You'll be wanting to engage them first since, well, they'll be the ones coordinating your big day for you. Most planners are booked at least a year ahead so start your search ASAP.
No venue, well, no wedding (unless of course, you're planning to tie the knot at home). To score the wedding venue of your dreams, 18 months or 1.5 years would be a safe bet for the more kiasu of us, especially if you're tying the knot in a popular location or on an auspicious date. Otherwise, a year would suffice if you aren't particular about the exact location.
Get started on your hunt with the top picks from our Venue Awards!
THE PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER
Photographers and videographers play an essential part in capturing the best moments of your special day. After all, pictures, videos and memories are all that's left once your wedding's over. And you certainly don't want them to end up a disaster. (See: Lessons learnt: A real bride on protecting yourself when working with a wedding vendor) Allocate enough time to look for a photographer whom you have chemistry with and whose works you admire - a good time frame would be between 6 months to a year. This also allows your photographer to build rapport with you, and hence, deliver better pictures.
Image: Celia Michon on Unsplash
YOUR DREAM GOWN
Brides after a made-to-measure gown should make the first gown appointment 10 months to a year in advance, unless you're planning on getting an off-the-rack dress or purchasing it online. Excluding fittings and alterations, custom gowns can require a minimum of four months to be tailored.
When it comes to gown shopping, who else to look to for tips than those who've been there, done that? These real brides offer their dress shopping tips.
THE MAKEUP ARTIST & HAIR STYLIST
Unless Lady Luck is on your side or if your wedding is on a weekday, it's unlikely you'll be able to hire a makeup artist or hairstylist (These are the top wedding hairstylists and salons to have on your speed dial) three months away from your big day (plus, you'll need to factor in time for the trials, too). This also depends on the popularity of the makeup artist and like for your venue, your wedding date. In this instance, you should aim to book your preferred HMUA between 9-12 months in advance.
Especially if yours is a big set-up, don't leave hiring your florist to the last minute, since he or she will need time to conceptualise your theme, as well as order the right blooms. "If the couple's planning decor with fresh flowers, planning a meeting between 3 and 6 months before the wedding will help avoid disappointment," say the team at Fiore Dorato.
Wedding cake: The Delights Heaven. Image: Her World Brides
THE WEDDING CAKE
"For couples getting hitched on auspicious wedding dates, I would say 4 months ahead would be good. On normal dates, 2-3 months would suffice." - Joey Ling, owner of The Delights Heaven
THE WEDDING STATIONERY
To be able to mail your invites out 6-8 weeks before the wedding, you should be looking to confirm your invitation design and details approximately 3-4 months ahead of mail-day. If calligraphy, illustrations or elaborate 3-D elements are on the cards (literally), gun for about 5 months to start looking.
Unless you're using friends' vehicles, Wedding Cars Singapore recommends "booking 8 months in advance if your wedding falls on a weekend (Fri-Sun) and booking 6 months in advance if your wedding falls on weekday (Mon-Thurs)" so you won't be left disappointed when getting your dream wedding ride.
Also take note of periods like April, May and June that see a lot of proms and graduation ceremonies. Otherwise, you can take a leaf from this couple's book and make your arrival in an SMRT bus.
THE OFFICIANT OR SOLEMNISER
If you have a preferred solemniser, he or she will be more likely to be available if you contact them at least 3 months before your ceremony. Here's a quick guide on securing an officiant for your nuptials.