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What Wedding Vendors do I Hire First?

A common question that I get from couples is how I recommend they go about hiring their wedding vendors. It’s easy to become intimidated by the choices, budgets, and decision-making. But let’s face it, the most important vendors are the ones who you book on your special day first. These are known as your “core vendors” because they’ll set the stage for how your wedding planning experience goes, as well as how smoothly your wedding day will be. So, what core vendors should you hire first?


Wedding planner

You’ll want to hire a wedding planner to help with the many details involved in planning your wedding. The first step is finding the perfect planner, so consider their experience and what kind of style you want. Then, make sure they’re available on your wedding date!

If you have friends that have recently gotten married, ask them if they used a planner or not. If so, ask them about their experience with this vendor and how it went overall: Did they like working with this person? What problems did they help you solve? You may also want to check out online reviews from other couples who’ve hired this vendor before.

You should be able to tell right away if someone is right for your big day by talking with them over the phone or meeting up in person—but don’t forget that personal connection goes both ways too! A good planner will do everything they can to make sure everything runs smoothly throughout all stages of planning, from the ask until you drive away after your last dance.

Reception Venue

The venue is where all of your guests will be spending most of their time during your wedding so this is one detail where quality really does matter over quantity. 

  • Availability. Of course, the venue you choose should be available on the date you want. However, if it’s not available for your preferred day and time, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a good choice for you. Is the date you have chosen sentimental to the two of you or is the venue available for another date that could work?
  • Cost. What is the cost per person? Does this include food, beverages, and gratuities? What is included in those costs? For example: Is food/beverage included but not gratuity? Or is food/beverage plus gratuity included at no extra charge? How far out are prices listed so that you know how much flexibility there will be when planning the budget?
  • Size of space needed to be based on the number of guests attending: Keep these things in mind while looking at venues because they will affect what layouts work best with each one! You want something that feels intimate enough while spacious enough so everyone can mingle comfortably without feeling crowded together too much; however, if you invite too many people, finding an elegant solution might become too expensive! Also, keep in mind how many tables/chairs will need to fit comfortably within your chosen location(s) — especially if they’re indoors rather than outdoors where tables do not need their own designated floor space due to their nature as furniture instead!


A good wedding photographer will ensure you have unique, beautiful photos as a lasting memory of your big day.

Even though all of your friends have cameras on their phones these days and it seems easy to just shoot photos yourself (and maybe even think it will be less expensive), a professional photographer is worth every penny. You want someone who can capture images you’ll love for years to come! I recommend getting a referral from someone else who has had an amazing experience with a certain photographer or studio before making a decision.

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