I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of “ultimate wedding planning checklists” that include about a million different vendors to book. Some of the vendors may be relevant to you, others may not. So how do you know which ones you need for your wedding?
In today’s post, I’m going to help you decide. Plus, I’ve created a free worksheet to help you create a wedding vendor hiring plan!
First, what is a wedding vendor?
A wedding vendor is anyone that you pay for products or services for your wedding.
- Products can include: invitations, a wedding dress, wedding favors, etc.
- Services can include: catering, transportation, music, etc.
Some vendors fall into both categories because they deliver both products and services. For example, a photographer offers a service (shooting and editing) and a product (a photo album).
There are TONS of wedding vendors out there, so you’ll need to pick and choose as you see fit for your unique wedding.
That’s why wedding planning is so hard – because there are so many options and every wedding is unique! If there was a one-size-fits-all formula, planning a wedding would be 100x easier! Rest assured, I’m here to help 🙂
A word about the wedding industry …
The wedding industry is a billion-dollar industry and they want to sell you everything. There are literally wedding vendors for EVERYTHING, even for stuff that is completely unnecessary.
For example, I went to a wedding expo and met a vendor that provides a jewelry-cleaning station during cocktail hour for wedding guests to have their jewelry cleaned…I had to keep myself from shouting, “WHY!?”
You will come across stuff like this – people will try to sell you on everything. Before you start shopping, think first about what YOU want.
After you’ve set your budget, discuss these three questions with your partner to figure out how to prioritize your wedding vendor hiring plan:
- What do we care about the most and/or absolutely need?
- These are the things that you absolutely can’t do yourself and will need to be done by a pro.
- What can we skip?
- For the things you don’t care about at all, you can skip completely!
- What about everything else?
- The remaining products and service didn’t make it into your top priorities list or your skip list – so you can DIY or use a cheaper alternative for these items.
So which vendors do you need to hire for your wedding?
I’ll start off by saying that the only absolutely NECESSARY things to need to have a wedding are: the two people getting married, an officiant, and a location (you don’t even need rings!). Seriously, EVERYTHING else is completely optional! But I know you’re looking for answers, so keep reading.
10 products and services that are common for a traditional wedding
- Apparel and Accessories
- Flowers and Decorations
- Food and Beverage
- Photography and/or Videography
Some things are more important than others, especially if you need to stay within a wedding budget. So make sure to check this list against your list of priorities (if there’s anything you decided to skip, cross it off of this top 10 list). Better yet, click here to download your worksheet to get a more thorough list of wedding vendors – and I’ll help you decide which ones to hire and in what order to hire them.
You’ll notice that some items depend on others. For example, you can’t hire a caterer until you have a wedding date, time and location. That means you’ll need a venue before you can hire the caterer. To be most effective, make sure to hire vendors in the right order so that you can keep the ball rolling.
Quick Tip: If you don’t know where to start, start with the venue – almost everything else depends on your venue.
Your Game Plan
Once you know which vendors you need and in which order to hire them – you have a solid game plan! Refer to your game plan so that you NEVER feel lost and you’ll always know your next steps (as far as wedding vendors go).
I’ve created a worksheet to help you figure out which vendors to hire and in what order to hire them – download it here!