What’s that? He just proposed to you and you said yes?? Eep! First of all, congratulations! Second, you are definitely about to embark on an exciting journey! We’re talking about wedding planning. Are you feeling excited? Overwhelmed? No need to feel the latter, especially when you know who or where you need to go for your wedding needs.
Don’t stress yourself! We made this post to serve as a checklist for you so you’ll know which vendors are essential to have a seamless wedding day! Our goal is to have you sit back, relax, and have worry-free days ahead of you.
Wedding Planner / Day of Coordinator
If you truly want a seamless wedding day, hiring a wedding planner or a day-of coordinator will truly lift a lot of weight off your shoulders. From the planning process to the actual day, they’re going to take over the heavier tasks, such as timeline planning and execution, budget management, vendor negotiations, and more, so you can focus on making memorable moments on your special day.
“Should I hire a wedding planner or a coordinator?”
Is there even a difference? If you’re like me, who initially thought a wedding planner and a coordinator are the same, this might be new to you (and that’s fine). I, myself, only found out about the difference when it was my turn to be the bride but essentially, a wedding planner will be with you from day 1. They’ll help you work with your budget, pick your invitations and send them out, schedule meetings with vendors and book them. They’ll basically do almost every aspect of the planning to make your pre-wedding life less hectic. They also can assist in design! We truly recommend having a wedding planner and designer for your big day!
A wedding coordinator, on the other hand, handles the on-the-day wedding preparations. They’ll help you make sure all the things you have planned for will be executed perfectly so you can simply relax and enjoy your wedding day.They typically are included in some of the venue packages that offer DIY.
A wedding simply cannot happen without a venue! Whether you opt for an elopement or a simple and intimate backyard wedding, it is still important to scout your venue and see if it’s perfect for the wedding of your dreams. If you’re picturing a bigger wedding set in a location with stunning views for your backdrop, we know a couple of venues around Florida that you might want to set your eyes on!
Not to be biased, but hiring a professional photographer is an absolute must! It might be nice for cousin John to volunteer as your photographer, but nothing truly beats experience. While it’s sweet of John to get his camera ready and keep himself alert for your crucial moments, a professional wedding photographer is preparing well before your wedding day. They’ll work with your wedding timeline to create the picture-perfect wedding day. A professional photographer will also know how to assess your venue to see which areas would have the best lighting and backdrop for your portraits. Not only that but a photographer is also equipped with backups to prepare for the worst-case scenario.
If you’re already set on booking a photographer, the only thing you need to worry about now is when would be the perfect time to book them!
There are definitely a lot of wedding moments that are better recorded. One day, in the future, if you ever feel like replaying your vows or the toasts made by your loved ones, having a copy in your hard drive will come in handy. Besides, professional videographers are extremely good at giving your love story that cinematic approach! We especially love this trailer made by Z and Z Image for our Romance With You editorial!
Having flowers for your wedding is a tradition! From bouquets to centerpieces, they play a crucial role in setting the mood for your wedding. They’re a HUGE part of the overall decor and they also make the perfect visual representation of your palette. With that said, you’ll need an artist and an expert in this craft. Somebody who knows how to match your palette with the right blooms and somebody with vast knowledge in floristry. There’s definitely so much that goes on with floral arrangements. It’s best to leave it to the experts like Clementines!
Hair & Makeup
If you’re someone who never goes out without makeup on, you might think pulling off your bridal look will be as easy as blinking. However, there are a couple of reasons why it would still be smart to hire a professional! First, you’ll need someone who knows how to work with your features and somebody who understands how to make you look perfect in photographs. Hiring your HMUA will also allow you and your party to have a uniformed look if that is something you want for your wedding. Besides, having somebody else do your makeup for you can also be therapeutic and relaxing, perfect to calm those wedding jitters down!
We all dreamed of our own “Say Yes to the Dress” moment. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of this! That is why, when it came time for me to be the bride, I spent a significant amount of time searching for my dream wedding gown in our local bridal boutiques. I won’t say it was without stress, but I had no regrets!
Food is definitely a wedding staple! This is why finding your ideal catering service should be one of the top priorities! Although in most cases, venues will often include food and services in their offer. Either way, it is important to ask the right questions to ensure everything will go as you have envisioned.
Here are a couple of important questions you should ask your caterer before you book them:
- Can we customize our menu?
- Do you cater to food allergies and dietary restrictions?
- How will leftovers be handled?
- What is your server-to-guest ratio?
- Do you have a license and liability insurance?
- How will the meals be served (plated, buffet, family-style, cocktail, etc.)?
- Do you have a license to serve alcohol?
- What are the inclusions in your packages?
- Do you offer payment plans?
- Are you available on our wedding date?
Wedding Cake Designer And Baker
Your wedding cake is an important part of your overall theme! It is one of the focal points of your reception, so choosing the right cake designer is very critical!
Typically, your caterer will offer to make your cake, but you can also work with a cake decorator separately. In either case, it is essential to find the right person to whom you can entrust your vision.
You can do this by consulting with your wedding planner or your chosen venue for recommendations, or by conducting your own research by asking around or browsing the internet. Check out their portfolio to see if they have what it takes to create the cake of your dreams. It’s also a good idea to read the reviews on their page so you know what to expect. Lastly, don’t be afraid to express your preferences for flavor and design. Once you’ve decided on a few candidates, you should ask them the following important questions:
- Are you able to provide tastings and will there be a fee?
- Do you deliver? Is there a delivery fee?
- Can you cater to food allergies?
- How do you charge?
From reception essentials like tables and chairs to entertainment systems, list out all the possible rentals you need before reaching out to rental companies. Scout your venue and see how you want your layout to look. Would you prefer having round tables or are banquet tables more suitable for your taste? How will the meals be served, and how many tablewares are needed for each guest? Do you need tents? How about linens? Once you’ve had everything listed down, reach out to your ideal company, make sure they are licensed and insured, and order in some extra pieces just in case!
Calligrapher / Stationer
If you ever find yourself wondering, “Are invitation cards still a thing?” my answer would be a big YES. It was never not a thing! In fact, a lot of stationers ride with the tides of time by coming up with creative ideas to make their craft more interesting. For example, with the preference for eco-friendly wedding details nowadays, many stationers jumped in on the trend, now offering plantable cards that your guests can use to plant herbs and flowers.
Nothing says “I’m taken” more than having a band around your ring finger. Rings do not only signify one’s marital status but they also symbolize one’s faithfulness to their vows. They represent love, devotion, and commitment. In other words, they mean A LOT and that is why we go to a trusted jeweler to help us pick out the rings that we’ll wear for all eternity. If your rings are your something old, you’ll still need a jeweler to resize or polish your promise rings.
Live musicians, wedding DJs, and even live painters. The list could go on! It’s your wedding! Whichever way you want to liven up the reception, it’s important to hire vendors you know your guests will love!
You can also take this opportunity to book unique vendors that will make your wedding an even more memorable experience for your guests! Here are a couple of ideas below:
- Fireworks display
- Cocktail bar
- Cigar bar
- Photo booth
- Arcade games
- Circus performance
Another key detail that will make your wedding day as seamless as possible is transportation especially when your ceremony and reception venues are in different locations. Renting a mobile bus for your wedding parties and guests will ensure everybody arrives on time and nobody misses out on anything. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want your loved ones to miss out on group photos, would you? You should also make sure you have your bridal car to add drama to your entrance.
We hope this serves as a helpful checklist for you! You might feel overwhelmed at first but once you start speaking with your vendors, it’s going to be a smooth ride afterwards!
Wedding Planner: The Apolostic Wife| Gown Rentals: Lillie Mae Collection | Cake Decorator: Cake Envy | Tabletop Rentals: Oak & Ash Luxury Event Rentals | Stationeries: Korynne & Company | Live Musicians: Stringz Attached | Exotic Cars: Corsa HQ | Hair: Hair Inspired by Ciara | Makeup: Denise Marie Beauty