I get this all the time! “I don’t need to go to a Bridal Show - I know what I’m doing”. Yes, sweetheart, you’re right, you know what you want, you have a vision that you’ve envisioned since you dated Johnny in High School and thought HE was the one. But now you’re a big girl, you've been dating Mr. Wonderful (the real ONE), and now you are engaged to be married. Congratulations. Now comes the exciting and busy part. Now you get to decide what you want - what you really want - as an adult. You've been dreaming your entire life about getting married and now it is here.
Whether you are the Bride to Be or the Maid of Honor of the Sister of Bride, you need to check out a Bridal Show or two. It will give you SO many ideas. Once you decide what you want to have included in your wedding day, then the planning starts. There's the budget, the dress, the photographer, the food, the location, the flowers, the ceremony…. and the list goes on and on. Just think about how much time you are going to spend on the phone, online and driving around, setting up appointments, tastings, photo sessions, and so on and so on. Even if you have the time, who wants to do that.
Now - if you attend a Bridal Show or two - you are in a more controlled environment - you are with your mom, best friend, sister or even your fiancée. Heck - why not all of them! You can go to one location, usually in a very elegant location, all indoor and everything you need is there. You can walk around and visit with the professionals that you want to have at your big day - and maybe find ones that you DON’T want there. It’s a taste of everything. You can look around to get ideas. Talk to people who know what they are doing. Even find things that you didn't know were available or things that you hadn't thought of. Maybe you realized that what you “thought” you wanted is really outdated and not the “thing” anymore or - you really want to go the traditional route. You will usually have the crème de la crème to choose from. Usually - you will have more than one florist, cake designer, travel agent, photographer, wedding coordinator and lots more. Different vendors have different ideas and different personalities. You won’t have to make appointments for every evening and every weekend for the next 8 weeks.
A lot of shows are one day, but some are over two days, allowing you the maximum amount of time to visit with everyone, and to try out everything.
While you are there, make sure you get around and check out everything. You will be able to go back and talk with those whom you are interested in hiring. Remember you will want to take a business card from all of them because when you get home, you get to sit back and really register everything in your memory bank.
Don’t forget, these are professionals who will make your day run smoothly. They are here to help you by providing services, but don't hesitate as their calendars will fill up fast. Put down a deposit to reserve your date. This will insure that you get the people you are looking for.
There is another reason to go to the shows. Many vendors offer show only specials that will save you money or reduce deposits. Each vendor will have something unique to them and it will only be available at the show. Personally, I offer free consultations right there or, on a later date - I also have tons of free prizes. You won't want to miss out on this opportunity to save money.
On top of being helpful, you will find games, fashion, prizes and give-aways! What a perfect way to spend the day or the evening, planning your dream wedding. Funny, you may walk away with a completely different vision based on the “must have” item you saw at the show. That’s not unusual and there is NOTHING wrong with that. Remember - this is your big day!
I always tell my brides, you’re not marrying the celebration. Remember to keep things in perspective and remember what is most important. Your relationship with the one you are joining your life together should be the top priority. Communicating with, not to your significant other will start a habit that will last a lifetime. Have fun planning and enjoy your new life together.
Party on Party People and here's to a Great Wedding!
See you all the next Bridal Show!