When it comes to your wedding, there are a ton of things that go into planning and making your wedding day happen. One of the biggest questions you may have when you start to plan is what vendors do you need for a wedding.
You probably hadn’t really thought about all that goes into a wedding before you started to plan yours and now that you are, you may feel a little overwhelmed. And that’s okay! You’re in good company. Depending on whether you’re eloping or planning a larger wedding, some of these may not apply to you. And on the opposite end, you likely will have several other vendors involved. But this list of core vendors will get you started and should be a priority to book in the early days of your planning.
So, what vendors do you need for a wedding? Let’s dive in:
I am a huge fan of wedding planners and when you are asking what vendors do you need for your wedding, a wedding planner should be at the top of your list and one of the first, if not the first, vendor you hire. Wedding planners do this for a living. They understand all the ups and downs that come with wedding planning and can help you navigate the process. Not to mention, they’ll save you a ton of time and headache (and likely money too!).
A wedding planner not only helps you with all of the prep leading up to the wedding, but they also help coordinate everything for you on the wedding day. This way, all you have to do is be present and enjoy it which can be a lifesaver. Since they work in this space each and every day, they can help you find all of your other vendors, work out all the nitty gritty details, and solve any problems that arise. They’ll save you some trials and errors, pose questions you didn’t even know to ask, and help make your day as unique and as successful as possible.
Now this one may seem pretty obvious, but it is still important to talk about. Photographers and videographers are the ones that capture your beautiful wedding day and make sure you can remember it for the rest of your life.
In my opinion, a photographer is a must have at your wedding. Yes, you can take pictures on your phone or have your cousin who has a camera take pictures, but nothing is going to beat the end result of hiring a professional photographer. After all, your pictures are the only thing, other than your marriage, that will live on long past the wedding day. You are going to look back on these for years to come and possibly share them with future generations, so you want to be sure to invest in a professional photographer you love and trust.
When it comes to videographers, it really depends on what you are looking for and potentially your budget. Hiring a videographer is an amazing addition to your media team, and another way to document and relive your wedding day. If capturing audio such as your vows, speeches or sweet reactions such as during your first look, is important to you, then definitely consider hiring a videographer.
It is also super important to reach out to photographers and videographers EARLY. A ton of photographers book far in advance (like 10-14 months out) so don’t wait long after booking your venue to look for one. This should definitely be one of the earlier steps in your wedding planning process!
Getting hair and makeup artists for your wedding can really help your day go more smoothly and ensure you feel and look your best throughout.We’ve all had days where we just can’t get our makeup right or that one piece of hair just won’t go where it is supposed to do and having to deal with that on your wedding day just adds more stress.
Just like you want to hire a photographer to make sure you get the best quality photos, hiring a professional hair and makeup artist ensures you look amazing and can get ready with way less stress! Besides, when else do you have such a great excuse to have a full on glam squad?? Being pampered is fun and makes the getting ready part of your wedding day all the more exciting.
Flowers are a huge part of most weddings regardless of how big or small your wedding is. Even if you are eloping, odds are you are at least going to have some sort of bouquet or boutonniere for your wedding day.
Hiring a florist can ensure you not only get the best and most beautiful flower arrangements for your wedding but also take some of the work out of your hands. Florists will help your vision come to life and ensure everything is set up properly and stays fresh throughout the day. Unless you’re a pro yourself, florists will offer amazing ideas within your budget, some of which you may not have even known were possible.
The music at your reception really sets the tone for how the night is going to go for you and your guests so you definitely want to make sure you hire someone who’s vibe you love for your wedding.
Now, I know there is the age old question of DJ versus a live band and honestly I think both are amazing. Bands add a sense of energy and excitement to your reception that you may not have otherwise. But DJs have a much wider range of music they can choose from to play at your wedding. I honestly don’t think you can go wrong with either and you can always incorporate elements of both.When it comes to actually hiring a vendor to play music at your wedding, I would suggest starting your search early. It can sometimes take a little time to find the perfect person/group that is going to match your energy and make your wedding ceremony and reception one to remember. You don’t want to get stuck settling for someone you don’t love just because you waited too long!
Food! Food is such an important part of your reception and there is really no limit to what you can do here. Your venue may have an exclusive caterer they work with, or handle the catering themselves. This simplifies things a lot and can be a big deciding factor when choosing your venue. (So if the catering is included in your venue, be sure you love the food before you book the space).
If you have the choice of food, you can have buffets, sit down meals, multiple courses, finger foods, food trucks, etc. The list is endless.
Searching for someone to cater your wedding may be the most fun (and delicious) part of your wedding planning you get to do. There is so much you can do with food to highlight your personality, culture, whatever you and your partner can think of. This can also be one of the more intricate and expensive things when it comes to planning your wedding.Your catering and guest count will, together, most likely be the largest chunk of your wedding budget.
You may have to think about things like allergies, preferences, how the food will be set up, what space in your venue your caterer will have, so it is important to start this process early.
This is a big one. The venue you choose for your wedding is super important and plays a big role in how your wedding day turns out. This is also one of the things you will want to do first when planning your wedding.
Some venues have restrictions or requirements for other vendors to be able to be part of your wedding so it is super important that you know where your wedding is going to be and what is allowed before you hire all of your other vendors! This is also why hiring a wedding planner first is a wise move. A wedding planner will know the right questions to ask to make sure that the venue you think is the perfect venue, is actually perfect for your vision. For example, say you book your “dream venue” and you can’t wait to plan your beautiful decor filled with candles, only to find out your venue doesn’t allow flames of any kind.
Now this one may not be necessary depending on the couple. For instance, if you are going to have a friend or family member perform your wedding ceremony, you can definitely just cross this off of your list. But, if not, this is definitely something that you will want to look into.
The good news is, some of your other vendors may have amazing recommendations for officiants you can hire for your wedding. Your wedding planner will most likely have a list of officiants you can choose, but you may also find that your venue has one included in the package or even your photographer may have some options for you.
You definitely want to make sure that you are able to meet with your officiant before hiring them so you can kind of get a feel for each other and make sure they are the right fit and personality to marry you.
Last, but certainly not least, is a baker or more broadly, someone to make the sweets. I mean, who doesn’t love a good wedding cake? This will probably be right up there with finding your caterer as one of the more enjoyable parts of wedding planning, but it is still super important.
Whether you are going to have cake, cupcakes, ice cream, pies, donuts, whatever you choose, you want to make sure you find the perfect person to not only make the delicious treats but also transport them to your venue in one piece!
There you have it. My top answers for the important question, what vendors do you need for a wedding?
Want more insight into planning your wedding in a way that allows for the most successful photography? Snag my free wedding guide below! This guide is 52 pages of tips, tricks and insights into planning your wedding day and what that means for photography.