Why you shouldn’t wait: Your wedding venue is THE biggest detail of your wedding day. You can’t hold a great party if you don’t have a venue to hold it in. Plus, you have a lot of other details that you can’t set in stone without having a venue.
How to find a good one: Once you’ve decided on the location of your big day (i.e. destination wedding, hometown, city where you met, etc.), narrow down your options by deciding on your style, budget, and the size of your guest list. Choose a venue that checks off all three boxes and any other unique wants and needs you want, such as a venue that allows you to bring in your own caterer or has no sound limitations for a fantastic late-night party.
When to book: Book your wedding venue about 12-16 months before your wedding date.
Why you shouldn’t wait: You don’t want to leave your wedding guests with a bad taste in their mouths. If you wait too long, all the good caterers are going to be booked and you’re going to have to settle for ho-hum cuisine.
How to find a good one: Ask your friends and family for their recommendations or ask your venue for suggestions for a quality caterer. Back your research up by checking out local reviews on social media or review sites. Once you have a short list of caterers that are perfect for your big day, ask them for a quote and any other specific details you want for your big day. Make sure you set up a tasting with your preferred caterer to sample the actual dishes you want on your wedding day; don’t book a caterer until you’ve made sure they live up to your standards.
When to book: Sign the contract with your caterer 12 months before your wedding date.
Why you shouldn’t wait: Don’t book a great venue and confirm a wonderful caterer only to leave your guests bored after dinner.
How to find a good one: Decide whether you want a band or DJ (tips on how to choose the perfect wedding entertainment option here). Once you’ve decided which option is your first choice (for you and your budget), ask your friends or family for recommendations and check the local review and social media sites for other couples’ opinions. Make sure you ask these questions and look for entertainers that coordinate special moments with other vendors (i.e. photographer, videographer, venue, etc.) for wonderful memories that you can look at for years to come. If you want to offer more fun for all ages, book a photo booth or bring out yard and table games for an entertaining wedding reception.
Videographer & Photographer
Why you shouldn’t wait: A bad videographer or photographer is going to leave you with less than stellar memories of the most important day of your life.
How to find a good one: Ask your friends and family for recommendations, visit local wedding fairs, and let your keyboard do the searching. Back your research up with review sites and reviews on social media sites to make sure you are booking the best. Ask your prospective videographers and photographers for samples of their work before you sign on the bottom line.
When to book: Book your videographer and photographer 12+ months before your wedding date.