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Your wedding vendors can make or break your dream wedding. This is why before beginning any wedding planning it is important to carefully select key wedding vendors. Don’t get me wrong, your budget is very important and might even determine the weddings vendors you bring along for the journey but I always recommend that couples hold off on solidifying their wedding budget until they have spoken to a couple of wedding vendors.

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With that said, who are those critical wedding vendors you need to check in with before anything else progresses? This list should help.

1. Venue: Right off the bat, you are going to need a place to get married. Whether that is your local courthouse or the beach or a gorgeous Chateau in France, your wedding venue is critical to the rest of your wedding planning. From my own experience, the best venues tend to be booked years ahead so if you are engaged and have a venue in mind, timing is of the essence. For smaller weddings and elopements, there might not be a need to book ahead but be sure to do your research. Some venues also come with a list of vendors -caterers, photographers, day of coordinators – so getting an the information about a proposed venue is going to be helpful for the rest of your planning.

2. Photographer: Ahem. You knew we were getting there, didn’t you? With my bias for photography, I think choosing your wedding photographer is also important to your wedding planning. I am yet to see a wedding without a photographer of some sorts. And like venues, most wedding photographers are booked way ahead of time so it is important to start researching wedding photographers early. With that said, for any recently engaged couples looking to get married in 2024, send me a message and let’s get planning.

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3. Officiant : Well you are going to need someone to do the actual officiating right? Depending on what kind of ceremony you are looking to do, It is always a good idea to lock down your officiant as early as possible as well. Some venues also come with officiants so be sure to ask.

4. Wedding Dress/ Groom’s Outfit : Every couple wants to look their best so we definitely want this taken care of as soon as possible. There usually will also be fittings and alterations needed so the sooner you can identify and purchase or rent your outfit for the day, the better. Some couples wear two or more outfits as well so identifying the outfits early enough is definitely a big milestone.


5. Hair & Makeup : Again with looking good. As a photographer I am particularly partial to making sure my clients look their best so I love working with these vendors. Most make-up artists offer consultations to help brides determine their look for the day and some even offer trials. I always advise taking advantage of this. For traditional weddings like Nigerian or Indian weddings, brides might also need someone to help with their head wear (gele) and mehndi (henna tattoo).

6. Wedding Planner: Some couples will skip a wedding planner but they are highly regarded by other wedding vendors and the reason is not far-fetched. A good wedding planner will help coordinate the order of events for the day and also keep everyone on track so your big day goes well. I have seen weddings go well without a wedding planner but they have always enhanced my experience when a wedding has one. So yes, get a wedding planner. They also get to work with loads of vendors and can help you get deals and discounts.

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So there you have it? What other vendors would you include in the must-have wedding vendor list? What wedding vendors did you have? Which ones were worth every penny and which ones would you not use next time?



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