In today’s blog post, I thought I’d dive into something else I am seeing in the industry lately: common misconceptions on when to book your wedding vendors. I am tackling the question: Should you plan your wedding for 2023 or 2024? If you are feeling panicked and that you have to book your wedding vendors right away OR you feel like you want to just wait until 2024 to make sure you don’t have to stress, this post is for you.
Whether you’re newly engaged or have been engaged a while, I’m going to share with you exactly which vendors you should book first, and what a realistic timeline looks like for weddings in 2023. There has been a lot of uncertainty and a LOT of noise over the past couple of years so hopefully, I can set the record straight and make jumping into the post-COVID world of weddings a little more exciting and less intimidating.
If this is your first time visiting Verve Event Co., welcome! My name is Desiree Adams and I am an upstate New York wedding planner and podcast host determined to help couples plan their dream wedding ceremony. Be sure to keep an eye out for my blog posts and podcast episodes @Asktheplannerpodcast for all your wedding planning needs!
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LISTEN TO THE EPISODE NOW
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EPISODE  HIGHLIGHTS:
To fast-forward to a specific part of the podcast episode, check out the timestamps below:
- The podcast got a facelift! Let us know what you think of the changes in your Apple Podcast review. [05:30]
- A 2024 date could lead to increased anxiety and procrastination [10:10]
- Vendors may not be available for a date in 2024 until much later [12:45]
- Increased pricing or fees for 2024 [14:50]
- What should your planning timeline look like if you pick a date in 2023 or 2024 [18:30]
- You have just enough time to plan if you pick a 2023 date [19:40]
- Make a budget and put together your guest list / guest count! [20:10]
- Hire a wedding planner! [20:45]
- 2024 couples will be lower on the priority list for vendors [22:10]
- What order should you book vendors [22:35]
- Episode recap [25:11]
- Review of the day! [26:40]
Links Mentioned in the Episode
- Leave a voicemail on our podcast hotline! (585) 210-3467
- The Ultimate Wedding Planning checklist
- @AskthePlannerPodcast on Instagram
- Book a 90-minute Clarity Call to get wedding planning help specific to your unique situation
And if you prefer to read, here's the summary of the podcast episode!
Before I dive in, to answer the question if you should plan your wedding for 2023 or 2024, a little disclaimer. I know that when it comes to wedding planning, it can be hard to know where to start and who to listen to. That’s part of the reason I started this blog! There is a lot of misinformation out there in the wedding industry so I hope to give you enough information to empower you to make your own educated decision instead of throwing out vague advice like “book early” or “book immediately”.
Anxiety and Procrastination
First, let’s talk about planning anxiety and procrastination – two things that you might not consider with a longer planning timeline.
This is one of the biggest reasons why I personally believe we should ditch the extra long wedding planning timelines.
If the thought of wedding planning makes you anxious, or if you like to pore over every decision and obsess over details, it’s easy to assume a longer planning timeline is the answer. As an event and wedding planner for over a decade, I really want to challenge that assumption. The first issue with a longer planning timeline is that when planning is drawn out, it can definitely cause more overwhelm for couples. It’s easier to change your mind 15 times or spend weeks debating every single decision. Decision fatigue is REAL and if you’re like most couples I’ve talked to – especially my DIY warriors – you’ll put off making that decision until the very last minute. Because you’ll wait until the last minute or change your mind a bunch of times, you might not love what you decide at the end of it all anyway.
It’s easy to think of each decision as in a vacuum but the truth is, there are so many decisions that go into a wedding that spending hours on every little detail won’t help you. It’s just going to make you exhausted. Parkinson’s Law (which states that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion) tells us that wedding planning will take as much time as you allow it – whether that’s three years or three months. While I’m certainly not advocating for a rushed timeline, you don’t need three years to put together a fabulous wedding day.
It's easy to assume that a longer planning timeline increases the likelihood that you will have open availability for the vendors you want. In reality, many wedding vendors are not opening their calendars until about 18 months in advance. In the past, wedding vendors would book farther in advance but after a couple of years of backlog on events. Today, many are tightening up their books by allowing a maximum of time to book in advance – take 18 months for example – or opening up a year in advance – like they won’t book for 2024 until a certain date and then they will open their schedule for everyone.
Booking Far in Advance
If vendors do allow you to book far in advance, they will likely put a premium on their pricing. In the past, you may have seen promotions where if you book early you can secure the current year’s pricing. That’s no longer the case, in fact, I rarely see that anymore. When I ask for a wedding vendor’s pricing for clients, they often give me their guides for this year and next year. And yes, next year’s pricing is higher.
One recent venue I was looking at for a client (and yes, they were looking at 2024) had a venue fee of $25,000 for 2023 and $29,000 for 2024. They also had a food and beverage minimum of $25,000 for 2023 and $27,500 for 2024. So by booking in 2023, the couple had already saved $6,500. Not to mention increased menu prices and the rising cost of goods.
Although this may be a result of COVID, I also don't see this changing anytime soon. Wedding vendors are tightening policies and increasing their prices. The ones who aren’t doing this are leaving the industry rapidly because here’s something I really don’t talk about often – the wedding industry is not for everyone. It’s hard work and can be incredibly high-stress. Event planners are consistently named as having the top 5 most stressful jobs.
Need help with your wedding day timeline? Use our Wedding Day-of Timelines bundle to plan your wedding day to the minute.
What about Booking Order?
You should find a wedding planner ASAP! Not only will we keep you organized – but the rest of the planning process is FUN after that. Seriously – I always include my couples in all of the fun parts of wedding planning (choosing the linens, tasting the cake, you know!), and I don’t bore them with the logistics like, what time the cleanup crew has to arrive or when the backup tent needs to be booked by.
Then, you need to find your wedding venue. 2023 couples – this might be one of the decisions you want to make fairly quickly. For 2024 couples, you’ll be at the mercy of when wedding venues open their schedules, but you may have luck saving the date as soon as you start planning.
Once you have your wedding venue, you’re going to want to book the rest of your vendors. Although the order can vary slightly depending on your priorities or your geographic location, you will usually book them in the following order:
- Wedding Planner
- Your Photographer & Videographer
- Your Band or DJ
- Caterer, if it’s not your venue
- Your Florist – Keep in mind that MOST florists are reluctant to confirm pricing farther in advance as they are one of the industries that have been affected the most over the last couple of years.
- Your Hair & Makeup Team
- Stationer for Invitations & Day of Stationery
- Your Rentals
- Wedding Cake Designer
It sounds like a lot but once you get started – it goes quickly especially if you have a solid vision in mind (or are working with a wedding planner).
Need help budgeting your wedding expenses? Use our Wedding Budget Bundle so you can stop stressing if you can afford that vendor you've been stalking.
Conclusion: Should I Plan My Wedding for 2023 or 2024?
Wow, that wraps up today’s blog on whether you should plan your wedding between 2023 and 2024. I know it might seem like I’m pushing a faster timeline on you – I’ve shared a lot about the cons of a wedding timeline drawn out too long – but I really am just sharing what I am seeing as a luxury wedding planner in 2022. My goal is always to empower you with the information – and behind the scenes insights – for you to make your own decision.
If you have questions on if you should plan your wedding for 2023 or 2024, I would love to know. I can even do a deep-dive into one of these topics if you think it’s helpful.
Please review the podcast on Apple Podcasts and write your questions in the review and I’ll incorporate them into a future episode. If there are specific guests you want me to interview or topics you want me to cover in a future episode, let me know who that is in your review, too!
If you want even more help with your wedding planning, I’m only a phone call away, and you can schedule a 90-minute clarity call with me where we’ll talk through a specific issue or question you have.
For those of you that are excited to plan your wedding on your own, check out my Ultimate Wedding Planning checklist in the Wedding Planning Templates Shop. It’s one of my most popular items and for a good reason!
If there’s something that you’re looking for that’s not in the shop. Please let me know. I want to create resources that you want and that will help you!
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