fire ring

Perhaps wedding planners and designers can weigh in on this, too: The tendency for some engaged couples to contact a vendor, possibly even going so far as to meet with them, and then stall on the actual hiring and agreement signing.

Why You Wait
I’m sure there are quite a few reasons, the most influential of which is likely cost.  When a supplier slaps down a multi-thousand dollar estimate I’m sure quite a few couples balk until they can carve out a more definitive budget so they’ll better understand what they can and cannot afford.  Secondarily, finding time to sit and talk seriously with your fiancée about wedding decisions is far more difficult than most people think, and often months may pass before the couple is in agreement about whom to hire and how much to spend.  I know some brides also take a few weeks to contact several similar vendors and compare them based on information that’s given.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait…Too Long
It’s important to understand the amount of time in advance you should be commissioning suppliers; most photographers in my area are usually booked 6 months to 1 year in advance. Waiting too long to book a supplier for your wedding date could result in the vendor you had your eye on from the beginning being snatched from under your nose by a quicker couple, especially if your wedding is during the “high” season (March through November here in Southern California).  If you procrastinate on hiring vendors until your wedding is almost upon you then you also run the risk of finding all the “choice” suppliers in your area have been taken ahead of you, and all who are left are less talented or less experienced than what you had in mind!

The Best Solution
…Is a “Priority List.”  As soon as you are engaged, sit down and create a list of all the expenses you expect from your wedding, and then arrange it so that the most important expenses are at the top.  Then over the following months as you continue your planning, just work your way down!  For example, if you deign the wedding dress, the venue, and the photography to be the three most important aspects of your wedding, then acquire them in that order.  That way, if your budget should unexpectedly dwindle as you near the end of your list, it doesn’t matter so much because what is at the bottom was not the most important to begin with!  Booking your most important suppliers early on also ensures that YOU get them, because you were faster and had your priorities straight!

  • I think many brides feel they are creative and able to put together their wedding on their own. Some manage beautifully others realize as the date approaches there are far too many details to manage and realize the importance of handing the stress and details over to a planner.

  • I couldn’t agree with you more Molly!! Book now or “forever hold your peace” ;) You don’t want to end up settling for less! This is YOUR day and you want everything you ever dreamed of to come true!! Trust us as wedding professionals!! We know what’s best for you! =)

  • I tell all of the couples I work with to hire their photographer right after they hire me and select a date and a location. Photographers can only book one wedding a day and photography is too important to leave to chance. I prepare a timeline and set up appointments for my clients with the vendors that suit their style. This really helps avoid the procrastination that can occur. I do find that many people are planning their wedding in just four to six months and it’s even more important for those brides to not put anything off!

  • I like to have my couples book all of their vendors right after they hire me that way the “hard” part of the planning is done and they have more time to do the “fun” things like creating DIY favors and escort cards! This is one of the reasons my brides are not stressed on their wedding day.

  • Venue.Caterer.Photographer.In that order. I even have a service that focuses on finding those vendors for brides, because they’re the most important/expensive/quickest to book up. Also, I’m with Wenda – get done with picking your vendors as soon as you can, so you can relax and enjoy the wedding process some, you know?