We were fortunate enough to have around 2 years to plan out our wedding, but we have friends who wanted to get married in the fall and had to settle. From what we experienced, the venue books more than a year in advance. You may want to see what venues are available and then book your wedding date around that date. The photographer should be the next person you book. Trust me, the good ones fill up just as fast as the venues. You do not want to settle when it comes to finding a photographer. We highly recommend Kerry Paradis Photography. She was great and can recommend vendors for hair, DJ, video, etc. She was a pleasure to work with. When you first get engaged, don't put things off. Try and get everything you can done as soon as possible. We did that and were still rushing around the last two weeks. If I had to do it again, I may consider a wedding planner to keep things straight. That way we can enjoy the time leading up to the wedding a little better.