by: Lauren

There’s a very common question that I hear from brides when they’re starting in on their wedding planning: “How early is too early to…,” or “how late is too late to…?” In regards to booking vendors, it totally depends on the type of vendor and your location. But overall, there is pretty much an order to stick to. It’s more a matter of vendors that book up quickly and trust me- the good ones book up fast!


1. Find and book your wedding planner. ;) It doesn’t even have to be a planner for Full Planning– ┬áit’s just a good idea to meet with a planner to discuss ideas and get vendor recommendations. (At this time start looking for and researching vendors, particularly photographers)

2. Choose your date and book your venue. These two go hand-in-hand. If you have a venue that you love, but they’re not available for the day you want, you can flexible with your date. Or if you’re set on a date, you can shop for venues that are available for your wedding day.

3. As soon as you’ve booked your venue and you have your date, nail down your photographer. By now you should have a good idea of the style of photography you like (see number 1). Meet with a couple photographers, and then book your choice ASAP

4. Consider hiring an event design and decor company. It will cover a couple different vendors for you, and the majority of the time save you money (in rentals, fees, and delivery). These companies usually encompass lighting, flowers, draping, rentals and basically the all around look and decor for your wedding. They’ll handle setting everything up and tearing everything down for you too, which is a big plus. If you’re not going to use an event decor company, you’ll need to find your florist and vendors for lighting, draping, and any rentals.

5. If your venue doesn’t provide food already, find your caterer!

6. Decide if you want a live band or a DJ to handle the music for your wedding. Do your research- ask for recommendations, look on Wedding Wire- basically just follow this blog post. :)

7. Definitely consider hiring a videographer/cinematographer for your wedding day. There is nothing like actually seeing the events of the day in real ACTION.

8. Finally, there’s any other vendors that you might need- a photo booth, cigar rollers, day-of coordinator (if you didn’t already hire one for step 1), etc.


This list is based on what books up first, based on my experience. It’s very common for good vendors to be booked a year out. This is especially the case for popular wedding dates and seasons. Pretty much, it’s never too early to book your vendors- although something like 5 years is a little iffy. The earlier, the better. If you figure it all out early on, you can enjoy being engaged, planning other aspects of your wedding (like the DETAILS!), and planning on starting your life with your new husband!


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Founder & Editor at Every Last Detail
Lauren Grove is the editor and owner of Every Last Detail. A clueless bride-turned-wedding planner, Lauren uses her experiences and knowledge to educate and inspire brides all over the world.
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10 responses to {Thursday Tips} How Soon…?

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  1. Lucia

    Also, if you have a “fun” date (10-10-10, 9-10-11, 11-11-11, etc) it is going to be much more popular and book up so much more quickly! For example, our 11-11-11 wedding booked us in April of 2009!

  2. April

    This information is so informative and spot on. If you think you are the only bride searching for the best, you are sadly mistaken. Just like good men, they get scooped up fast! Book early :-)
    Thank you for allowing me to share this on my blog!

  3. kendall

    We had a good photographer because of some connection we had, but I would def. stress that it is so important to hire that photographer because you will want the best photos to remind you of your big day!

  4. Michelle Guzman Photographers

    Yes. Great advice. It’s funny when people request info like 2 months before an event and are shocked that so many of their preferred vendors are already booked. :)

  5. Gayle

    Great advice! Also remember that public / school holidays book up quickly, as do weekend weddings and times of year when the weather is generally better. :)

  6. katie pie

    Amazing post thanks!

    Sent via Blackberry

  7. Orlando wedding videography

    I may be biased, but I think hiring a cinematographer should be higher on the list, since they are already in the “viewing photographers mode” they may as well shop videographers as well!

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