8 things to do before attending a Bridal Show
Want to know how to be ready to attend a bridal show? 8 things to do before attending a Bridal Show, gives you the foundation to be ready and have lots of fun!
Bridal shows are a wonderful opportunity for the recently engaged brides to get ideas on a wide variety of vendors. It can also be an overwhelming afternoon in which you can’t get anything accomplish.
As a photography vendor, and a recent bride myself, I can see both sides. They key, in my opinion, is to have a plan and work it throughout the day. Here are 8 things to do before attending a Bridal Show.
1- Know your budget. The first step after you get engaged is to make a budget. Get everyone who might be helping with the financial aspect of the wedding and ask the ‘hard’ questions. Talk with your fiancé about the budget and the ‘up to’ amounts in case you see a vendor or service you really like. This is very important before you even go shopping around. It is also especially helpful to pay attention not just on the vendors or venues you like, but also the ones that are in your budget.
2- The first two decisions after you get engaged that you would have to make (after you know your budget) are: the date and the venue. If you are attending your first show, you might want to concentrate your efforts on searching for the venue. Venues usually get book between a year and a year in a half in advance. Usually at the bridal shows, the planner from the venue is the one at the booth. Make sure to ask questions and to get a feel for the entire experience. Remember that this person will be working with you throughout your wedding planning process.
3- Make a plan and communicate it to your entourage. If it is your first show be prepare to see a lot! There are many possibilities to make a wedding day fabulous. Besides the basics, such as the venue, flowers, and photography you can get pretty much anything you might think of for your wedding day -candy stations, photo booths with props, etc. If you plan is just to ‘shop around’ let everyone in your group know so they can be aware of it. If you already have a venue and a date, for example, and you are ready to book a photographer, also tell everyone so they can keep an eye on the photographers in the room.
4- Bring an agenda and know your dates. Know for sure that vendors are going to ask you for key dates to make sure they can serve you in the best way. Besides your wedding date, it is helpful to know by when you want to make certain decisions or to book specific services. If you are ready to book consultations, make sure to ask your fiance about the dates that work for both of you to attend. Keep in mind that the vendors are ready to book consultations in the next couple of weeks after a bridal show.
5- Be honest with yourself and the vendors you meet. This is important as well. If you are just shopping around still that’s perfectly fine, but let the vendors know. If you are ready to book a particular service such as the cake and the photography, also let them know. As vendors we love to help our brides, but the level of help will depend on what stage you are in your planning. Also, just book a consultation when you are ready for it and are willing to invest the time to know the vendors and the services they offer.
6- Know what you want and make sure to ask questions. There is a lot happening on a bridal show and if you have no idea where you should start it might be incredibly overwhelming. You don’t need to make all of the decisions prior the show because you are attending the show to precisely look for inspiration. But at least a general idea in your mind -even if it just includes what you definitely don’t want- will be very helpful to you.
7- Establish your priorities. I cannot stress this one enough. After you make your budget you should make a list of your priorities. If the venue of your dreams is your priority be prepare to invest a good percentage of your budget in it. If on the other side having an album with your wedding photos as the first family heirloom is your priority, make sure you reserve the appropriate amount for it. Make sure you go after the vendors in the order of your priorities. This will help you to book the vendors you really want to work with, and also to allocate the budget and reserve it accordingly.
8- Be prepare to meet a lot of people who wants to know about you and have fun! Yes, have fun! It’s going to be a lot, but that does not mean you can’t have fun. At the shows they usually have entertainment and a fashion show. As you walk around you can also get ideas and try samples. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring the ‘decision makers’ in your entourage.
We would love to see you in the next Bridal Shows!
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