Planning a wedding can be a stressful and tedious process but it doesn’t have to be. One of the best ways to eliminate a lot of headaches is to plan ahead! From the moment you say “YES!!”, the wheels are turning. It is never too early to start looking and planning. The more busy a vendor is, the earlier you have to book your date with them in order to ensure you get them for your big day!! If your wedding is going to be during a prime month such as March-May or Sept-Oct (the cooler months in the south), you may want to consider putting down deposits on the big vendors such as your venue, caterer and photographer at least 12-18 months in advance! A good place to get started with the planning process is to attend a bridal expo, or 2, or 3!!!
If you happen to be a girl who loves to shop like the other 95% of us then you will LOVE a bridal expo!! Think of it like a mall full of wedding stuff!! Fun, Fun, Fun!! Grab your mom, the maid of honor or even all the bridesmaids and enjoy a day full of inspiration, education and freebies!! Who doesn’t love freebies???
Here are a few tips for you to get the most out of your bridal expo experience!
1. Register Before the Expo- Most of the time pre-registration prices are cheaper and you can avoid the long lines of signing up once you get to the expo.
2. Get Organized- Make a list of the vendors and things you are still in need of before you go to the show. Just as if you were going to the grocery store with a list! This way you can check off or write down your favorite vendors from the show under each category.
3. Research- If the expo gives a list of vendors before the show then start looking at each vendor’s work so you know which ones offer what you are looking for……Your Style, Your Budget!
4. Be Prepared- Bring a pad and pen to write down important information that vendors tell you and notes about your favorites from the show! Trust me after you talk with over 40 vendors in one day it is hard to remember what each one said and who you liked best!! Wear comfortable shoes(this needs no explanation)!
5. Return Address Labels- This is an awesome helpful hint. Each vendor usually has a giveaway at their booth with a sign up form. If you have address labels printed with Name, wedding date, phone number and email(if possible), It will save your hand a lot of unnecessary writing! Just peel and stick! You will look like a pro!
6. Get a New Email- If you haven’t done so already, set up an email for your wedding! Give this to all of your vendors, use it for prize registrations and anything wedding related!!
7. Grab the Show Specials and Save Some Money!- Most vendors will have a show special which includes discounts or freebies if you book at the show or with a few days of the show. Take advantage of these specials! If you have done your research on the vendors before the show and you fall in love with certain ones then make sure you come prepared to book them at the show to cash in on the savings!! ANOTHER HELPFUL HINT- Bring whoever is paying for the wedding with you to the show so you can do the BOOK it NOW deals!!
8. Come Early and Stay Late- Take your time and enjoy the experience. Come early so you have plenty of time to browse, ask questions, sample food, and talk to the vendors to make sure your personalities click. Stay late so you can pick up any door prizes you win in the drawings(which usually require you to be present to win). Also you can go back to your favorite vendors when the crowd dies down and have more time to talk one on one. The last 30 min of the show is a great time to go back and book your favorite vendors because you have had a chance to check out the competition and make your decisions!
9. Most of all……….HAVE FUN!! Enjoy the day, pick up all the freebies and business cards and take advantage of being pampered!! You are the Bride which means you are the most important person at the Expo!!
As a Bridal Expo vendor and Bridal Expo producer, I am a huge fan of the shows!! It gives me a chance to see if I click with the bride and for her to meet me face to face vs just corresponding over emails. Planning a booth is like setting up the living room for the kids when Santa comes!! Its a production!! Its exciting and I LOVE it!
Start your planning off with the first Bridal event of 2016 in the Augusta Area. Join us at the Hello Beautiful Bridal Expo- Julian Smith Casino- Augusta – Jan 10th, 2016 https://www.facebook.com/events/730643480405466/
See you there! XOXO -Paige