Getting the Most From a Bridal Show - Part 3
by Larry James
Don't be afraid to tell someone that you already have booked his or her service with another vendor. Take a minute and visit with them anyway. Who knows? You make pick up a tip or suggestion you or your vendor hadn't considered. You should always feel comfortable with a vendor's attitude toward your event. Personality and communication play an important role as well. Chat with the vendor to see if you feel comfortable with their personality, and if they will be easy to work with. Notice which vendors listen to your needs and ask what you want. Most vendors respect your decisions and would never push their services on you if you already have another provider. Vendors respect each other. Don't worry, it takes a lot to hurt our feelings.
Leave the children at home! Hire a baby sitter. You will be glad you did. You will not be able to focus on the wedding vendors if you are struggling with your baby stroller, trying to push your way through the crowd and maze of wedding vendor booths.
People often walk fast past booths because they fear the vendor will pounce or be overly aggressive. Some are. If a vendor tries to pressure you into booking their services or placing a deposit with them "right now", keep walking! Do not accept any pushy sales pitch to sign now.
Bring bottled water and a few snacks so you don't spend most of your time in line at the concession stand (that will also save you a few bucks). This will give your tummy room to enjoy the cake tasting and other catered food samples. Plan a rest break about every hour. Pick up free samples, magazines, sample menus, business cards, brochures, and catalogs to take with you and review them later in the privacy of your own home. Bring some cash for parking. Sometimes you do have to pay for parking. Don't be caught unprepared. If you didn't pre-register for the show, bring cash. Some shows only accept cash at the door.
Wedding shows are not supposed to be stressful or overwhelming. There is so much to see and so many vendors. Taking your time to view each exhibit will help reduce the stress. Remember wedding planning is preferably done over time, not in one day. It's one decision at a time. Many of the exhibitors book up rather quickly on choice wedding dates; so don't wait too long after the show before you decide to call to utilize their services. Generally speaking, there is a rush of appointments and often their calendars fill quickly immediately after a bridal show. The top vendors often find a year's worth of business booked at the show or within six to eight weeks of the show. Act quickly. Don't procrastinate or you may end up with your second or third choices.
Remember, you cannot have a wedding without a ceremony! Lots of couples wait until the last minute to book the minister. To be certain that you can book the minister you want on the date and time you want, first choose your wedding date. Second, book the wedding venue. And third, book the minister. Those of us who are busy performing ceremonies often book wedding dates as much as 6 months or more in advance.
If you go in with a plan of action, you most likely will get most of your planning done in one afternoon or at least gather enough information to make an informed decision when reviewing the info at your leisure. Be sure to dress casual and wear comfortable shoes. Leave your heels at home. You will be doing a lot of walking. Be prepared for sore feet. Grooms take note! You may want to make arrangements for a foot massage for your future bride or arrange a visit to the hot tub when the day is through. Have a great time!
- Larry James is with Celebrate Intimate Weddings in Scottsdale, AZ, and has been a WedPlan Member since Jul 2005.