Wedding Vendors: The Comprehensive Checklist for Your Wedding Day
When you first start your wedding planning journey, you'll come across a lot of resources that talk about vendors — but what is a wedding vendor? What do they provide, how do you work with them, and are they necessary? We want you to think of your wedding vendors as your dream team! These professionals are the ones that will help you bring your wedding to life. Vendors are everything from your bridal salon, to the florist to the venue – and all aspects in-between! According to the 2019 WeddingWire Newlywed Report, on average couples hire 14 vendors for their wedding day. Below you’ll find some of the most common vendors a couple hires (in no particular order, of course)!
Every couple has some sort of a venue. A wedding venue is by definition, your wedding location! The venue often sets the mood for the entire event and impacts everything from guest count, timing, the vibe and formality, dining and even the music! Many wedding professionals agree, the first task a couple should do is book their wedding venue.
2. Wedding planner / Venue Coordinator / Day-Of or Month-Of Planner
Think of a wedding planner as the mastermind behind your wedding. On your wedding day, a planner makes sure that everything runs according to plan and keeps the event on schedule. If you’re hiring a full-service planner, they’ll be with you along every step of your wedding planning process. A full-service wedding planner has many tasks but some include recommending vendors and venues, negotiating vendor contracts, keeping the couple on budget and schedule, many planners handle the RSVPs, they create contingency plans (no need to sweat an unexpected rainy day), and they'll make sure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Some couples hire a month-of coordinator who helps finish and wrap up the planning process the month before the wedding, or a day-of coordinator who controls the timeline and schedule on the wedding day itself. Check with your venue, they may include a venue coordinator who acts as a day-of coordinator once on-site at the venue as well!
The goal of a planner is that a couple enjoys their wedding day and if a mishap does happen, the wedding planner takes care of it and the couple and guests are still able to enjoy the celebrations!
Many argue that a photographer is one of the most essential vendors for a wedding day. They'll capture every detail of the day, including all the moments that you might forget in the aftermath of it all. Remember, a couple spends more time with their photographer than any other person on a wedding day. Make sure you find someone whose personality matches yours and one whose photos will stand the test of time!
Two major themes of all weddings? Eating and drinking. A good wedding caterer will work closely with you to select a meal that best suits your tastes and preferences. They'll also advise you on how much food you'll need based on your guest list and guide you along the process if you’re leaning towards a buffet-style or stationed event. Check with your venue if your package includes catering options, or if they have preferences or rules on what caterers can be brought in!
If you're looking for the perfect dress, tux, seamstress or stylist it's important to do your research. This is where we recommend reading the reviews! Remember, you and your fiance will be returning to these spots a few times during the planning process for fittings – so you’ll want to feel comfortable and know that your attire is in safe and trusted hands!
A wedding florist is responsible for designing and creating the florals for an event including ‘personals’ like bouquets and boutonnieres, as well as the flower arrangements for your cocktail hour, ceremony and reception. A good florist will know how to accentuate the natural beauty of your venue and work with you to select flowers that are in-budget and season.
7. Cake Baker
Cake bakers are experts in their craft—they'll take care of everything from design, tasting, baking, stacking, delivering, set-up and decoration on-site (if needed) so you can enjoy the sweet moments of your day. Now all you have to do is pick your cake cutting song!
8. Band, DJ, MC
Whether you're going with a live band or a DJ, your wedding musicians are responsible for keeping the energy up at your party. Oftentimes they'll also function as an MC as they interact with your guests. They're pros at reading the crowd and ensuring you and your guests are having a good time.
Did you know that the number one wedding regret of most couples was not hiring a videographer? Why only have stills of special moments when you could relive the day by seeing and hearing it as well? And remember, a highlight reel is something that could be passed onto future generations.
10. Hair and makeup professionals
Your wedding day is a once in a lifetime experience and hiring a glam team to help you look and feel your best is a total must!
Pro tip: Make sure to have a trial with your hair stylist and makeup artist to make sure you’re all on the same page before your wedding day.
Your wedding guests’ first glimpse at your wedding is the save-the-date or wedding invite. A stationer will help you design the perfect look and feel for all your paper-based materials, including STDs, invites, escort cards, place cards, menus and more. It’s these touches that pull the wedding together.
Every wedding needs an officiant. This is the person who will marry you and your fiance! Each state has different requirements and we recommend checking your state laws regarding special qualifications.
Wedding rings are an important symbol of your marriage and wedding rings will be worn for years to come after a wedding day. A trusted jeweler can help you find the perfect wedding band styles for you and your partner.
14. Rental company
A wedding rental company is responsible for providing chairs, tables, linens, plates, utensils, lounges, and other event-related items. What you need to rent will depend on your guest count, venue, floral design, and party style.
15. Transportation Company
Whether you’re looking for a unique getaway car, wanting to arrange safe transportation for guests from the venue to hotel at the end of the night, or looking for options to move the bridal party between locations – look for a local transportation company to help coordinate all these movable pieces.