Wondering what it takes to put together a professionally executed wedding day? Check out this epic list of all the potential wedding vendors you could hire for your big day!
While planning your wedding, we imagine there are professionals who will immediately come to mind for you to hire (think: venue, photographer, florist). But, there will likely be a moment when you wonder if you’ve thought of everyone who can lend their creative talents to your day. We’ve put together a list for you to keep track of the pros who might assist you and your love throughout your engagement season and your wedding day!
The list below details 23 vendors who might be involved in your wedding in some capacity. Plus, we’re also sharing how and why they might be able to help. When considering potential vendors for your big day, be sure to do proper research and collect quotes so you can weigh all your options before making any hiring decisions.
Of course, this is meant to be viewed as a comprehensive list of suggestions. You might find you don’t need all of these professionals, and you also might want to DIY certain elements instead. Do what feels right for you based on your budget, timeline, and skillset. Never forget your wedding day is ultimately yours to make your own!
BEFORE YOUR WEDDING:
This portion of our list covers vendors who you will likely work with or hire prior to the wedding day for various products or services.
1. County Clerk:
Possibly the most important professional on the list before your wedding day, the County Clerk is the individual who will issue your marriage license. The process to obtain a license is typically quick and inexpensive. Note: If you are applying in person, many counties do require you and your partner to appear together.
If you are planning to exchange rings during your ceremony, you will need to purchase them from a jeweler either online or in person.
The photographer is a top priority for many couples on their wedding day. Though your photographer will be with you on your wedding day to capture every moment, we wanted to list this vendor prior to your wedding day as a reminder to capture engagement portraits. Doing an engagement session allows you to meet your photographer, become comfortable in front of the camera, and have photos to use on your save-the-date cards or wedding day details.
If your wedding dress, bridesmaids’ dresses, and groom and groomsmen’s suits fit beautifully without any alterations, consider your group lucky! However, in all likelihood, many people need to pay a visit to a seamstress or tailor to have their attire adjusted so it fits comfortably. The additional cost is worth it, in our opinion, because well-fit clothes look best in photos, and these photos matter!
You can purchase wedding day stationery online or you can meet with a designer in person. Regardless, you will likely want to consider save-the-dates and wedding invitations at a minimum. When it comes to paper goods on the big day, you may also consider buying day-of wedding stationery (think: ceremony programs, menus, signs, and more). One of our favorite sources for wedding paper goods is Minted.
ON YOUR WEDDING DAY:
This portion of our list includes vendors who will likely provide a product or service that you will use on the actual wedding day! This list is alphabetical, therefore vendors are not listed in order of importance.
Wedding cake, cupcakes, donuts, cookies – there are plenty of options for wedding desserts, and the recipes bakers use are almost always delicious.
What will you serve on your wedding menu? Your caterer will likely be in charge of creating all of your dishes, whether you opt for a buffet, stations, or plated meal. Note: Many catering companies include servers and bartenders, but you will want to double check when hiring your team.
3. Event Planner:
When it comes to the list of wedding vendors you’ll need, a wedding planner is often at the top of the list. Think of an event planner like a movie director – they help to keep everyone from you and your partner to your wedding party, family, friends, and wedding professionals on the same page. Some planners will work with couples to plan their entire day, while others begin their work several weeks before the wedding day. The goal is for you to get to enjoy your celebration without spending time answering questions or dealing with any problems that arise.
4. Favor Supplier:
If you are going to gift your guests favors, you will need to decide what to give and where to purchase them. You may find someone to hire locally or order something from Etsy. Alternatively, you might decide to DIY your wedding favors in order to save a few bucks!
If you are imagining flowers for your wedding, first you will want to research florists in your area who have glowing reviews. Consider things like personal flowers (bouquets, boutonnieres), ceremony arrangements (aisle flowers, arch flowers), and reception centerpieces. Next, you’ll need to decide if paying for a professional florist is within your budget. You’d be surprised at how pricey fresh blooms can be! To save money, you may opt to DIY your wedding flowers or rent silk floral arrangements instead.
Note: There is a notion that greenery is less expensive than flowers. This is largely a myth! Greens can be equally as expensive as blooms, so make sure to talk with your florist to review in-season options.
How will you wear your hair on your wedding day? Whether you’re imaging a classic spin on your everyday look or a more glamorous updo, talk with a hairstylist who can create your look and the looks of your bridesmaids.
7. Lighting Designer:
Make sure not to overlook lighting in your list of wedding vendors and potential wedding costs. Many venues do not require additional lighting, but it’s common for bands or DJs to request a spotlight. Lighting is also incredibly important if you opt to celebrate in a tent. Most tents don’t have lighting, and we think it’s safe to say you, your love, and your guests are likely not envisioning a celebration in the dark. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly or DIY wedding lighting option, we love the uplight kits from Rent My Wedding!
8. Makeup Artist:
How will you wear your wedding day makeup? If you love makeup or prefer to have a more natural look, it does help to work with a makeup artist. He or she is likely an expert at creating makeup looks that look great on camera, which is important because you don’t want to look washed out or unlike yourself in your wedding photos.
Do you imagine walking down the aisle to the sounds of strings? Will a band or DJ play during your reception? Wedding musicians are the heart of your entertainment throughout your celebration, so make sure you love their sound and style.
No matter if you’re planning a religious ceremony or one that leans more toward self-uniting, you will likely want to have an officiant to guide this portion of your wedding day. Many couples have a friend officiate their wedding, but the key thing to look into is the type of ceremony (and officiant!) your state recognizes for you to be officially married.
Items like plates, glasses, and flatware will need to be rented for your wedding, and you will also want to know who can provide tables, chairs, and linens. Some couples also opt to rent items like lounge furniture and even flooring (particularly important for a tented wedding).
This may seem like an odd item to list, but if you’re celebrating your wedding day in a backyard and you don’t want guests to use the bathroom inside the house, you will need to source restrooms.
If you’re celebrating at a venue or in a backyard, some couples opt to hire security officers to ensure only their guests are admitted into the wedding.
If you’re planning a backyard wedding day, renting a tent should be at the top of your list! Tents provide shade during the spring and summer, and they also act as a rain plan. There are plenty of price options for tents too from a simple tent to one made of sailcloth. The first step to take is to ask a tenting professional to visit your property and check to see if the ground is level for a tent to be installed.
If you’re getting ready at one location, reciting your vows somewhere else, moving to your reception location, and returning to a hotel at the end of the night, transportation is key. Consider hiring a local bus company (school buses can do the trick!) so you and your guests don’t have to worry about getting from one spot to the next.
If you’re celebrating in a city or an area with limited parking, you may want to look into valet professionals. They will handle all of the cars for your guests, which does help to keep timing in check because your team is handling finding a parking spot rather than your family and friends.
Your wedding venue is where you will celebrate your wedding day, making it the cornerstone or foundation of your entire wedding plan. Make sure it matches your style, budget, and overall vibe for your celebration.
Hearing your partner, family, and friends in a wedding video is viewed as priceless by many couples. If you want to have a moving picture from your wedding day rather than only still photographs, look into hiring a videographer.
Which vendors are on your wedding list?
Thus concludes our list of vendors you need to professionally execute your wedding day. We think our list covers almost every possible professional you may want to work with while planning and celebrating your wedding day. But, we may have missed someone! Are there any vendors you would add to our list?
If you need help deciding which areas to DIY vs BUY… be sure to check out this post: Wedding DIY: When to Do it Yourself and What to Leave to the Professionals
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Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.