Surviving A Bridal Show – 9 Easy Tips

Bridal Show season will be here before you know it.

A Bridal Show is a great place to get started with your wedding plans. Held at various types of venues – including convention centers, banquet halls, even your local shopping mall — they can be quite large (100 different vendors or more!) or much smaller, and more intimate (only 10-20 different vendors). Regardless of size, the main purpose is still the same, you get a chance to take a sneak peek at the local professionals – see examples of their work, taste samples of cakes and foods, and collect vendor brochures and literature.

While tempting, now is not the time to get all of your planning done in a whirlwind of a few hours. You want to be a savvy shopper, and select just the right vendors for you. Here are a few easy tips to help you along.

1. Create a game plan

Which types of vendors you are most interested in? Are you looking for a DJ? Perhaps you still need a florist. Figure out the types of vendors you most want to see, then plan on visiting their booths first.

2. Things to bring

  • Pen and paper, (you’ll want to take notes)
  • A tote bag (to carry all those flyers and brochures you’ll be picking up)
  • Address labels (saves time filling out all those contest and door prize slips)
  • Cash (to pay for admission and to purchase a light snack or beverage)
  • Checkbook or credit card (in case you find the perfect vendor and want to put down a deposit)

3. Wear comfortable shoes

And if possible, leave your coat in the car. You’ll have enough to carry without having to lug around a coat. And you’ll be that much happier if you’re comfortable. Also, wear clothing with pockets. When you come across a vendor that you especially want to remember, place his or her card in your pocket instead of in the tote bag where it can get mixed up with all of the other cards and flyers you’ll be getting.

4. Only bring one or two people with you

Have mom, your maid of honor, a bridesmaid, or fiancé come along. They can help you carry the brochures you’ve picked up, and you’ll have someone who knows you to bounce ideas off of. Just don’t bring a whole entourage. It’s harder to keep a large group together (you don’t want to be spending your time looking for who you came with!) Also, too many people will offer too many different opinions, which will be confusing and not much fun.

5. Eat before the show

Not all shows offer snacks for purchase, and you don’t want to be walking around on an empty tummy! While there will be plenty of yummy samples of foods and cakes to try, this is not the place to load up your plate for a meal.

6. Take notes

Jot down pricing and package information, as well as your personal opinions. Is there anything about a vendors’ personality that stands out to you? Is he or she courteous and polite, or unfriendly and grumpy? Are they enjoying themselves, or do they seem to want to be somewhere else? After you get home and are sorting through that pile of flyers you’ve picked up, it will be hard to remember who was who. A few notes will help remind you who you’ll want to contact later, (and who you want to steer clear of!).

7. The Fashion Show

A popular portion of most bridal shows is the Fashion Show. If you’re like most brides, you’ll want to attend it, so find a seat early – at least 20-30 minutes before it starts. However, if you already have your gown, or otherwise aren’t planning on attending the fashion show, use this time to talk with the vendors you are most interested in. Things will be much more quiet and calm, and you’ll have a better chance at getting their undivided attention.

8. When to sign on the dotted line

Guess what? You don’t have to make a hurried decision at the show. Sure, all of the vendors would love for you to sign on the dotted line right then, and may even offer a discount if you do. But wouldn’t you rather be a savvy shopper and take time to carefully look over everything and figure out which vendors will truly best suit the style of wedding you and your fiancé envision?

9. Read

Before you decide to book someone, be very thorough. Carefully read everything (literature, samples, flyers, contract – EVERYTHING!!) before you sign and put down a deposit. Make sure what they offer is really right for your wedding vision, is what you and your fiancé really want, and that their terms are acceptable. Ask questions so there is a complete understanding between you and the vendor. You don’t want that ‘great deal’ to turn out to be a headache because you didn’t notice the “additional costs” or the “fine print.”

So go and enjoy yourself! It’s just a bridal show!

Upcoming 2016 bridal shows in and around Dayton

A Bridal Affiar
Sunday, January 3, 2016
Hilton Garden Inn Austin Landing
11am – 3pm

Dayton Bridal Expos
Saturday, January 9 & Sunday, January 10
Dayton Convention Center
11am – 4pm

The Country Club of the North Wedding Showcase
Thursday, January 21
Country Club of the North
6pm – 9 pm

Fort Piqua Plaza Wedding Showcase
Sunday, January 31
The Fort Piqua Plaza
11am – 4pm

Dayton Bridal Expos
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Dayton Marriott by UD
11am – 4pm

2016 Bridal Showcase at Dorothy Lane Market Springboro
Sunday, February 28
Dorothy Lane Market – Springboro
11am – 3pm

Prime Time Party Rental Bridal Open House
Saturday, March 5, 2016
Prime Time Party Rental
9am – 2pm

Photo by number657

Photo by Sarah Parrott

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Did you attend a bridal show, and just end up feeling overwhelmed? I can help. Contact Jean at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647.

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Wedding Planning Do’s and Don’ts

wedding planning dos and don'tsWedding Planning Dos and Don’ts

Let your guiding principle be this – “As with any wedding, it’s not just about you, it is also about your guests.”

Brides and grooms who keep their guests in mind as they make decisions about their wedding plans, end up with more memorable moments than those who look at guests as people lucky enough to be included in the event.

How to Have Happy Wedding Guests (With 5 Super Easy Tips)

With your guests in mind, follow these wedding planning dos and don’ts:

Don’t plan a difficult destination wedding
If you really want to be married on top of a ski slope in the hut where you first met, accept the fact that most folks will not be able or willing to make the trip. If that’s your dream – do it, but plan a major party at another time and place for all of your family and friends to celebrate with you.

Think hard about your need to DIY
Some brides are true seamstresses and will find joy in creating and sewing their own bridal gown, six bridesmaids’ gowns, a flower girl dress and one mother’s gown. Another bride may be capable of individually fashioning 150 handmade invitations, envelopes and enclosures.

If that’s you and you can keep your sanity through it all without driving others crazy in the process, then do it. If you can save money and put your personal stamp on an aspect of the wedding, that’s great.

But if you aren’t, don’t get stuck with a glue gun at 3 AM putting rhinestones on ribbons for the centerpieces. Do only what you can and borrow, rent, or hire someone to do the rest.

Do practice self care
Do whatever helps you unwind and relax. If you dwell on wedding plans to the exclusion of a life, you are doing no one a favor. When you feel the tension building, be aware and stop and take a breath. Remember you have a fiancé and that you are planning a life together. Your relationship doesn’t stop because you are busy planning YOUR wedding.

Do stick to your budget
It may be tempting to fudge here and there but unless you have built in some wiggle room in the wedding finances, don’t go overboard. Remember that you can negotiate with vendors, or hire a wedding planner to be sure you stay within your budget.

Do be grateful for all the good wishes, gifts and offers to help
Say thank you and mean it. You are feeling loved so share it. You’ll feel better and so will the recipient.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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If you’re looking for fun ideas, or need help with your wedding plans contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net, 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647.

Photo by David Clow

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Be a Good and Gracious Guest – Invitation/RSVP Etiquette

rsvp etiquette

Yes, times have changed.

But . . .

. . . when you receive an invitation to a wedding (or any event, for that matter) there are some obligations on your part. Remember, the people think enough of you to have sent you the invitation. Have a little courtesy to let them know if you will be able to attend.

What is “RSVP”?

This term is from the French. It means “Repondez, s’il vous plait,” or “please reply.”

It has been around for a long time and it is telling you that your host really wants to know if you are coming to his/her event. The expectation is that you will reply promptly.

How do I reply?

You respond in the manner indicated on the invitation.

  • If there is no response card included, send a handwritten response to the host at the return address on the envelope.
  • If there is a response card, fill it in and return it in the envelope provided by the date indicated.
  • If it states “RSVP” and gives a phone number, telephone and speak to a person – answering machines can be unreliable.
  • If it says respond electronically, you may do so.
  • Some invitations state “Regrets Only.” If this is the case, reply only if you cannot attend. If you don’t reply it is the same thing as saying you will attend. You’ll be expected.
  • In the rare instance where no reply is requested, it is still polite to let someone know if you’ll be there. A phone call will work.

Bride & Groom Q & A – What Do I Put On The RSVP Card

What if I change my mind?

  • If you want to change a “yes” to a “no” be aware that it is only acceptable in case of illness, a death in the family or an unavoidable professional or business conflict.Call the host immediately and express regret. Know that being a “no show” is unacceptable.
  • If you want to change a “no” to a “yes” it’s ok only if it will not upset the host or hostess’ arrangements. Always ask before you just show up.

What if I want to bring someone?

Look at the envelope and see whose names are written on it. This will tell you who is being invited.

If the invitation includes the phrase Mr. John Smith and Guest – then yes, you may bring someone else with you if you choose.

If it’s just your name, but you want to bring someone – Don’t!

Don’t even ask! The invitation was extended only to the people whose names are on the invitation and no one else.

Don’t assume you can bring your children to the event. If they were invited the invitation would have said so.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Weddings From The Heart is a wedding planning, coordinating, and design company based in Dayton, Ohio, also serving southwest Ohio and surrounding areas.

Elegant – Stylish – Fun – Creative – Magical
Whatever your wedding vision, we can bring it to life! Contact me today contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net, at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647 so we can chat!

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