Ideas & Advice

Photographer or caterer? How to prioritize your wedding vendors booking

Which vendors to book first? Plus, your timeline to planning a wedding in a year.

Photo by Jeremy Wong Weddings on Unsplash

For a less trauma-inducing wedding planning journey, the first step you can take is to prioritize and put in order the bookings of your wedding vendors.

While each vendor plays an important role in your wedding, you should take into consideration the chances of availability and their personal importance to you among other things.

Here’s our recommended listed order:

Top priority

1) Wedding planner

If you decided to hire a wedding planner, then they are the first person you want to talk to. After all, having their expertise around is the whole point of engaging them in the first place.


Simple backdrop for a beautiful venue! ❤️ #sgweddingdecor #sgweddings #sgflowers #sgwedding #sgflorist

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2) Venue

For a Singapore-based wedding, booking your venue is where it all should begin.

It’s a small city and booking wedding venues a year in advance has become the general benchmark for the more popular locations.

If you have a specific place in mind, don’t set a wedding date until you’ve booked it, in case it turns out to be unavailable.

Everything else can follow after you booked your venue. In fact, you can even take a half year break from wedding planning. Kidding.

See also: 11 award-winning Singapore hotels for weddings in 2019


3) Photographer/Videographer

It will be a mistake to overlook the importance of working with a photographer whose work you like. While there are many to choose from, the popular ones are usually booked way in advance.

For most, they can only do one wedding a weekend or would be booked for overseas pre-wedding shoots months ahead.

Hire your photographer at least half a year before your wedding!

See also: 11 tips on finding the right photographer for your actual-day wedding


4) Solemniser

As the person who’ll make official your marriage in the presence of your closest and dearest, finding a solemniser you trust and understands your personalities should be high on your priority list

I’ve attended my share of solemnization ceremonies, and whether it turns out to be a genuinely touching and memorable one or an awkward, long-winded ceremony depends a lot on your solemniser.

Second priority

These are vendors you can spend more time mulling over.

While they aren’t as urgent, it would be good to book them at least four to six months in advance, depending on how elaborate your wedding celebrations will be.


5) Wedding gowns and suits

We’d recommend starting your search at least six months in advance. Here’s what gown designer from Digio Bridal, Zheng Qinwen, advises:

“If she wants something made to measure, it is best to make the first gown appointment a year in advance.

If she’s looking for a gown in a design that’s readily available, a bride should make her appointment six months before her big day as it may require several fittings too.”


So romantic and alluring

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6) Catering

While most venues come with their own culinary team, there are instances where you would need to book a food caterer – say, a lunch reception for a church wedding.

Once your venue has been decided, you should begin your search for a caterer.

See also: 8 famous restaurants that offer wedding catering in Singapore


7) Florist

Most florists can handle more than one client in one weekend, so you can book them slightly later. But this largely depends on the role flowers will be playing in your wedding.

Are you looking for elaborate floral table runners for every table? Or flower-filled glass chandeliers hanging overhead your wedding reception?

If you’re just looking to order hand-held bouquets for the bride and bridesmaid then booking them three to four months in advance would suffice.

We recommend making enquiries to the companies early on about the time needed for the ideas you’d like to execute before determining the timeline.

See also: New to flowers? 7 important things to know for your wedding


8) Cake and desserts:

Just like your flowers, the same applies to your wedding cakes and desserts.

See also: 5 things to note when ordering your wedding cake


9) Makeup and hair

It’s a no-brainer, but if you have a particular MUA in mind, then you should go ahead and book them since most of them can only do one wedding in a day.

If you aren’t too sure of the style you’re going for, then you can book them after confirming your wedding theme and dress.

See also: 10 Singapore wedding makeup artists brides-to-be are loving now

Third priority

When the dust has settled from making the bigger and more difficult decisions, you can focus on these task three to four months away from your wedding. 


10) Parents' gowns and suits

They're the VIPS of your wedding so they should receive the VIP treatment.

Get them the best garb and have them looking like the queens and kings that they are in your lives.


11) Rentals

These can be anything from tiffany chairs, flower arches and wedding photo booths! 


12) Entertainment

From a live wedding band to even a magician to entertain the little ones at your reception. 


13) Bridal party outfits

Start to conceptualise the theme and colours of your bridal party. Do you want bow ties or ties for the groomsmen? Are your bridesmaids going to be in the same dress?

The amount of details may take you aback so it would be good to start considering your options at least three months ahead.

This would give you enough time to make exchanges or returns if there's anything wrong with your order.

See also: 10 online fashion retailers with affordable bridesmaids dresses


14) Items for traditional ceremonies

Ceremonies like Guo Da Li require a fair share of discussion among your families, and thereafter, getting all the items in order.

Depending on your parents' requirements, the process can either be straight-forward or complicated so don't push this to the last minute. 

Start checking with them at least two months away so that you'll have time to discuss and ensure that their request can be agreed upon from both sides.

See also: Wedding regrets! 8 brides spill their big day mistakes