I just got engaged a couple weeks ago, and we just set our date for late 2014. I want to get everything locked down now, but I don’t know if I am starting too early. When is the best time to start looking for a DJ, Videographer, and Lighting vendor?
Thank you so much for your question! Typically the best time to start looking for a DJ and videographer would be about 6-9 months before your wedding, if not sooner. This gives you time to get to know both vendors throughout the planning process, as well as get two important vendors booked and out of the way leaving more time to enjoy the engagement period.
As for lighting, you should begin contacting vendors 9-12 months before your event. Lighting sets the whole mood for the event, and as a result waiting could be risky. The last thing you want to do is wait until a week before your wedding to make the decision to book a lighting vendor only to find out they are all out of those beautiful chandeliers you had your heart set on. You can always add to your lighting down the road, but getting the basics taken care of early is the best way to ensure that you will be taken care of. I always recommend to book early, because then there will be less stress about what your venue is going to look like as the day creeps closer.
In fact, when it comes to vendors I will always tell my clients “If you like a vendor, and you mesh well, STOP shopping and BOOK!” Chances are if you wait and shop around and then decide that the one vendor you met with 6 weeks ago was the best, they will be booked and you will be sorry that you ever bothered meeting the others. Too many times there are clients that wait to book a DJ and by the time they do, that DJ is no longer available for their wedding!
The sooner you book those major vendors, the better. There is no better feeling than knowing who your DJ will be, how your videographer is going to shoot your wedding, and what your venue is going to look like on your big day, 6 months before the wedding. This gives you more time to focus on your florist, cake designer, photographer, and how amazing you are going to look when you take that walk down the aisle towards your soul mate, not to mention actually having the time to enjoy your engagement!