It is September, the leaves are beginning to yellow, the air is cool you can smell BRIDAL SHOWS! Yes it is show season! I must say when I hear the two words “Bridal Show” I start to twitch. Let me tell you as a vendor these things are alot of work and very stressful! I feel like I am in a crowd of star struck Brides jumping up and down screaming, “Pick Me, Pick Me!” It is exhausting! So if it is tough on us, it is going to be tough on the Bride. Yes you can survive the “Bridal Show” experience, in fact you can really benefit by knowing exactly what to do. Here is a little advice I share every year.
Come on the first thing you do when you get engaged is run to the store and get every bridal magazine out there. You look at dresses, flowers, centerpieces, and you start dreaming. Then you hear on the radio Blah, Blah, Blah BRIDAL SHOW, Sunday…… you are filled with anticipation. You just cannot wait to get there to see the booths, get free stuff, and watch the Bridal Gown Show. The doors open at 11 AM. You, your Mom, and your best friend get coffee and gleefully head off for the day. You are there at the doors waiting at 10:50 AM on a Sunday Morning with a hundred other girls, their Moms and their best friends. There is a buzz of excitement and the doors open. There is a rush to the sign in table (hopefully you have gone to the website ahead of time and registered early). You are given your Name Tag, it says, “BRIDE,” that is you, how cool. Now you are off…STOP! Ok, a word of caution, try not be the “Deer in Headlights.” Let me tell you as a Planner and a veteran Vendor at Bridal Shows you are going to be mauled as you walk down those aisles. So, here is some advice;
The first thing to do before you get there is decide on a few things you want. Get a notebook. Make a list of the vendors you need to check out: Reception sites, Ceremony sites, Florist, DJ, Photographer, Planners, Decorators…. It is your list, you decide. No doubt, one of the things you will buy is a planning book. Personally, I think the best Bridal Workbook you can get is “Martha Stewart’s Simple Weddings.” You will have questions for the vendors but they can’t answer everything you need to know at a Bridal Show. Write down two or three questions you really need to know that will help you decide if you want them to be part of your day. Also, bring your calendar with you so you can make appointments.
Ok now when you get there the first thing after you check in is see what time the Runway Show and know that at least a half an hour before the show you should at least save some seats. Brides are, how shall I put it, crazy, if someone can sit there and save the seats even better! Do know however if you put something on the seat there is a chance someone will move it, try not to take it personal. Girls have one thing on their mind that day, their wedding day!
Next, walk through the entire vendor area noting the vendors you would like to come back to. Get an overview of what is there, if you see something you like, write the name of the vendor down take their card and come back. Try not to get sidetracked in getting all the free stuff! Once you have been through entire vendor area check your list that you made BEFORE the show, now the list you just made while walking through the vendors, how does it fit into your pre-list? Now go back, start at the beginning, by now the rush of brides are probably in the middle of the vendor area so the vendors at the beginning will have the time to talk to you. Realize that this is a Bridal Show and it is not the time to try to have a 45-minute consultation. Remember you have already thought of a few questions that are important to you, now is the time to ask. How do you feel while talking to this vendor? Comfortable? See if you can make an appointment with them, yes make the appointment at the show, you will often find there is a special associated with making an appointment at the show. Take advantage of the “Show Specials.” In fact, ASK what their “Show Special” is! Give yourself 10 to 15 minutes with each of your noted vendors. Once you have made your appointment move on to the next vendor on your list.
You should be able to get through most of your list before the Runway Show begins. If you don’t get through them all, don’t worry there will be time to go back after the runway show. Ok so now you are sitting at the Runway show. See a dress you like, write it down. Usually the Wedding Dress Shoppe is a vendor at the show. Go to their booth tell them the dresses you like, find out how much they are and make an appointment. Ask them when their Trunk Shows are, you can save a ton of money! Find out if they have any yearly sales, sample sales, or clearance. Make sure you get through your list! Make your appointments! I will tell you that booking season is upon us! Good vendors go quickly.
Whew! What a day! You will no doubt have a ton of STUFF. Now the fun begins, the planning process. Sit down with your family and fiancé and talk about everything you can. Which vendors made an impression on you and why did they make that impression. It is important that you start with the budget, who will pay for what, and how much. Planning is tough but doable. Simple Elegance Event and Wedding Designs can help you make this day truly the day you dreamed of, our planning and decor packages are designed to make the day stress free for the entire Bridal party and their families.
So, you are getting married. Keep it in perspective. Enjoy the moment!
2010 Margaret Moore, www.simpleeleganceeventsandweddings.com
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Event Planning entrepreneur Margaret Moore with Simple Elegance Events and Wedding Designs publishes this weekly e-zine. Get your FREE “My Dream Wedding without the Nightmare” at www.simpleeleganceventsandweddings.com