You’re engaged! You have set a budget and created a guest list. You’ve decided on your wedding season, month or date. Now what?
It’s time to organize your wedding vendor checklist: the venue, catering, décor, music, photography, and more. It’s time to create the team that will help you bring your wedding day vision to life.
I will share our vendor checklist, so you know what to look for and what to prioritize to help you build your own dream team.
Vendor Checklist: Top 10 Services to Prioritize
Each vendor has their own level of importance and their own level of services that they can offer to you for your wedding event. Some vendors you will need to book asap, while others can be done a couple of months into the planning process. Below are the top 10 services that should be on top of your mind for your wedding vendor checklist:
The first must-have vendor is your venue and it’s the first thing you need to secure to determine your wedding date. Venues book up early, so we recommend exploring your options as soon as possible. Wedding couples generally book their venue/wedding date 1.5 years to 1 year out from the preferred wedding date/season.
There are many options based on the size, style, and budget of your wedding. Be sure to explore Palisades Tahoe wedding venue options here. If you haven’t booked your venue and date yet, you may want to reference our “You’re Engaged, Now What?” Blog as well!
Caterer, Bar, & Pastry/Cake Chef
Unless you are having a ceremony-only event, this is the next must-have service. Fortunately, Palisades Tahoe provides in-house catering, bar services, and dessert services for your wedding event. Discover our catering details by visiting our link here.
Traditionally, couples will provide dinner, dessert, and drinks. You could host an open bar or offer non-hosted services such as a cash bar. Palisades Tahoe allows you to choose your details that best fit your budget and priorities.
We’ve noticed that wedding cakes are no longer a must-have, but many couples still enjoy this tradition. You could offer cake, dessert bites, doughnuts, pies, ice cream, or a combination of all! Our in-house expert Pastry Chef will guide you to your tasty desire.
To few, a wedding planner is just nice-to-have. To most, it’s a must-have. If you secure your wedding event at Palisades Tahoe, hiring an outside wedding planner is a requirement, so it’s important to find the right planner for you as soon as you have your wedding date booked. Wedding planners offer multiple service options such as full service planning, partial planning, or day-of services. Our team can recommend some great planners for you to consider. View our preferred vendor list here.
Photographer & Videographer
Capturing your big day is one of the most important services. Next on the list is your photographer and/or videographer. Your wedding is a milestone moment in life, so be sure to capture these memories that you’ll cherish forever. The best way to catch these moments in time are through photos and videos.
Days, weeks and years later, you’ll be happy you spent the money on a photographer and videographer for your big day. Photographers have different styles and processes so it’s best to begin your research to review their portfolios. Be sure to connect with them first before booking their services to ensure they are the right fit for you.
Florist & Decore
If décor and ambiance are important to you, then a florist and décor company will be a priority on your wedding vendor checklist. A DIY approach can be very intriguing for your budget, but it’s often tricky and tiresome in actuality.
Florists and décor companies can truly create that “wow” moment at weddings. You can check out some of our go-to partners here.
It is important that your guests have somewhere to get ready and also rest and relax after a night of celebrations. When you contract your wedding with Palisades Tahoe, you will be offered a courtesy discount to allow for your guests to book lodging at discount at our specific lodging, Village at Palisades Tahoe.
*Contracted wedding couples will receive a complimentary night in a one bedroom suite on the night of the wedding date!
Wedding entertainment, music, and microphones are essential when creating an amazing guest experience. It is vital to have someone controlling the music, providing speakers and microphones, turn on the fun party lights, and emceeing the wedding event flow from start to finish. Leave this to the professionals and hire this vendor to create the best atmosphere possible!
Your officiant is an important vendor for your wedding day. After all, you need someone to conduct the ceremony and officially marry you! There are several types of wedding officiants: religious officiants, civil officiants, and professional officiants. Even a family member or friend can marry you as long as they’re licensed to do so and they understand the legal process.
I recommend researching your options and chatting with your prospects. If you’re getting married on a popular day and you prefer a hired vendor, it may be best to book your wedding officiant early, approximately 4-12 months in advance. Would you like to learn more? Please check out our blog with expert advice from our local pro officiant, Meredith Richmond here.
Hair and makeup artists are a high priority for some. You and your soon-to-be spouse should feel your best on your wedding day. Perhaps your wedding party wants to book these services as well. Your wedding is a day to feel pampered and stress-free, so it may be best to leave it in someone else’s hands to glam you up.
Like most vendors, be sure to check them out before committing. Expert tip: book your trial before a fancy date night or your engagement photo shoot.
Depending on your wedding venue location, you may need transportation for your guests. If it’s easy for them to get to the venue with ample parking or if there is lodging on site (like Palisades Tahoe), then this may not be necessary or is simply nice-to-have. But if it’s in a remote location, providing transportation is a must.
ARE YOU READY TO BOOK YOUR VENDORS? Start by checking out our go-to vendors here (Insert Preferred Vendors List).
Important tips during this process: look at reviews, book trials, meet or talk to them in person, and consult their availability. Book the highest-priority vendors first, then secure the nice-to-have vendors based on your needs and budget.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions so you can understand the fine print. Remember to ask for contracts or agreements and be sure to keep your receipts to protect yourself.
Blog created by our Wedding Specialist, Senior Sales Manager, Jenna Western