When to hire who?

Many, many times I’ve seen a bride not get what she wanted because she had no idea what order to start hiring her vendors in.  Well, for those who don’t hire me, here’s the order I advise:

1.  Hire a wedding planner and find your venue
If you would like a wedding planner to help you from A to Z, this is obviously the first vendor you’ll find.  Immediately after, you’ll start looking at venue choices.  (If you are not hiring a planner for the entire process, add planner to step 2.)  Your venue is probably the biggest determining factor when deciding on a wedding date.  Plus, it sets the style and tone of your wedding, so it helps to determine what vendors you’ll need.  Venues also have preferred vendors they work with, so you have the opportunity to see who has worked well there before.

2.  Hire those who only work one wedding a day.
The photographer, videographer, officiant, entertainment and specialty transporation (like a horse carriage) usually fall within this category.  Those who only work one wedding a day book fast, so you’ll need to go ahead and place a deposit to make sure you reserve those you truly want to help with your special day.  If you have not hired a wedding planner yet, they also fall into this category.

3.  Work from the biggest budget item down.
Your top budget item will be the food and beverages.  If this is not included with your venue, you’ll need to start shopping for an outside caterer.  The next vendor will depend upon your priorities, but here’s a common order I follow:  florist, rentals (including linens), transportation (such as a limo), bakery (for your cake or other dessert choice).  The reason I do this is to help prevent overspending.  If your love florals and are willing to sacrifice your limo, this is the way to go.  If your cake is first priority, move it up on the list, etc.

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