Your Step by Step Guide to Being Engaged [Part 1: Booking Vendors]

September 5, 2023

3 gold wedding rings, 1 wedding band and two diamond bands with a yellow center diamond on a small tray with flowers surrounding it.

Photo by Julia Wade Photography

Yay! You’re engaged. This is such an exciting time for you as a couple and we highly encourage you to take a beat and celebrate with each other and those closest to you before jumping into planning.

Whenever you are ready, we are here to help! In this series on the blog, we are walking through what to do once you are engaged.

In the first part of this blog series, we are discussing booking vendors.

The very first question someone asked me the day I got engaged was, “Where are you going to get married?” **Cue Record Scratch** I honestly was shocked because how would I know? I only got engaged 5 minutes ago! I know some people plan ahead prior to engagement, but that was not the case for me and my fiancé. Thus, we began the great vendor and venue search.


So you may be reading this blog post wondering, what should you book first? Where should you start? Keep reading for our take on how to begin your search for vendors and who to book first!


Wedding Planner – Okay, you might have seen this one coming but stick around and hear us out on the why.

Someone working at a wooden table with their laptop.

Photo by Michelle Lyerly Photography

  • Finding and booking your wedding planner first can save you money! Wedding planners know the best vendors in the biz and they can help you craft a team to not only help bring your vision to life but also help you find vendors that align with your style and budget.

  • Budget creation. Wedding planners can help manage expectations and create a budget for your wedding celebrations. A good wedding planner will know the current estimated costs because they see them daily! While anyone can Google, “What is the average cost of flowers for a wedding?” a wedding planner sees the current costs from wedding to wedding in the region you’re getting married in and will guide you as you establish your budget and identify what matters most.

  • Advise you on how to find the best vendors that will match your style, vision, and personality. Wedding planners work with hundreds of vendors each year so they are industry experts on the industry experts. They will match your personality, style, and vision with the perfect vendors for you.


A wedding venue with wooden beams adorned with greenery and tables with blue and white linens.

Photo by Michelle Lyerly Photography

Venue – The Driving Force

  • Your venue can be a driving force in your wedding planning so it is a really important vendor to consider.

  • Your venue can narrow so many things from transportation, to local vendors, to weather, to attire, to menu, to overall feel, as you can see this is a key part of your planning.

  • Note: The more flexible you are on your wedding date, the more venue availability you will find! If you have a specific date in mind, reach out to venues as early as possible as certain dates book up quickly.


A bride getting her hair and makeup done by a makeup artist.

Photo by Wayfaring Wanderer

Hair and Makeup

  • This is one of the vendors we see book up the quickest in our local market. If you have a dream hair and makeup artist in mind, reach out and see their availability as soon as possible after securing your wedding date and venue.

  • If you aren’t sure of a hair and makeup artist, start researching early once you have your date in mind [look at their Instagram, websites, and vendor blogs from real weddings] and reach out to a few of your favorites.


A flatlay on a pink linen with details including stationery, mini gold scissors and vintage stamps featuring wildlife.

Photo by Megan Sheppard Photography


  • Same as above, if you have a specific favorite, reach out. If not, research, research, research, and reach out to a few of your faves.

  • A great place to research potential photographers or videographers is to Google their name and look at blog posts from either their website or from other vendors [like The Whole Shebang]. Most blogs will include the photographer on them which is a great way to see more of their work. Instagram and Pinterest are great resources as well.

  • We suggest meeting with your photographer prior to booking if possible [via Zoom, phone, or even in person] to get a feel for your compatibility with their personality. This will be the vendor that you spend the most time with on your wedding day.


We would love to help you plan your day! If you liked this post and want to jump on that first vendor booking of a wedding planner, connect with us here. We can’t wait to hear more about your vision.

Up next in the series – the guest list! We’ll cover everything from creating your guest list, tackling tough conversations, and how the number of guests impacts the overall costs of your day.

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