What order do I book my wedding suppliers?

If you’re reading this – odds are you’ve recently got engaged so CONGRATULATIONS! Whether you’re getting married in a number of weeks or a number of years, I won’t sugar coat it – you certainly have your work cut out for you!

Once the excitement of showing off the diamonds in your ring or wowing your mates with the flashiness of that awesome proposal has worn off and the champagne is no longer popping, trying to work out exactly where to start and what you need to do is an extremely daunting and scary place to be.

How do I start planning my wedding?

Planning a wedding whether it’s a huge elaborate day or a small and personal elopement takes a tremendous amount of skill, time and frustration. If your budget allows, absolutely consider hiring a wedding planner to take most of this stress away from you.

Of course, times are hard these days and that’s more often than not a luxury most of us simply can’t warrant spending our money on – or of course you could be the control freak type of bride/groom (they’re common!) who wants to get stuck in to the nitty gritty yourself?

If this sounds like something you can relate to, this post is going to help you a lot as I talk you through the confusing query – which order to book suppliers!

Please note – although the order is relevant, this isn’t a black and white format. ALL weddings along the planning stage and even on the day will be full of intentional and unintentional ‘grey’ areas and rule bending. This is the beauty of weddings as they’re all so different!

1. Venue

Without a doubt, the perfect venue is your number one priority here and is the foundation that all your other plans and preparations base themselves on.

It’s not unusual for wedding venues to have bookings years in advance – particularly during summer months and on Saturdays so it’s important to lock this one in quickly! It can be even more complicated if you’re having a different venue for your reception because you have two to book!

Get the venue(s) sorted, deposits paid and date secure then things get fun!

2. Celebrant

Now you’ve booked your venue, you need to concentrate on booking someone who is actually going to officiate your marriage! Your venue may have this as part of the service or if not will be able to recommend local services. Prices vary seasonally of course – for Sunday weddings expect to pay a little more for obvious reasons!

3. Videographer & Photographer

These two I’ve put in the same category because you can’t have one without the other in my opinion! I mean, of course you can it’s YOUR wedding and being a wedding videographer I may be biased, however archiving your most treasured memories to be able to relive them both in film and photo is mandatory I’m sure you’ll agree! Perhaps you’ve found a videographer on Instagram you like the look of? Snatch them up as soon as you know they’re free because like venues, photo and video guy’s calendars fill up fast!

Any good videographer worth his salt will have a collection of trusted photographers they can recommend and work well with – you may even be able to work out a discount from booking them together!

I go a lot more detail on the pros of booking a videographer in this post: https://diamondfilm.co.uk/should-i-book-a-wedding-videographer/

4. Food & Drink

90% of venues will have you covered in-house with this so if so, move right along to the next step but if not, look into caterers for your wedding breakfast and canapés etc, bars for your drinks and decide if guests are buying drinks, a tab is set up, limit of available alcohol etc. get creative – maybe an ice cream van? That would be awesome!

5. Flowers

Now, you may think this can happen later but for two reasons this should be next. 1) Good florists will book up during wedding seasons faster than you can say Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus. (I can’t say it either but it’s a real flower!) and 2) Your flowers will set the colour and tone of the wedding that the rest of the decor can base itself around!

Once you have your basic colour theme set, your florist can help you with schemes to complement your style. Don’t forget to ask about bouquets and button holes for the men as these get overlooked!

6. Wedding Cake

Now you’ve got your colours and flowers sorted (see why that was important to do first?), you can think about what style of cake you would like! How many tiers? How many guests are you offering a slice to? All factors a good cake maker can help with! Be sure to tell them your venue and colour scheme so they can advise appropriately.

Most cake makers are small operations often with one or two bakers so expect them to get busy in the wedding seasons!

7. Hair & Beauty

You will be overwhelmed for choice with getting your hair and make up done on the big day so make sure to start researching as soon as you can and looking for recommendations! Trials are commonplace for a MUA to work out exactly what products work better on your skin and for you to have the opportunity to chat about styles and variations.

Brides, make that nail appointment in advance and that last pump of lip filler if that’s your thing and Groom

s, perhaps think about booking in a Turkish shave the day before the wedding and a nice buff & shine manicure! (There’s nothing effiminate about looking good – there will be a lot of photos remember!

8. Decor

Everything that makes your wedding look spectacular. Think welcome signs or mirrors, chair covers, place settings, centrepieces, confetti – the list is endless.

Now you have your flowers and cake sorted this should be plain sailing when thinking about the style of your big day!

9. Music

Often overlooked, music is something that is important to most couples. You need to think about tracks or styles for waiting music, bridal entrance, signing the register, exit music, first dance, father of the bride dance not to mention the band for the evening! What happens when the band is finished – a DJ or a Spotify playlist to continue the night? The choice is yours!

Also, if you want a musician e.g. a harpist or sax player (we’ve seen it all) – get them booked up sharpish!

10. Entertainment

Now, entertainment is absolutely not mandatory and should only be added I think if the remainder of your budget allows for it after booking everything else.

Magicians, casinos, photo booths, games, sweet stands and all the rest of it are fantastic thoughts and your guests would certainly appreciate it however don’t be tricked into thinking you must provide entertainment beyond food and dancing.

Remember, there’s likely to be alcohol and music. Most will make their own fun! If you decide that you want some form of entertainment, book them up quick before someone else does!

Everything else can be slotted in around but generally this list as a rule of thumb should help compartmentalise everything you need to do!

If you still need help, I am based in the South West of England and have a huge portfolio of trusted, tried and tested suppliers from cake makers to magicians that I’d be more than happy to share with no obligation! I also live and breathe everything ‘weddings’ so I’m absolutely thrilled to help!

And of course, if you’re looking for a videographer anywhere in the UK or overseas, I’ve got you covered!

Let’s Chat!

For no obligation advice on booking your wedding videographer or any wedding related questions you have, I am happy to help. World Class cinematic wedding videography based in Somerset, UK but able to travel internationally.

– Chris

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