As some of you may know, I participated in my first ever bridal shows this past month in January. I was a little scared, very nervous, and VERY excited!
When I was getting married in 2013 I never attended a bridal show before. As I am involved in the wedding industry, I kind of had my eye on a couple of my vendors already. My photographer was my mentor (what's up Lindsey Rae Photography!), my venue I had toured and absolutely loved (Zuka's Hilltop Barn) and a few of my vendors had been by chance. You know how I chose our celebrant Amanda Brown- who is AMAZING!? I looked at her bio, and at the end she said she liked Ben and Jerrie's Phish Food the best. You know who else does? I DO! My husband thought that was weird but he went with it. Of course I loved what she had to offer, but that just sealed it. It was meant to be!
I chose our DJ from the recommended vendors section on our venue's website. I saw a company called Champagne Toast Entertainment- my husband and I's last name is Champagne- so I figured that would be funny. When I looked at the list of DJ's I saw my friend and high school math teacher's dad listed. Boom! DONE.
Now, not every bride has a (seemingly) easy time choosing their vendors. These are hard decisions, and you want to make sure you are getting the very best, and what you have been promised! It can be absolutely overwhelming, no doubt about it. Now add into a bridal show and your head might be swimming!
HOWEVER! Bridal shows are fun. You get to try samples! You get to check out so many great vendors in one location! You get ideas! You dream! Best of all? You get to meet the people that you will be potentially hiring right then and there. I don't know about you, but sometimes the first contact is the hardest. That part is sort of expedited in person!
SO! Want to avoid being overwhelmed? Here are a few tips and tricks that might help you out along the way!
1) Print your name, wedding info (date and venue if you have them) email address, and phone number on a page of labels. This way, if you want to leave your name with a vendor for additional information, or enter a contest, you just peel one off, stick it on and you're good to go! This doesn't work with digital entering, but it saves a lot of time and a cramped hand! Not too mention bags flying everywhere as you're trying to write. "Can I hold something for you?!" Was something I was saying all day long!
2) Divide and conquer! This may not be for everyone, but I saw some couples split up, do a recon mission, and come back to the vendors they thought they both might be interested in. Saves a lot of time and you can politely tell vendors you don't want to meet or you don't need, that you are all set. Genius!
3) Collect info only from people you are interested in talking with further. Bridal shows have a TON of information in of itself, but you also get a lot of information to take home. Don't be scared to tell a vendor you are all set! It can get overwhelming if you take everyone's information and have a books worth of stuff to sort through. That said, you can absolutely disregard this piece of advice and go nuts- gather all the info you can! This is because you can always make a....
4) Pros and cons list! I love them and use them personally always and forever. It's great to get all your thoughts- positive and negative- down on paper and out of your head! Or make different piles and sort through accordingly. The YES!! pile, the Maybe pile, the no thanks. However you want to approach it!
5) Bring a friend! You don't have to roll 10 people deep, but if you bring a trusted friend or relative who knows you well, that can help you narrow things down as well. Having someone who isn't in wedding madness can absolutely help bring you back to your center!
6) HAVE FUN! Don't forget that this is a fun time in your life, so enjoy it!
Although these photographs only depict the Worcester Bridal Show Expo that was held at the DCU Center, the very next weekend I was at the 17th Annual Baystate Bridal Show up in Boston. For both shows I had two beautiful made bridal bouquets from Regina of Brackish Water Arts to raffle off. Quick note- she is a close friend of mine and totally made my bridal bouquet as well as my bridesmaids bouquets and the the boutonnieres for my husband, my bridesman, and the groomsmen. They came out SO BEAUTIFUL and I love that I get to keep my bouquet in my living room ;)
Across the way from me was a bakery called the Bean Counter Bakery and they are located in Worcester, MA. Let me tell you, their food was DELICIOUS. I was so happy to try out a few samples of their cakes. I got to talking with Alice, the owner, and Matt and Mara, who work there. They were all so sweet (ha-ha! Get it?) and I ran into them again the next weekend in Boston. I totally suggest you look them up and check out some of their work if you are looking for a cake! The cakes were delicious and BEAUTIFUL!
I had such a fun time meeting so many brides and grooms along with their friends and families at the expos. Hearing about everyone's wedding plans was so much fun! I hope I see a lot of you in the future for your weddings. ;) Seriously, thanks to everyone who stopped by my booth for a chat, I really appreciate your time and consideration!
Have any bridal show questions? Leave me a comment below and I can give it my best shot to get you an answer! Were you at the bridal show? Were you overwhelmed? Tell me your thoughts!
Until next time...