Surviving a Bridal Show – 9 Easy Tips

Bridal Show season will be here before you know it.

Surviving a Bridal Show - 9 Easy Tips

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.

Surviving a Bridal Show - 9 Easy Tips

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 2018 bridal shows in Dayton, Ohio

A Bridal Affair
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Hilton Garden Inn at Austin Landing
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Dayton Bridal Expo
Saturday, January 6, 2018 & Sunday, January 7, 2018
Dayton Convention Center
11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Dayton Bridal Expo
Sunday, January 21, 2018
The Dayton Marriott
11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Photo by number657

Photo by Sarah Parrott

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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.

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 2017 bridal shows in and around Dayton

Dayton Bridal Expos
Saturday, January 7 & Sunday, January 8, 2017
Dayton Convention Center
11am – 4pm

A Bridal Affair
Hilton Garden Inn Austin Landing
Sunday, January 22, 2017
11am – 3pm

Dayton Bridal Expos
Saturday, February 19, 2017
Dayton Mariott
11am – 4pm

Dorothy Lane Bridal Showcase
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Dorothy Lane Market – Springboro
11am – 3pm

Prime Time Party Rental Bridal Open House
Saturday, March 4, 2017
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.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Your Wedding Experience presented by David Tutera (Philadelphia, February 2016)

your wedding experience david tutera philadelphia 2016 - project wedding dressyour wedding experience david tutera philadelphia 2016

Wow. It doesn’t seem like it’s been over a month since I attended Your Wedding Experience presented by David Tutera in Philadelphia.

I’ve been wanting to share with you, as Your Wedding Experience is more than just a bridal show.

This wedding inspiration show is presented by the one and only David Tutera (American celebrity wedding planner, bridal fashion designer, designer, author and professional speaker).

When asked why he came up with the concept for Your Wedding Experience, he said that he had attended/spoke at other bridal shows in the past, but wanted to offer an experience. He wanted a bridal show that was a “place where [couples] can experience ideas and vendors to help you create your own unique wedding.”

And yes, this show is sooooo much more than picking up brochures from local vendors.

At Your Wedding Experience you can:

  • Take Ring Selfies (with Bernie Robbins Jewelers) Where brides-to-be get their rings professionally cleaned, then snap and share the pic on instagram.
  • The Rock-It Experience bar and lounge, a blend of musicians, djs, video and more.your wedding experience david tutera philadelphia 2016 - the rock it experience
  • Live wedding band showcase
  • Live cake decorating by Desserts by Danayour wedding experience david tutera philadelphia 2016 - desserts by dana
  • Get glammed up at the Beauty Studio

Create your own signature scent at the DIY Fragrance Bar, with Scenterprises Inc. Pick out 2-3 scents, and get to take home a bottle of your unique blend.

your wedding experience david tutera philadelphia 2016 - scenterprises

Watch and learn from wedding experts at the Tips & Trends Stage.

your wedding experience david tutera philadelphia 2016 - tips & trends

Topics covered Catering: Choosing the Right Style of Dinner Service for your Reception, 5 Tips for a Memorable Destination Wedding, and (the session I attended) Cake Tips & Trends / How to Pick Your Baker, and more!

  • Win great prizes including a private consultation from David Tutera himself!
  • And of course the Fashion Show, featuring ‘Project Wedding Dress,’ where Philadelphia University Fashion Design students were challenged “to create the most innovative and wearable bridal look out of unconventional materials,” including paper and invitations by Invitations by Dawn.

your wedding experience david tutera philadelphia 2016 - project wedding dress

Before the show floor opened, wedding professionals had the opportunity to participate in Industry Sessions by David Tutera and Preston Bailey,

your wedding experience david tutera philadelphia 2016 -industry session with david tutera

your wedding experience david tutera philadelphia 2016 -industry session with preston bailey

and photo ops afterwards.

your wedding experience david tutera philadelphia 2016 - photo ops with preston bailey & david tutera

During the trade show, David himself visited all the vendors and their booths/displays at the trade show, and judged the trade show contest winners including:

Best of Show Sweetheart Table – Let’s Do Linens

your wedding experience david tutera philadelphia 2016 - best of show sweetheart table

Best Booth Sampling – Desserts by Dana

your wedding experience david tutera philadelphia 2016 - best booth sampling

your wedding experience david tutera philadelphia 2016 - desserts by dana

and Best New Products – Bridal Buddy

your wedding experience david tutera philadelphia 2016 - best new products

There are more opportunities this year to attend Your Wedding Experience as upcoming shows will be in Houston on April 17th, Ft. Lauderdale on May 22nd, Atlanta on August 12th, and back in Philadelphia on August 28th.

Whether you’re planning a wedding, helping someone plan one, or a wedding pro, this is definitely the place to be.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Are you looking for unique ideas for your wedding? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647 or at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net!

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.

Did You get Engaged Over The Holidays?

photo credit: MattandAshley via photopin cc
Just a quick post for those who just got engaged over the holidays.

First of all Congratulations! Relish this time as an “engaged couple.” Show off the ring, welcome all those well wishes.

And . . .

Beware of all those bridal shows right around the corner!

Sure, go to them to see what’s out there. See what the newest trends are in flowers and cakes and gowns and tuxes. Listen to the party music and look at the beautiful photos as you imagine yourself as the bride or groom on YOUR wedding day.

photo credit: Zane Mulligan via photopin cc
But . . . If you just got engaged at Christmas or New Years, or maybe at Thanksgiving you probably haven’t had a chance to sit down with your fiance/fiancee to talk about how both of you are wanting your wedding day to be like.

I’m not talking about hammering out all the little details (yet). You’ve got a gazillion options, and they will be decided upon further down the planning road.

When you start planning your wedding, you’ll need to have in mind the basics – where you want the wedding and reception to take place; how big (or small) you want your wedding to be; what style do you want (formal, casual, whimsical, something else?); what is your wedding date? – before you can move ahead with any plans.

So . . .

(Yeah, I know I’m repeating myself here . . .)

Beware of all those bridal shows right around the corner!

photo credit: FestivitiesMN via photopin cc
Yes, they are fun and exciting. You’re going to see a lot of fantastic ideas and it can be very easy to get caught up in the moment. You’ll be offered many deals if you “sign the dotted line.”

However, (if you haven’t discussed the “basics” with your fiancé yet), now is NOT the time to make any concrete plans.

Sure, that DJ, or photographer, or baker (or any of the other wedding service providers) seem wonderful (and I’m not saying that they aren’t), but if you haven’t discussed the “basics” then you won’t know if that wonderful service provider is the right one for you!

This is an exciting time. Enjoy being engaged. Go to the shows with the intent of seeing what is available. Get some ideas of what appeals to you, and take note of things that aren’t your style. Collect brochures and literature (and take notes on the things that really stand out to you).

Relish this time as an engaged couple. The planning stage will come soon enough.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Is your head swimming after going to that bridal show? Are you more confused than ever with all those choices? Weddings From The Heart can help. Give me a call at 937-235-2586, or 937-581-3647, or email me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net to schedule a meeting or phone chat.

Surviving A Bridal Show – 9 Easy Tips

Bridal Show season is just around the corner. So it seems fitting to re-do this post.

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 2014 bridal shows in and around Dayton

Dayton Bridal Expos
Saturday, January 11 & Sunday, January 12
Dayton Convention Center

Brides Against Breast Cancer
Charity Wedding Gown Sale & Bridal Show

Friday, January 24 & Saturday, January 25
Hilton Garden Inn Dayton/Beavercreek

A Bridal Affair
Sunday, February 9
Holiday Inn Dayton/Fairborn

Dayton Bridal Expos
Sunday, February 23
Dayton Marriott

photo credit: number657 via photopin cc

photo credit: Sarah Parrott via photopin cc

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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.

9 Super Easy Tips for Bridal Shows

It’s that time of the year again. Bridal Show season is just around the corner.

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!

Getting the Most Out of Bridal Shows

It’s almost that time of the year! Bridal Show season is just around the corner. Not surprising since 19% of all engagements take place in December. All other months are only 9% or less! (Source: Fairchild American Wedding Survey).

A Bridal Show (aka Bridal Expo or Wedding Showcase) 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). But regardless of the 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.

So before you go, here are some tips to make the trip easier, fun, and worthwhile.

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.

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).

Wear comfortable shoes. And if possible, leave your coat in the car. You’ll have enough to carry without having to lug around or wear 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.

Bring only 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 enjoyable at all.

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.

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!).

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.

Don’t feel that you have to make a 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?

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,” or later realize that their product or service just isn’t right for you.

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