Ohhhh girl. You have made it to the top tips I have got for wedding planning and I am so PUMPED to share allllll about them. This wedding planning series is going to help you step-by-step learn how you can plan your own wedding – with or without help. I planned my entire wedding on my own and loved every minute of it. I want YOU to be able to plan your wedding in the most creative way possible with a whole lot of excitement and ZERO stress. This is all about YOU, sweet bride!

Before you read further, be sure to check out my last wedding planning post here!


If you would rather watch my IGTV on this topic, click HERE!

I’m lost on vendors! What now!?

Nice to meet you lost, I am Kaitlin and I have found the perfect vendors and booking schedule for you!! No really, I am about to share the order that I think you should consider booking your vendors, and give you the inside scoop on what vendors to choose that are PERFECT for YOU!

Choosing vendors can be challenging because there are SO many, but you don’t know any! Going to wedding fair’s, googling, and social media has wedding vendors everywhere and you don’t even know where to start, so you just inquire with 12 caterer’s, 7 videographers, 4 bakers, 10 florists, and hope for the best. Well, here’s the deal – this wedding is all about YOU and what you want. With that being said, step number 1 is don’t settle for someone who isn’t FOR you. That’s right, your vendor shouldn’t just be someone you talk to once, doesn’t have your best interest at heart, and just does what they think is best. Girl, this is YOUR wedding day – OWN IT!

I’ll start by saying that I am not the photographer for everyone. Want to know why? I serve my clients in a very specific way. I love them hard, provide them with exactly what they need, build a relationship with them, and make sure I know what they expect from me. On the flip side, as a bride, your vendors should be the people who can serve you the BEST. You have a specific personality, taste, and wedding vision, and the vendors you choose should understand that! Here’s an example. If you are a bride who loves modern boho, sort of a whimsical feel, neutral colors with pops of mauve, tons of flowers, the outdoors, and hiking, first of all, let’s be friends because we are the SAME! But second, you need vendors who understand that vision and who can best serve you to make that vision come alive!


Once you’ve figured that out, NOW you are ready to choose some vendors! Look for vendors who do the types of things YOU like. If you are choosing between two videographers and one produces more fun, upbeat videos and the other produces more emotional, passionate videos, choose the one that resonates most with you! Apply this to all your choices – DJ, Photo Booth, Caterer, etc. – when it comes to your wedding and you will have the most PERFECT day. Literally.

But who do I choose first?

The magic question! Knowing when to choose vendors in what order can be confusing if you don’t have help! So, here is my personal opinion. These are not facts and you definitely don’t have to choose your vendors in this order! I am just simply giving you an idea of who and why you should choose, when! Assuming you have already decided on a wedding planner (if not, do this first):

  1. Your Venue: This may sound like a given, but some of us may get a little carried away with our obsession with another vendor. However, you should book your venue FIRST so that your date is set in stone! Keep in mind, if you have a specific photographer, videographer, etc. in mind that you HAVE to have, you can always see what their availability is to be absolutely sure you can get your venue AND that other must-have vendor.

  2. Your Photographer: Photographer’s get booked so incredibly fast. I can’t tell you how many emails I send that make me sad because I have to tell bride’s I am already booked. If you find your dream photographer, DON’T WAIT! We book at least a year, sometimes further in advance. So book your photographer ASAP!

  3. Your Videographer: Pretty much the same as above, videographer’s can only be in one place on your date. So, book them ASAP! There are only so many videographer’s who can serve you exactly how you need them to!

  4. Caterer: Honey, food is important. If you are anything like me, you love food and need some GOOD EATS at your reception! Start spending time tasting food, having consultations, and book them as soon as you find the right one! I booked mine about 6 months in advance.

  5. DJ or Band: Your DJ or Band is another vendor that should be booked at least 6 months out. Especially if you want one that can play the BEST music! They can only be in one place on your date, so don’t let this slip your mind!!

  6. Florist/Decorator: The vendor that makes the entire wedding come together with all the stunning arrangements. I would say book them between the 4 and 5 month mark if you haven’t already booked them by then.

  7. Photo Booth, Food Trucks, etc.: These extra fun vendors are always a must and you should try to book them around 3-6 months before the wedding! It just depends on the vendor and their availability.

  8. Cake: Your baker is important because honey, you are going to want a big slice of cake after such an exciting day. Book them between the 3-5 month mark!

  9. Officiant: Most people have a pastor or friend that would normally be coming to their wedding already, officiate the ceremony. If you do, or if you have no idea who will do it, be sure to find out their availability on your date between the 3 and 4 month mark! You don’t want to be without this person, he or she is kind of important!!

  10. Hair, Makeup, Nails: Part of me wants to tell you to book this 6 months out because I am extra. You totally can if you want – especially your hairstylist. But definitely book them by the 3 month mark!

  11. Calligrapher/Hand Letterer: Book these people about a month or so before you plan to send out invitations! This will probably be right at the 3 month mark!

  12. Anyone else: Got extra money left over?! Book something unique! You never know how an extra vendor that you randomly find can spice up your wedding! I’m talking like an ice cream vendor, funnel cakes, a football team’s mascot, etc.

I hope that you can find each one of these special vendors that can serve YOU and your vision the best way possible. You are going to ROCK this wedding planning thing! Now go find all of your DREAM vendors. They’re out there, I promise. And if you’re one of my brides, you already know a few of my absolute favorites!

Read my next WEDDING PLANNING 101 post here to learn about your wedding registry must-haves!

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