Hello loves! For those of you who are engaged, one of the best resources for finding vendors and forming ideas for your wedding are bridal shows! With practically endless wedding websites available to us, finding a show or expo close by isn’t a difficult feat! But while attending, an ill-prepared bride may wind up feeling overwhelmed and even more confused than when she walked in. So how can you get the most out of your experience without the stress?
Do your research and prepare.
First off, most bridal shows provide information online about which vendors will be attending. Take the time to look through and research them on your own to see who you’re interested in, who has services you need, whose style of service you like or don’t like, etc. In addition, have a list of questions to ask prepared for each vendor. If you see a caterer online that you want to check out, writing down questions like, “Do they offer clean up services?” or “How much will they charge per head?” can truly save you a lot of time in the long run.
Know what you need.
Before thrusting yourself into a world full of varying vendors, make sure you know what you’re looking for. It’s good to keep an open mind, but a bride without a mission or some sense of direction may end up feeling lost and spend unnecessary time trying to navigate her way through it all. One way you can help this is going into a bridal show knowing your budget. Having a general budget in mind for your flourist, photographer, etc. will help you to eliminate vendors from your options and find the ones who work for you more quickly.
Another option for separating out the vendors you need with those you don’t is to bring along a “yes” bag and a “no” bag. When you find a vendor that you’d be willing to contact again, throw their pamphlet or business card into the “yes” bag for easy access later on! Then when you get to that vendor that’s giving you lots of handouts that you have no interest in, or the vendor that sounds nice but is way out of your budget, throw their information into the “no” bag and keep it out of the way! That way the temptation won’t even be there and your handouts can stay organized.
Create a Wedding Email.
One of the most annoying parts of getting in contact with vendors can be the emails. Long after you’ve told a vendor “no”, you may still be receiving their newsletters, special offers, etc. Or perhaps your personal email is overwhelming enough as it is, without having two photographers trying to contact you, three venues, and a coordinator. The best way to solve this dilemma is to create a separate email address for all your wedding endeavors. This way you have all of your wedding contacts in one place, one listed after the other. This makes for an easier sifting, deleting, and responding process as a whole. Just remember, you can ALWAYS click “unsubscribe” at the bottom of those newsletters, and they will forever stop flooding your inbox!
Bring Some Accountability.
It could be a friend, your fiancé, your maid of honor, or anyone that you trust. It’s easy when you’re on your own to lose focus or get way off track. Having a friend come along with you, especially if they are relatively unbiased, will take so much pressure off your shoulders. Choose someone who will keep you help you say no to things you do not need and keep you on track with what you’re looking for. And most importantly, choose someone who will encourage you when you get discouraged! It never hurts to bring along that trusted accountability—and the extra pair of hands is always a bonus!
We hope you find these helpful, and we wish you the best in your wedding planning adventures!
Images by: Lauren Rosenau Photography