The Ultimate Wedding Vendor Checklist to Make Planning a Breeze

This comprehensive list covers all the vendors needed for a wedding.
Wedding vendor baking wedding cake
Photo: Daniel Llao Calvet / Getty Images
Hannah Nowack The Knot Senior Weddings Editor
by
Hannah Nowack
Hannah Nowack The Knot Senior Weddings Editor
Hannah Nowack
Senior Editor
  • Hannah writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a focus on real wedding coverage.
  • Hannah has a passion for DE&I and plays an integral role in ensuring The Knot content highlights all voices and all love stories.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Hannah was the Social Media Editor at Martha Stewart Weddings.
Updated Mar 26, 2024

Did you know couples hire an average of 14 wedding vendors for their celebrations, according to our internal research? But there are even more than 14 types of wedding vendors available. Which may leave you wondering "What vendors do I need for a wedding?" We've made a wedding vendor checklist that you can reference as you begin your planning journey.

We're diving into all the categories of vendors needed for wedding planning so you can craft a list of wedding vendors for your specific needs and priorities. Consider this your ultimate wedding vendor list template.

In this story:

Printable Wedding Vendor Checklist

Want to reference this list of wedding vendors while you're planning your wedding out and about? Keep this printable wedding vendor checklist as you jet around to meetings with potential vendors. (Bonus: You can also download The Knot App to complement this checklist and keep you on top of on-the-go wedding planning.)

Free, Printable Wedding Vendor Checklist
Design: Natalie Romine

List of Wedding Vendors You Need

Here is our exhaustive list of vendors needed for a wedding. While you might not need every single pro on this wedding vendor checklist, it's helpful to know what's available to you before you start to book wedding pros.

Venue

A wedding venue is a must on any list of wedding vendors needed since a place to host the celebration is critical. The availability of your wedding venue affects what date you can select for the wedding. As such, touring wedding venues and booking your favorite one should happen early in the wedding planning process. While on a tour, ask your wedding venue questions to make sure they're the best fit for the event.

Planner

Wedding planners are the conductors who bring carefully orchestrated nuptials to life. They're the glue that holds everything together. In short, wedding planners are key vendors—and it's best to bring them on early in the process so they can offer input and direction on everything from creating your personalized wedding vendor checklist to executing on a flawless timeline on your wedding day.

Finding the right planner to bring your wedding together in a way that feels authentic to you is no simple task. You want a pro that understands your wedding vision and is eager to get you where you want to go. Ask potential wedding planners questions while you're vetting them to understand if they're a good fit for your wedding.

Photographer

Wedding photographers are one of the most important vendors needed for a wedding. After all, the images they capture will become cherished keepsakes that will last long after the wedding concludes. But amid all the wedding vendors, how do you find the best photographer to authentically capture your story? Getting to know what motivates pros is key. Ask wedding photographers these questions to see what they have to say about their ethos when it comes to wedding photography.

Floral Designer

"Florist" doesn't fully capture what a wedding floral designer really is. At the core, these must-have wedding pros are artists who use flowers as their medium. As with any artist, each floral designer approaches their mission of creating beauty for a couple in their own unique way. As you're looking for the best pro for your own wedding, it's important to get to know them to understand if they'll blend well with the wedding vendor list you're curating. Here are some questions to ask a wedding florist to help them open up about what informs their approach to business.

DJ

Music and entertainment are a staple at most weddings. But simply queuing up a music playlist isn't the ways to curate sick beats and get the party started. In order to do that, you need to book a talented wedding DJ to spin at your reception. Wondering how to find the best wedding DJ? Ask potential DJs these questions to help with your vetting process.

Find your kind of venue

From barns to ballrooms, discover reception venues that feel like you.

Band

Once you exchange vows and are pronounced married, you're going to want to really let loose and celebrate. That's where entertainment comes in. Whether you hire a wedding DJ or a live band for the wedding reception, music is a wonderful way to get the party started. To help you know exactly which musicians to hire, we've gathered up a few lists of questions to ask prospective bands.

Caterer

It's generally expected that you'll serve wedding guests food on the big day. From hors d'oeuvres to dinner and dessert, a great caterer is the key to having food wedding guests rave about. Additionally, your caterer will handle staffing the event with servers to make sure everything goes smoothly. Before booking a pro to add to your wedding vendors list that can handle your wedding food, interview possible wedding caterers to get a feel for the menu and service they can provide.

Decor

Wedding decor companies take any wedding from good to great. They infuse the celebration with personality and emotion through thoughtfully designed decor. They help you harness the aesthetic you want to create and bring it to life. That's certainly a tall order, which is why vetting decor companies to find the right fit vendors for your wedding is paramount.

Rental Company

Here's the thing: it simply isn't realistic to purchase 200 sets of flatware for your wedding. But how do you ensure you can curate a beautiful tablescape that perfectly fits your wedding aesthetic and vibe? That's where specialty wedding rental companies come in.

What chairs will guests sit on at the wedding? What plates will they dine off of? Rental companies are the wedding vendors that you might not have considered prior to getting engaged, but they're a must on any wedding vendor checklist.

Videographer

Wedding filmmakers are another storytelling vendor needed for a wedding. They capture a couple's story through their lens, but each videographer has their own approach to doing so authentically. Note: Before booking, couples should inquire with prospective wedding videographers about about what motivates them and their general approach to business.

Officiant

Who is going to actually marry you and your partner? While some couples opt for a friend to be an officiant, it is a smart idea to hire a professional wedding officiant to ensure the wedding ceremony goes smoothly. As you're interviewing candidates, ask a potential wedding officiant these questions.

Hair Stylist

It's time for glam. You want to look your very best on the wedding day and a professional team of hair stylists is a great way to ensure you shine on the wedding day. Can't decide who to hire? Ask hair stylists a few questions before booking to see if they'll be a good fit for the nuptials.

Makeup Artist

Along with a hair stylist, you'll want a makeup artist to complete your glam squad. These pros will help you elevate your beauty so you look and feel your best for the celebration. Don't know who to book? Here are questions to ask a potential makeup artist.

Entertainment

Want to know the secret to having an epic wedding reception? Curating a great guest experience through amazing entertainment that extends beyond just music. According to The Knot 2023 Real Wedding Study, 75% of couples responded that the guest experience was the most top-of-mind factor while wedding planning. From live painters to drag queens, there's an entertainment business out there for every couple and every style.

Lighting Company

Lights, camera, action. After investing so much money in wedding decor, the last thing you want is for it to be hidden in the shadows. Instead, work with a lighting designer to ensure that all the details of your celebration are highlighted as they deserve.

Cake Baker

There's no sweeter way to bring a wedding to a close than with a slice of wedding cake created by an expert wedding cake baker. Wedding cake bakers are wedding vendors with a role that brings joy to both couples and guests in a unique way. But how do you find that pro who will bring a smile to everyone's faces as they dig into delicious slices of wedding cake? Asking questions and getting to know prospective bakers is key.

Transportation Provider

If you have a lot of out-of-town guests, if your ceremony and reception aren't in the same place, or if you're worried about guests drinking and driving, transportation is a vendor you should definitely consider booking. Even if you don't book transportation for your wedding guests, you might want to book a special getaway car for you and your spouse for the end of the night. As you search for transportation companies, ask these questions to find the best transportation wedding vendor for your wedding.

Stationer

Stationery and calligraphy are two additional businesses to keep in mind for the list of vendors needed for a wedding. After all, how are you going to communicate with your attendees? From your mailed wedding invitations to day-of signage and paper goods like wedding programs, there are quite a few paper elements traditionally included in the wedding. As you're researching potential wedding stationers, make sure to ask these questions.

Calligrapher

A calligrapher is the perfect complement to your wedding stationer. Once you've worked with a stationer to design an epic invitation suite, commission a calligrapher to address the envelopes as a beautiful finishing touch.

Bartending

Whether you have a full bar or just a few signature cocktails, you'll need a vendor to handle all bartending needs. Some catering companies also offer bartending services, but there are also many wedding bartenders you can hire specifically to take care of the drinks for the big day.

Ceremony Ensemble

What soundtrack do you envision playing as you process down the aisle? Whether it's classical or contemporary, an expert ceremony musician is the key to making the moment a cinematic masterpiece. Here are some important questions to ask ceremony musicians before you hire them.

Accommodations

Where are all your wedding guests going to stay? That's where accommodations and a hotel room block come into play. It's important to source solid accommodations for out-of-town guests so they can thoroughly enjoy your wedding. Pro Tip: Include hotel information on your wedding website.

Attire Designer

What are you going to wear for the wedding? Will you commission custom wedding attire or buy designs you've seen on runways? Before you can get shopping you need to answer these questions about wedding dresses and wedding suits.

Dress Salon

Did you know that your wedding dress designer is, most likely, not the vendor you'll be working directly with? Instead, chances are that you'll be working with a wedding dress salon to guide you through the entire fashion process. Here are some questions to keep in mind ahead of a salon appointment.

Alterations Specialist

Once you've purchased the dress, the next step is to ensure that it fits you like a glove. Enter: An alterations specialist. With all eyes on you at the wedding, you want your attire to look as beautiful as possible.

Emcee

How do you envision your wedding reception flowing? Here's the thing: that vision can't happen on its own. You need someone to act as an emcee at the wedding to keep things moving along seamlessly. Many wedding DJs provide this service, but it's also possible to book a pro that is dedicated to being the point person and guest director for the night.

Jeweler

Let's talk about bling. From the wedding rings you and your partner exchange to any other accessories you might rock on the big day, jewelry is one category not to be overlooked. Not sure what you need to know before buying an engagement ring or wedding ring? Here are some questions to ask a wedding jeweler before buying a wedding ring.

Photo Booth

Photo booths are a fun activity for guests to capture all the incredible memories from the evening. They're also nice for guests who want to take a break from the dance floor amid the celebration.

Travel/ Honeymoon Advisor

After the wedding is over, are you going to relax with a honeymoon? With all the effort you've put forth into wedding planning, you deserve to take a break and let someone else plan your postwedding travel.

Welcome Amenity Supplier

While you can DIY your wedding welcome amenities, it's actually a lot more work than many couples realize. This is why welcome gift companies have emerged to handle this task.

Trendy and Emerging Wedding Vendors

In addition to all of the traditional wedding vendors listed above, new and exciting businesses are emerging every day to help couples plan weddings that are uniquely their own. From meteorologists to content creators and tarot card readers, whatever your vision or needs, there's a professional who can help you make your dreams a reality.

Up Next
  • Couple going over contract with vendor
    Wedding Contracts: A Lawyer's Expert Guide