Congratulations on this exciting time of your lives! The proposal has been planned, the jitters of popping the question have disappeared and the engagement ring is shining bright as ever. With feelings of excitement, joy and love, this time can also make you feel a bit overwhelmed as you’re now beginning to realize you have to start planning for the big day. When do you have to book a venue? When should you book your beauty vendor? How far out do you have to book your florist? Photographer? Caterer? The list goes on!

Don’t worry, we’ve created a timeline of when to book your wedding vendors if you are working with a one year timeline. We do understand there can be many variables that affect the amount of time you have to plan your wedding. With that said, you can use our timeline as a guideline. If you are working more than a year out, then we highly suggest you begin your planning as soon as you get engaged. If you have less than a year to work with, then you have to work quicker than this guide as many top vendors can get booked a year out. And finally, if you are planning a backyard or private estate wedding, there are several additional vendors you need to take into consideration such as tent, flooring, lighting, staffing, restroom and valet vendors.

Without further ado, here is when to book your wedding vendors! As an added bonus, we’ve also included the top 3 questions you should be asking each vendor upon booking with them.

12 Months

Wedding Planner

If you are looking for a full service wedding planning package, it’s best to look for a wedding planner as soon as you get engaged. Why? Wedding planners can help break down your budget from the get go and recommend the right vendors for you that meet both your budget and vision. Even if you’re not looking for a full service wedding planner, but know you’ll likely need help down the road whether it be through partial planning or month-of coordination services, it’s best to reach out sooner rather than later. Most wedding planners are boutique style which means they only take on a limited number of weddings a year so it’s important you reach out to them now before they get booked for your date!

Top 3 Questions to Ask:
1. What type of services do you offer?
2. How many meetings will there be and how will we be involved?
3. Will you attend wedding-related events other than just the wedding?


Hands down, the venue is one of the most important aspects of your wedding as it often dictates the date of your wedding. And let’s face it, you won’t be booking other vendors until you have your date. Selecting your dream venue is no easy task. It can often take months to get this done, especially if you have a busy schedule and can’t schedule in weekday tours. Not only does a wedding venue dictate your wedding date, but it also sets the tone for other aspects of your wedding such as your caterer, florals and rentals. Therefore, we highly recommend researching and visiting venues at the 12-month mark, or earlier if you have the time, so you can be prepared to book within a couple of months from beginning your research. You never know – you could end up booking a venue in a matter of weeks if you and your significant other fall in love with one right away! And if you have a wedding planner by your side, they can make the process a lot less daunting for you.

Top 3 Questions to Ask:
1. Is there a guest count, food and beverage minimum and if so, what happens if we don’t meet it?
2. Is there a list of approved vendors or can we bring in our own vendors including a caterer?
3. Is there a backup space in the event of rain or other inclement weather?


Perhaps there’s someone within your family and friends who is ordained that you’d like to officiate your wedding. Or perhaps there are auspicious dates within your religion that you need to converse with your Priest before setting your wedding date. Whichever the reason, we highly recommend you begin your search for an Officiant, Rabbi, Priest or Minister while you search for your venue and before you make that final decision on your wedding date. For example, in the Hindu religion, the Priest will tell you that the Mandip is not allowed to face specific cardinal directions. If you book your venue without knowing this and find out later your setup at the venue cannot accommodate the direction you need or is simply not an ideal floor plan, then it’s too late! Most importantly, if there is someone in specific you want officiating your wedding, you want to ensure they are available for your date. Even if you are open to anyone officiating your wedding, it’s important to understand that popular dates and times in the summer such as Saturdays between 4:30pm and 6:30pm get booked a lot quicker.

Top 3 Questions to Ask:
1. Will you give a speech as part of the ceremony and do we have input on it?
2. Will you help us work on our vows?
3. Are you willing to marry us at a nonreligious site?

11 Months


Each vendor is important to your wedding as they play their own unique role in bringing it together. When it comes to your hair and makeup vendor, they truly are the ones that make you look and feel your best. With that said, we highly suggest you don’t procrastinate on booking your beauty vendor as they do get booked very quickly. It’s simply because everyone wants to look their absolute best on their special day. Chances are that you’ve gotten your hair and makeup done throughout the years and know what you like and don’t like. You probably also have a few images saved that resemble how you want to look on your big day and maybe these images are from artists and stylists you want to inquire with. Or maybe you simply have no idea! Because you also don’t have your wedding dress at this point, you may not know what type of hairstyle you’d want to proceed with. And that’s okay! When booking your hair and makeup vendor, be sure they can accommodate different styles. As long as you have your beauty vendor booked, you can decide on your final looks later down the road at your trial.

Top 3 Questions to Ask:
1. What beauty products and hair styling tools/accessories do you use?
2. Do you have a team of assistants or will you be the only artist on-site?
3. Will you be able to travel to my getting ready location or do I need to travel to you?

10 Months

By the 10-month mark, you’ll have already selected your venue, created your design board, drafted your guest list as well as your timeline so it makes it much easier to book the following vendors.


Photographers are an incredible importance to a wedding. As photos connect us to our past, they remind us of places, emotions and stories. And this is why it’s important to book your photographer sooner rather than later as they are often the first vendor, after the venue, to get booked. We recommend you inquire with photographers at the 10-month mark and secure the one you know who will be able to provide you with the same emotion you felt marrying your partner years down the road. At this point, you’ll be able to provide your photographer with the venue, date and draft timeline. Before contacting photographers, be sure to understand the style of photography you want first. Do you like photos that are light and airy or are you drawn to dark and moody? Just like with all other vendors, it’s important that you and your partner also feel comfortable with your photographer as they will get up close and personal!

Top 3 Questions to Ask:
1. Can you describe your working style and how many photographers will be on-site?
2. How many hours are included in each of your packages and how much do extra hours cost?
3. How long after the wedding will you deliver the final images and how will they be delivered?


We recommend researching and booking your cinematographer in and around the same time you are booking your photographer. Your photographer may have a large team that also provides cinematography services. If not, then it’s important to ensure your photographer and cinematographer can work well together as they will have to work closely to capture all of the key moments. Don’t stress if they’ve never worked together before. Just be sure to introduce them to one another so that they can discuss details prior to your wedding. Oftentimes, photographers will recommend cinematographers which can make your job of securing this vendor much easier.

Top 3 Questions to Ask:

  1. Can you describe your working style and how many cinematographers will be on-site?
  2. How many hours are included in each of your packages and how much do extra hours cost?
  3. How long after the wedding will you deliver the final videos and how will they be delivered?


Oftentimes, booking a venue and caterer work in tandem. You may be booking a venue that provides in-house catering services and if they don’t, the venue likely has preferred caterers that they will refer you to. If you are in the position where you are researching the venue’s preferred caterers or other caterers in general, it’s best to get started now as top caterers get booked fast. Do you recall the second question to ask your venue listed above? This is why it’s important to know if your venue allows for outside catering!

Top 3 Questions to Ask:
1. Have you catered for a wedding at our venue before?
2. Do you offer options for guests that may have dietary restrictions?
3. Do you supply flatware, glassware, dinnerware and chafing dishes or will these have to be sourced from the venue or us?


With a venue in place and a vision in mind, we recommend booking your florist 10 months prior to your wedding date. Oftentimes, the price of flowers come as a sticker shock to many couples. For example, you may be dreaming of a floral ceiling installation but later realize the price of installation and rigging is beyond what you imagined. Or you may be hosting a winter wedding in which a specific flower is not available during the winter season. For these reasons, we recommend booking your florist sooner rather than later so you can discuss your vision, budget and expectations earlier as opposed to dreaming of something that you may not necessarily get in its entirety down the road.

Top 3 Questions to Ask:
1. Are you able to execute my vision within the budget I’ve allocated?
2. What does your design process look like and will there be a mockup meeting?
3. What happens to the flowers after the wedding?

9 Months


Entertainment is a huge part of any wedding. You want your guests to enjoy themselves and to keep the party going! If you have a popular band or DJ in mind for the wedding reception, we recommend booking them by the 9-month mark as they will book up quickly. When you think of entertainment for your wedding, also keep in mind any entertainment you may want for your ceremony. For example, are you looking to hire violinists to play the music for the processional? Are you looking for a saxophonist for cocktail hour? If so, we highly suggest you also book them in during this time.

Top 3 Questions to Ask:
1. Have you played at our venue before and know its acoustic, power and amplification requirements? If not, are you able to check the requirements beforehand?
2. Do we need to prepare/rent any extra instruments or equipment?
3. Can you act as the master of ceremonies and introduce the reception entrances?

8 Months

Because you have vendors like your venue, florist, caterer and entertainment booked, the following vendors can now easily fall into place.


At this point in time, you’ve discussed your overall theme with your florist, you have a visual reference of what your big day is going to look like and you have a draft of your guest list. It’s now time to book your stationer. Remember to bring your design board to this meeting! It’s important to start early with invitations because many couples realize later that invitations take time to design, revise and print. All in all, the process itself can take a few months. By starting at this time, you can order your Save the Date cards and have them sent out by the 7-month mark which gives your guests a good amount of time for a heads up (if you’re planning a destination wedding then we recommend sending out Save the Date cards a year in advance). By giving yourself enough time, you can discuss the endless possibilities of how you want your wedding invitation to look like. And trust us when we say you don’t want to rush this part because a wedding invitation is the ‘first look’ that your guests have of your wedding and you want to make a good impression! Something that we recommend to our clients is to always order extra invitations not only for reasons like forgetting about a guest, but to keep one or two aside for your photographer to take some gorgeous flat lay shots.

Top 3 Questions to Ask:
1. What type of printing techniques do you offer and am I able to customize?
2. Once I’ve placed my order, will I be able to see a proof to ensure there are no errors?
3. Do you design and create other stationery materials such as seating charts and escort cards?

Decor & Rentals

Oftentimes, couples require decor items such as candles, lanterns or an arbour frame that their florist may not offer. Or, couples may want to rent out chairs, tables and linens beyond the options of what their venue provides. If you are working with a blank canvas venue then you will require all sorts of rentals! Because you know your venue and vision and have had the discussion with your florist, you should have a pretty good idea of what you’ll need to source for decor and rentals. You may not know the exact number of chairs and tables but it’s important to get this process going so that the vendor can book you in and accommodate you for your date. Because you also have your entertainment booked, they may require a stage that your venue may not provide so looking into this now would be key as opposed to sourcing this last-minute. Speaking with decor and rentals earlier on can also help elevate your wedding design because they could just suggest a few spectacular ideas you may not have thought of.

Top 3 Questions to Ask:
1. Are you able to visually display how our wedding layout will look like (i.e. is there a software tool you use)?
2. What happens if specific items we want become unavailable closer to our wedding date for unexpected reasons?
3. How long is the rental? When are your delivery and take down times?

Cake & Dessert Artist

With your wedding design and vision becoming much more of a reality, we recommend booking in your cake and dessert artist during this time. Especially if you are looking to book a popular artist in your area! Go into the meeting with your design board, explain your vision and also show your artist the venue space so that they can take into consideration the height of the space. Not only do you want your cake to match the style and theme of your wedding, but the space as well. Be sure to provide your cake artist with your florist’s contact information or you can have your planner facilitate this conversation to ensure everything will look cohesive come the day-of.

Top 3 Questions to Ask:
1. Can you create sugar flowers and if not, are you able to work with our florist to incorporate flowers?
2. How far in advance do you bake the cake?
3. Do you provide cake stands or other styling trays for a dessert table? If not, do you have any recommendations?

7 Months


If you are hosting a summer wedding, we highly recommend you book your transportation 7 months out from your wedding. As much as you are focusing on your big day, there are hundreds of other brides who are also planning theirs. The longer you wait, the fewer available options you may have and the higher the pricing could be. Especially if you are looking for a unique getaway car like a 1952 Ford Customline, there won’t be many available for rent in the city.

Top 3 Questions to Ask:
1. What happens if our wedding day is running late and you have another booking to get to?
2. What is the back-up plan in the event the vehicle we rent breaks down?
3. Do you have an operating license and insurance certificate?

6 Months

Floor Vinyl & Other Decals

A floor vinyl is not mandatory for every venue or it simply may not be your preference. However, we recommend our clients make the investment not because it outlines the dancefloor of your party, but because it brings together the overall wedding design. It truly elevates and completes the look! Many couples don’t realize that they can often vinyl their own stage, if there is one, and the band’s stage to create a perception of an elongated dancefloor. This really creates a clean, luxury look. You can also incorporate a vinyl or decal on a mobile bar and on other unique places such as chairs, bathroom mirrors and even your venue’s entrance doors.

Top 3 Questions to Ask:
1. Are you approved to install vinyl at our venue?
2. Do you have liability insurance in the event the venue’s floor becomes damaged?
3. Is a monogram with our initials included in the price of the floor vinyl?

3 Months


Favours are becoming more of a personal choice. More and more couples are opting out on traditional favours for newer, modern and even more community-focused options instead. For example, couples who include large dessert tables provide to-go boxes in which their guests can take home some of their favourite sweets while others are donating to their favourite charities on behalf of their guests. Whichever way you choose to go, we recommend making a decision 3 months out to give yourself enough time to source cute to-go boxes or create reception cards that state the choice of charity you have chosen to donate to.


We’ve purposely left out a few key details such as attire, jewelry and/or accessories along with wedding bands because these are very personal items that require time to select and it truly depends on you and how long you require for these items. Our biggest advice, and we may have mentioned this once or twice already, is to book and/or select these items sooner rather than later! Especially when it comes to your attire, you want to ensure you are leaving enough time for the design process, shipping if your outfits are coming from out of the country as well as alterations and fittings.

We hope that our guideline on when to book your wedding vendors helps you in your wedding planning journey. If you still feel stuck or need recommendations on which vendors to contact, contact us here and we’ll be more than happy to book in a consultation with you to discuss our various wedding planning services.