Engagement season is in full swing and many couples are wondering where to start. As wedding planners, we try to help structure our couples priority list so that they get the most important things done first, that way as the big day approaches there is less and less to worry about. Below are some insights on what vendors and things you should be booking from most important to maybe it can wait a little while longer!
This may be a no brainer but of course we had to mention it first. Before anything else can be planned you have to have a date set and of course, a location. It is best to go into your planning being a little flexible in terms of the date you are looking for because if you fall in love with a venue then you’ll have to work with the dates and they have available. Also, if you are getting married off-site (at a church or other location), you'll want to make sure that the dates match up before signing any contracts. Overall, at the Jersey Shore area, June-October is peak season so if you are looking for a Saturday during those months, plan to book early!
Photographers get booked up very quickly during wedding season and your photos may be one of the most important keepsakes from your wedding day. If there is a certain style or photographer you are looking for, make sure to contact them as soon as you reserve your date and venue! Many photographers also include an engagement session, so if you book them early enough they can snap some photos for your save the dates.
People love dancing the night away at weddings! If you’re having a band or a DJ it is important to reserve the entertainment early so that you can have the music you dreamed for your guests. With DJ's, it's also good to have a wide range to select from because they often vary in prices and personalities.
The good thing about a florist is that many can do multiple weddings in a day/weekend but it’s important that your time and location fit into that timeline. It's good to get an idea for the overall look and style you are going for before you reach out to a florist. If you have a very specific taste and florist in mind though, add them to your book early list!
This category may not apply to all couples who are getting married but some choose to get married at venues that may need outside caterers and items like tables, chairs, linens, kitchen items, tents, etc. If this is something that you’re thinking of for your wedding day you are going to want to make sure that those items are rented asap and you begin the process with a caterer early as there are a lot of moving parts when everything is coming from outside of the venue.
If you are considering hiring a wedding planner, it is always good to book early since many planners, like ourselves, only take 1 wedding per weekend. If you are looking for day of coordination, you may think you have time to wait and book when it is closer,but the important part is securing your date!
Those are the big priorities in our mind, but of course there are other vendors to consider like an officiant, music for your ceremony, invitation designer, specialty desserts, food trucks, etc. Depending on what’s important to you this list can be used out of order but just remember you want to make sure all of the big pieces to your wedding puzzle are booked first and then you will see all the other elements fit in perfectly!