First 3 Vendors to Book For Your Wedding Day | Nashville Wedding Photographer Tips for Brides

wedding vendors to book first nashville wedding photographer

Congrats! You’re officially engaged after what feels like forrreverrr waiting on that new shiny rock on your hand! I am SO excited for you! Marriage is a beautiful thing. Now that you’re engaged, everyone in your life is probably asking you, “When’s the date?” “Have you set a date yet?” and you’re like WOAH we just got engaged! What in the world do we do next? Well, friend…here are the first 3 wedding vendors to book!

And if you haven’t heard this question yet…get ready. My hope is that this will help you in those first wedding planning steps. Today, I’m sharing with you my recommendations for the first three wedding vendors you should book for your big day.
Securing vendors early will help ensure you’re able to plan the wedding day of your dreams. Big or small, wedding planning can feel a little overwhelming in the beginning stages.


1. Venue.

This may seem obvious, but I recommend securing your venue and date first. The more popular dates (think…Saturday’s in fall) fill up QUICKLY. As in, I imagine many Nashville wedding venues that are popular are already booked 18 months in advance. As soon as you are engaged, begin calling the venues you’d love to have your big day at. Hoping to save a little budget on your venue? Some will even give a discount if your day is on a Thursday, Friday, or Sunday. If you’re a-ok with that, then ask the venue!

Also, keep in mind some venues may have strict vendor policies. Some venues won’t allow any vendors that aren’t on their preferred vendors list to work there. I highly suggest you thoroughly read the contract (ANY contract, really) prior to giving a deposit and signing! Missing out on a specific vendor that you had your heart set on because of a failure to read a contract before handing over that deposit money you’ve saved so hard for would be heartbreaking!

2. Photographer.

Okay, you may think that as a photographer, duh I’d recommend this step next. But hear me out.

I’m already getting inquiries from brides more than 18 months out. That’s right! As it stands, weekends in spring 2021 are ALREADY being booked! Good photographers will book up quickly. And even if you don’t use me, I would hate to have someone miss out on their dream wedding photographer because they waited too long to book. Nothing breaks my heart more than having to turn away a bride because I’m already booked for their date. If you’re still looking for a wedding photographer, let’s chat!! 

Plus, have you considered that the only things you can take away after your wedding day are your wedding photos and videos? I always tell brides-to-be that their wedding photos are their first family heirlooms. These are the first photos you’re going to be passing down to your children’s children. Wild, right? You guys, it’s true! As I was planning my own wedding, wedding photography was so very high on our priority list. Find a photographer you click with, that gets your vision, and cares about your day. Then book them!

3. Wedding Planner.

Whether you choose a wedding planner to plan your entire big day, or someone for just month-of coordinating, I highly recommend hiring a wedding planner! I seriously can’t emphasize this one enough. These are the people who will be there to make sure your big day goes off without a hitch. Though you may question if you even need one, let me answer this for you quickly. Do you want to be the one directing every tiny step all day of your wedding? Or would you rather sit back, relax, and enjoy the day? My personal one big regret for my own wedding day was not hiring someone to take care of this. Instead my poor mom worked hard all day to make sure the day was perfect. And she did an amazing job, but I would’ve rather had her around all day to enjoy the day with me.

That’s what I thought. Hiring a planner will also help keep you on schedule for your big day. While that is also part of my job as your photographer, an extra person keeping the timeline moving is so incredibly helpful. If you need any recommendations on awesome Nashville wedding planners, just ask! I’ve got several that I can refer you who are pretty awesome.

Needing more wedding day tips? Check out my top wedding cake trends of 2019 here!

Are you still searching for your Nashville wedding photographer? I’d love to chat!

Harp & Olive Photography is a Nashville, TN based wedding photography company. Rachael provides a customized wedding photography experience to brides in the Nashville, TN area and beyond. And she is always ready to be your dance floor hype girl.


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