Updated: Oct 30, 2018
First of all, congratulations on booking your venue! It’s the most important thing to book first when planning your wedding, as it not only determines your wedding date, but the look and feel of your wedding overall. A romantic outdoor garden wedding venue will prompt a completely different vision than a modern, urban loft.
If you have not yet booked your venue, read our blog post here about why you should solidify your venue first! All of the other vendors you reach out to will need to know your wedding date in order to confirm their availability, and your venue is the ultimate deciding factor when it comes to choosing your wedding date.
Once you have your venue (and date!) you can start reaching out to and booking other vendors. There is also a chance that your venue will have preferred vendors that they either suggest or require you to work with. This can feel restricting, but it also gives you a great starting point for reaching out to vendors! As a bride, I found some of my greatest vendors through referrals from our venue. Keep in mind that many venues choose preferred vendors because they have worked multiple weddings at the venue, know the layout, and are comfortable with the space! It will also help your wedding day go smoothly if your vendors know each other and work well together.
So with your venue details in hand, let’s get started on the next steps!
1. Book Your Photographer
After the venue, one of the first contacts you should make is your photographer. Wedding photographers book quickly, so if you’re in love with a wedding photographer’s style, reach out now!
When you’re reaching out to the photographer, be sure to make it personalized. Let them know what you love about their style and why you are hoping they will shoot your wedding. With the photographer receiving so many inquiries, you will want your email to stand out.
Spend time looking through the portfolios of the photographers you are considering, and read more about them on their website! The photographer will be capturing intimate, significant moments throughout the day, so you will want to find the right fit!
It’s also important to note that your wedding photos are an investment, as this is how you will remember and look back on the day! It is an amazing feeling to look through your wedding photos and see the joy and love captured during your wedding.
2. Book Your Caterer
Let the tastings commence! Starting with your venue’s recommended list (if they have one), you will want to reach out to a few caterers to get an idea of their availability, price range, and menu options.
When picking a caterer for our wedding, my husband Cameron and I focused on two things: showcasing the flavors of the Pacific Northwest, and finding a caterer we genuinely enjoyed working with.
Food is a big part of your reception, and there are so many ways to make it your own! From barbecue to taco bars, and everything in between, you will find the perfect fit for your reception! Just be sure to find them early, as they are an important vendor that is also prone to booking up fast.
3. Book Your Wedding Planner
Booking a wedding planner will help you stay on top of the rest of your planning! From providing recommendations on the rest of the vendors you will need to hire (it takes a village), to keeping track of contracts, budgeting, and so much more, you will want to book a planner or coordinator early on in the wedding planning process.
Prudence & Sage offers wedding planning and coordination for couples who want an uncomplicated wedding. With an amazing team of skilled event planners and coordinators, Prudence & Sage is experienced in making dream weddings happen.
4. Continue with the rest of your planning!
With your venue, photographer, caterer, and planner all booked, nothing can stop you from having the wedding of your dreams! By getting started early, you have set yourself up for success.
And as you continue the planning process, you will find that these key vendors influence the aesthetic of your wedding day. The rentals you choose, your color palette, and even your wedding day attire, will all draw from the space you have chosen for your wedding day, and the vendors who are helping to bring it all together. We recommend choosing vendors that you enjoy getting to know and working with, as you are trusting them with your wedding vision!
And if you are looking for guidance with the wedding planning process, the Prudence & Sage team is here to help. Reach out and schedule a consultation, so we can bring your wedding vision to life!