Planning a Wedding in the Bay Area for 2019.  The Bay Area is such a gorgeous location to get married.  People hire me from other states to elope here in California all year long.  This is in part because of our weather and also the close proximity of beach and the gorgeous woods/mountains.  As I grew up here, I sometimes forget how amazing it is here and why people love to come.

Selecting a Venue:

Since Bay Area venues fill up fast for locals and destination weddings alike, make sure you prioritize what details about the venue matter most to you.  Are you looking for a larger venue because you have a lot of people coming?  Are you are looking for a venue where you can have the ceremony and the receptions?  Some venues require you to book about a year in advance for Fridays/Saturdays.  If you are open to a weekday wedding, there is more flexibility.  If you are looking to get married on the beach with 4-7 close friends/family, then you may not need a year.

Bay Area wedding photographer jen vazquez photography fitz placeIMG_0239-1024x683Selecting a Photographer:

Most photographers in the Bay Area book about a year out, so you’ll want to book the photographer as soon as you book the venue.  I often have brides or grooms book me first and then I help them with selecting the venue.  Since I’m photographing at venues day in and day out, I know the best venues that would be right for you..

I book about a year in advance, but if you have a weekday opening, it would be easier to book more last minute.  You should also check with the photographer, because he or she just may have an opening!

Booking other wedding vendors (i.e. Makeup/Hair, Planner, DJ, Videographer, etc.).:

When selecting your other wedding vendors, it’s helpful to ask your venue or wedding photographer.  As they are working with other wedding vendors all day every day, they will know which vendors have the skill set you want and what personality will fit best with yours.  This helps to have an easy-going wedding morning.  You’ll be surrounded by wedding vendors who work well with you and support you on a day that can be filled with some stress.

Jen Vazquez Photography | Newly Engaged Giveaway_0163

Start planning when you get engaged:

Often brides or grooms want to take in the engagement and enjoy the moment, but you’ll have a much easier time planning your wedding if you start early and consistently plan each month.  Not to mention that some wedding packages include an engagement shoot.

The biggest mistake I hear is that people don’t realize all that goes into planning a wedding, including the billions of decisions you have to make.  And when something isn’t exactly as you want, it takes time to find exactly what you want.  If you plan early, you won’t have to settle as you’ll have plenty of time to find what you love.