Woot woot! You’re engaged! So let the wedding planning begin! And the earlier the better. But who should you book first for your wedding? First, you need to know when your wedding date is. The biggest question that your vendors will have for you before they know if they are available is WHEN your wedding is. (Side note: if you know you are having a wedding planner, get him/her on board first to help with all your decisions!)
To secure your wedding date, you need to reserve your venue. Because what if you pick out your cake artist, caterer, florist, hair and makeup artist, etc. and then you have to email them a few weeks later saying, “Just kidding! My date changed because my venue was booked for my first date choice!” Then half of those vendors have to reply back to you explaining they are already booked and can no longer work with you. Yikes! So first, get the venue locked down. Next on the list? Book your wedding photographer!
Book your wedding photographer as far in advance as you can (once you have your date, of course). Why? Well think of it this way: many of your other wedding vendors can serve multiple couples on one day. Caterers, for example, tend to have a team of people. They work together to get your food ready and have multiple people available for delivery. But your wedding photographer can’t serve two couples on one day. Most weddings need a minimum of 6 hours for coverage (and that’s if you don’t have EVERYTHING photographed), but 8 hours of coverage is pretty standard. Plus they have to account for travel to your venue.
So how far in advance should you book your wedding photographer? As I mentioned before, the earlier the better. The prime time frame is about 12 to 18 months before your wedding. Why shouldn’t you wait until closer to your date? Remember, scarcity is a real thing. Especially if you have your eye on a particular photographer! Photographers can only serve one couple on a date. Once that date is taken it’s gone. There are some other things to keep in mind that increase scarcity even more (with photographers and other vendors):
Other bonuses for booking early on?
My favorite benefit to booking your vendors early though: less stress! Being able to cross things off your to-do list is a GLORIOUS feeling! The more you accomplish the more time you have to enjoy your engagement season of life!
Find other timing recommendations for when to secure your vendors here!
Check out the Client Education section of my blog to learn more helpful tips for a great photography experience on your wedding day!
Christy Hunter is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Seattle, Washington.
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