Who Do I Hire First?

It was 14 days before our wedding. And our baker just called to cancel. We scrambled to find someone reputable who could make a wedding cake in two weeks. Not the kind of stress I wanted.

To top things off, I forgot to hire a DJ.

No joke. This really happened.

I called the jewelry store and canceled our custom wedding ring order. I used the money we had set aside for wedding rings to pay for a DJ. Having a packed dance floor was so important to me... how could I have missed this?

So, who do you hire first?

Hint, hint... It's not a photographer.

Now you probably think I'm crazy. But here's the breakdown of who to hire first, and why.


Figure out approximately how many people you'll invite. Then choose a venue and/or ceremony site to accommodate your guest list. Maybe you can have your ceremony and reception in the same place? You'll need to have a venue BEFORE calling other vendors. Why? Vendors might charge extra fees based on where the venue is located.

Pro Tip: Find a venue that can do both! Avoid casinos so you don't loose guests to slot machines.


Surprised? The reception is where you'll spend the MOST amount of time on your wedding day. Usually 7+ hours. You'll want premium entertainment - or your guests start leaving at 7:30pm.

And trust me, I've been at enough weddings and have seen "DJs" mess things up. Big time. Whether it's not starting the dancing on time. Saying the wrong couple's name. Or not having a premium Pandora subscription with out ads (true story).

If you're not a dance floor maniac like me, maybe a band is more your style. Bands have the ability to put on more of a show so your audience feels engaged while in their seats.

Pro Tip: A band will need to take a break, that's your chance to play Top 40 Favorites for the crowd.


A great photographer can make any budget cut (fake flowers or a cheap dress) look amazing. And a videographer will capture the emotions and movements pictures will miss.

There's a silly quote photographers and videographers love, "You can't hang cake on a wall."

Even if you have a Marie Antoinette appetite for cake, at the end of the day, most of it ends up in the trash.

Pictures of your Grandma. Video of your father-daughter dance... or watching your Uncle Paul bust a move on the dance floor. These are the memories you'll cherish.


Even if cake isn't on the menu, and you're opting for cupcakes, pie, cheesecake, or doughnuts... hire a reputable baker with amazing flavors. Or you'll end up like me, trying to find a baker at the last minute.

Pro Tip: If you're on a budget, ask for a smaller cake for you and sheet cakes for guests.


Ask your florist about using flowers at the ceremony and reception. Certain flowers will be in or out of season, depending on your wedding date. Keep an open mind when choosing your "must have" flower. Be okay with giving them a color scheme and letting them use their creativity and professionalism.

This might be the time to re-evaluate your budget. Did something get a little out of hand? If so, it's okay to DIY or use fake flowers.

Nowadays, ordering fake flowers can mean so much. Crafters on Etsy offer wooden flowers, paper flowers, and even jeweled bouquets!

Pro Tip: Some florists can arrange fake flowers for you!

I hope this information helps you plan your wedding! If you're just getting started, let me know which planning step you're on. Or, if you've already planned a wedding, tell me which order you would have hired your vendors.

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