This topic of conversation came up recently while speaking with a group of other wedding vendors, “When is it ‘too early’ to book wedding vendors?” There’s a lot of differing opinions on the subject. Some vendors won’t book more than a year in advance. Others book up completely 18 months ahead of time. Yes, the earlier you book the more likely the vendors you want will be available, and you will save money by ‘locking in’ rates early. To avoid conflicts, stress, and potentially extra fees, there are two elements of your wedding that should be set before signing contracts with vendors:
- The date of the wedding
- The venue/location
The reasons for this are pretty simple. If a vendor doesn’t know your wedding date, it is impossible for them to know whether or not they’re available. For some vendors (cakes/bakers, example) this is less of a problem, but that is when the location becomes an issue.
Usually, the date is set once the venue is booked, but this is not always the case. Some couples are very solidly set on a particular date and work around that. The venue/location of a wedding may determine whether there are travel/delivery fees for a vendor. You want to know how much you are going to be paying, up front, with no hidden fees – so it is best to have your venue nailed down before signing contracts. Also, while some vendors might be able to do multiple weddings in a single day (officiants, hair/makeup artists, bakers, etc.), the location will determine, for them, whether or not they are able to do your wedding.
So be sure you let your potential vendors know the date and the location of your wedding when you are looking to book! If you have any questions or comments about this topic, feel free to leave them in the comment section.