When do I need to start booking things?

posted 1 month ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
Member
2405 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Honestly I would start booking things ASAP! We had an 18 month engagement, got married in summer 2017 on a Sunday, and had most of our vendors booked more than a year in advance. Venue was booked pretty much 18 months in advance. I know of a girl who recently got engaged and wanted a year long engagement, and there was only one Saturday available at her venue for the entirety of 2019 (in an undesirable season). 

How long of an engagement are you planning to have? If it’s less than two years start booking now! Start with your venue and the photographer, officiant, caterer etc (all the must haves first).

And congratulations! 🙂 

Post # 4
Member
2405 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

For summer 2020 I would absolutely start your venue search in January then! There will be a huge influx of holiday engagements who want summer weddings (and Summer weekends in 2019 are likely completely booked now) so you are smart to be proactive.

Best of luck with planning! 

Post # 5
Member
668 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2019

Definitely the venue some places only let you work with someone from their vendor approved list. So it’s important you know what your allowed to do before you book someone. I booked my photographer next because she’s busy person so I didn’t want her to get booked up. We booked the venue and then went to a wedding show that had their approved vendors and then booked the photographer dj etc. 

Post # 6
Member
1415 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Yeah, but make sure, like the other poster said, that you FULLY vet that venue first. Once you book, it’s yours unless you have wedding insurance (if there is such a thing. got the idea from “Vacation insurance.)

Post # 7
Member
49 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2019 - Mountains

Definitely agree with the other posters, venue first! But you need to sort that out at the same time as your budget. You don’t want to spend too much on venue and realize you have to short change yourself on food, drinks, flowers, etc. Our enagement will only be 10 months long, but I managed to get everything under contract pretty quickly. Being organized is key!! And part of being organized is knowing how much you really have to spend.

Post # 8
Member
1130 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

I am here for another venue first comment! Once that is done you’ll have the date, etc. locked down. Then if you have to go with a certain vendor, you know that up front. 

After that, I would book in order of importance to you. If it is really important to have a certain photographer or florist or band or caterer, I’d start there! You have plenty of time to book all of those, though, and once you get your venue locked down, you can start looking at the rest of the vendors in the spring. 

Post # 9
Member
172 posts
Blushing bee

The venues that I looked at were available for several dates. I looked at venues in 3 cities. It took us about 6 months to decide on a venue because of the number of choices we had. I went for unique venues though.

 

Post # 10
Member
4592 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

Venue first. January is the busiest month for venue bookings (as in more bookings are taken in January not FOR January) so book ASAP. 

Post # 11
Member
449 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

natasha0b :  I would book your venue & catering ASAP as those tend to book up about a year in advance. Your whole wedding planning process revolves around the venue and wedding date. I wasn’t really able to plan anything until I knew when and where everything was happening.

Post # 12
Member
1152 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Guest list first! So you know how many people the venue has to accommodate (rough estimates are okay for now). Then venue and catering, yes! That will tell you your date. 

Post # 13
Member
70 posts
Worker bee

Venue first (book at least 12 months before since bookings can fill pretty fast)

food and drink next (at least 9 months in advance)

if you’re having a live band or DJ, book that last 

Post # 14
Member
449 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

natasha0b :  You first need to get (at least) a rough estimate of your guest count and book your venue first about a year in advance before the wedding. Most of your other vendors will need a location, date and time in order to book them, so a lot is contingent on having your venue and guest list set in stone. Then I would book your catering/bar. Those are the biggest things I think, then you could maybe do the photographer next. 

Post # 15
Member
375 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

We got engaged in June, planned to wed in summer of 2020, so we had 24 months. What we did, starting the month of engagement:

  1. Determine budget. That will put everything else in perspective.
  2. Rough guest list (to determine approx. amount of people)
  3. Venue search – the hardest part for me since we have Moet dreams/Budweiser budget
  4. Booked venue
  5. Booked photog. (friend, love her work, great price)
  6. Currently searching for DJ & officiant. 
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