Wedding planning can be so confusing for couples, mostly because its new territory. You haven’t planned a wedding before, you have no idea how far in advance you should book your vendors. First things first, if you can afford to hire a wedding planner, they will help so much with reducing planning stress and taking care of these things for you. But if you are the DIY type or are on a budget, take note. We received this nifty little Wedding Vendor Booking Timeline from Wedding Wire and thought we would share it and elaborate on it from our perspective. Each city and market will be so different so this is just a rough guideline. Another thing to consider is the season you want to get married in. For example in our local market (Seattle) wedding season is shorter than say, California. We have sun and good weather from about June ? to October if we are lucky. So most couples aim to get married during these 18 summer weekends. That isn’t very many weekends ! Therefore as photographers we usually book these dates at least 12 months in advance and sometimes even 14 or 15 months. Right now we are booked for four different summer 2018 dates and its only June 2017. So think about the state you live in. Is there a wedding Season ? or is it all year round ? Are you looking to hire some in demand vendors ? The more popular they are the faster they will book up. Check out the infographic below then read on for more thoughts.
I have asked some of Seattle’s Top Wedding Vendors for their input on when to book your wedding vendors in Seattle. Here is what the have to say.
From Yessie of Yessie Libby Hair and Makeup :
“6 months- 1 year: Just like many vendors “the good ones” get booked first! So, make sure you do your research (with the help of Wedding Wire!), find the one that will help you polish your beautiful look and guide you through the process! Prices may vary, it all depends on the Artist’s talent and location! Remember to share all your ideas, most of the time they will know what you’re looking for when you’re having a hard time explaining it, this will come in handy on the day of your trial. Getting a look takes a village, remember to have faith in your artist and of course the price might be a little extravagant at times, but the look and feeling you’ll have on your wedding day will last you a lifetime. ”
Book Yessie for your Seattle Wedding Hair and Makeup here www.YessieMakeupArtistry.com
Photo Below featuring H&M by Yessie Libby
From Tamara of Simply By Tamara Nicole Wedding Planning:
“As a Wedding Planner, we offer a wide range of services. From Full Planning and Design, to “Month of” Wedding Coordination, with packages in between. I would say if you are looking to hire help from the beginning (assistance with Venue search, etc) then a good range (in the Seattle area) is 12-18 months for a Wedding Planner. Obviously not everyone is going to have an 18 month engagement, BUT if you are able to, the availability will be advantageous.
Weddings are big in Seattle, a percentage of our couples live out of state, but get married here for one reason or another. The more “sought out” or reputable vendors (in all vendor categories) book up fast during the busy “Seattle wedding season” (roughly May to Oct). If you have your eyes set on one planning company, or any vendor for that matter, I’d just act fast and secure them as soon as you can! If you are open to whoever is available and in your price range, there are an array of options here fitting various price points as well!
There are SO many details and decisions to make for a Wedding, and your full service Wedding Planner will be there to guide you every step of the way. Having an ample time frame to plan things allows a stress-free experience for you as well. On the flip side, if you are looking for a “Day of Coordinator” (like our “Month of” package) you can wait a little longer to book, but know Planners might be booked with bigger packages during the busy months. I know some planning companies don’t book these smaller packages until 6 months prior to your wedding date, so maybe a safe range for these smaller packages is 6-12 months. We still get emails often where couples are scrambling for a “Day of” a month before their wedding, and usually we are booked.
The vendor team that you hire for your wedding day is SO important, make sure to allow time, and do your due diligence in research to find the perfect fit. If you don’t have luxury of having 12-18 months to plan your wedding, there will be options! It just might take more emailing, researching and calling to find available vendors.”
Book a Simply By Tamara Nicole wedding planner here www.SimplyTamaraNicole.com
Photo Below featuring a winter elopement styled and planned by Tamara Nicole
From Carla of Honeycomb Cake Studio:
“Hey! This actually looks pretty good to me, from the cake perspective. 7 months is good lead time as we book up 6-9 months in advance of peak season dates. So, by December by are usually already booked for the following August, and by Jan/Feb we are already booked for September. It’s worth distinguishing between custom cakes from a small studio, like mine, versus standard wedding cakes from a retail bakery that does high volume (like Whole Foods or even Costco!). Their lead times are going to be much shorter than ours, because my small team maxes out on intricate orders much more quickly. We can only do so many cakes a week, and if they’re big and elaborate, then we can do even fewer of them in a week.”
Order your Seattle Wedding Cake from HoneyCrumb Cake Studio here www.HoneyCrumb.com
Photo Below featuring HoneyCrumb Custom Debossed Cake
Gather Design Company:
“10 months for flowers is pretty good, although I have had couples reaching out really early lately, like 12-16 months out, so that might start to be a trend”
Book Gather Design Co for your Seattle Wedding Flowers here www.GatherDesignCompany.com
Photo Below featuring Gather Design Co Boquet ( H&M by The Outer Edge )
Pacific Brides Mobile Makeup Artistry:
“Every season from may-July we get the frantic calls Early wedding season is also last minute bride, bride who’s makeup artist bailed last minute, and get angry at us because we are booked bride season. By the time wedding season starts for us, we’re already accepting retainers and locking down dates for the following year. As one of the top booked wedding artists in Seattle, myself and a long list of professionals specializing in wedding makeup will already be booked for your date more then a year before it arrives. Booking your beauty 3 months before your wedding will leave you scrambling, and the talent pool may possibly be a bit dry. To ensure the best possible artist, at the best possible rate, secure your beauty professional 8-12 months before your wedding date It breaks our heart every year answering the phone between May and July hearing brides scrambling to find someone”.
Book Pacific Brides Mobile Makeup Artistry for your H&M here www.PacificBrides.com
Below photo featuring hair and makeup by Pacific Brides
So after chatting with these top Seattle Wedding Vendors it sounds like the verdict is, if you want to have a summer wedding with your top choice of wedding pros, start as early as you can booking them. If you are having a weekday, or off season wedding then you have a little more wiggle room and will be fine planning last minute. But first choose your wedding venue ! Here is a list a great list of Seattle Wedding Venues, and here are some great Chicago Wedding venues as well. If you need help sourcing some great vendors check out Wedding Wire and make sure to read reviews from each vendors past couples. Here is our review page, check out what our past clients have to say about us Wedding Wire Reviews . Happy Wedding Planning !