 6 months before the day of delivery. Have fun with this part. Think about cake flavors, filings and icing and the decorations you want to add. Don’t forget to order your cake toppers!


Prior to meeting with potential florists, you’ll want to have your wedding colors picked out. This will help you and the florist decide on your arrangements. You may have your main flower picked, my advice is to go in with an open mind. Depending on the time of the year, certain flowers may be more difficult to get. Florists prefer being scheduled around 6 months prior, but not less than 4 months, especially during busy wedding season.


Photos: Ian Borgerhoff Photography




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