If you think about it, your wedding is like a puzzle that you slowly need to put together piece by piece. Choosing and booking your wedding vendors is a lot of work, so it helps to know what order to book them in – this guide will help.

1. Wedding Planner: Your wedding planner is there to help you with all other aspects of your wedding, which is why this should be the first vendor on your list. Many couples tend to book their planner after choosing a venue but a wedding planner may be able to introduce you to venues you may not have considered based on your vision for your day.

2. Venue: Next, you want to find a venue. A venue should be at the top of your list because it may dictate who some of your other vendors will be. Some venues may require you to use their preferred list of suppliers, so it doesn’t make sense to start searching for other vendors until you’ve found a venue.

3. Caterer: If onsite catering is not offered at your venue, you will need to find a caterer who can assist you, so do this next. If you have any special types of foods in mind, starting your search early on will reduce stress closer to your wedding day.

4. Photographer: Popular photographers are often booked a year in advance so if you’ve had your eye on someone for a while, now would be the time to get in touch with them. You may also want to have some backup options on hand in case you can’t secure your first choice. If you will be using a videographer, look into options at the same time.

5. Entertainment: Musicians and DJs are often also booked quite far in advance, which is why you want to look into options quite early on. Most couples suggest booking your entertainment at least six months before your wedding – longer if you want a live band.

6. Florist: This is another vendor that you will want to book at least six months before your wedding, particularly if the florist specializes in weddings. It also only makes sense to book your florist once you’ve booked your venue and have a better idea of what your requirements will be.

7. Hair and Makeup: Popular hair and makeup artists have busy schedules, so make sure that you research your options and book someone at least six months before your wedding. In terms of your hair and makeup trials, schedule this in one to two months before your big day.

8. Officiant: You are going to need someone to marry you on the day, so start searching for an officiant next.

9. Cake Designer: After all the above have been booked, you can start looking at cake designers for your day. If you want to avoid any last-minute stress, secure someone at least three months before your wedding.

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