Last month my mom and I went to a bridal show held at a local venue. If I didn’t have most of my vendors already picked out, I would have been very overwhelmed … so I’d like to give you some tips on how to successfully conquer the bridal showdown.
The first thing you need is tickets. Purchase your tickets in advance so you won’t have to wait in line to buy them on the day of the event.
When you call to order your tickets, they will ask you for some information over the phone (ie… your address, email address, etc). Unless you want twenty spam emails a day, don’t give out your email address.
If you want to check the deals and such, create a wedding email address just for wedding purposes. This way you control when you see those emails. Besides the spam, which didn’t come until afterward, the show was really fun!
The first things we were greeted with were limos, Rolls Royces, and Bentleys.
After checking out the transportation on view, we headed inside. The Signature Grand has a few ballrooms and each one was set up with a different theme by a different event production company. Each theme had a different buffet set up complete with bartender for open bar. My favorite was the dessert room with all kinds of wedding cakes! There were different DJs from different companies in each room. Their largest ballroom had a live band and their chapel was set up with live musicians.
Before you even got to the ballrooms, food, & drinks – you had to walk through the entrance foyer which is where all of the other vendors were set up.
This is where it can be overwhelming. What you’ll need is a large empty bag for all the brochures and flyers you will be receiving!
Before you get there, make a list of services you need – that way when you get there you don’t spend thirty minutes of your time listening to how much you need hand crafted stationary when you already have your design picked out. Don’t feel you’re being rude if you simply tell them, “Thank you, but no thank you.” If you make a list, they’ll usually give you a map of where vendors are located. Once you have your map, make sure to visit the vendors on your list first! They are there for a reason!
I was going because I needed an officiant and ceremony musicians. Also because my DJ was playing in one of ballrooms and I wanted to hear him play (since we booked him based on recommendations). My sister was in Europe at the time and the rest of my bridesmaids live out of town so the only person I took to the show was my mom, which was fun! However, there are times when she and I don’t see the same vision for my wedding. For instance, she loved the martini ice sculpture and I did not.
The chapel had a guitar and violinist in it. They were playing traditional wedding music and I think every mom in there was in tears – my mother included. The violinist happened to be the same violinist that I had been emailing for a few months trying to get ideas for ceremony music. Hearing the duo in person sealed the deal for me so I told her that night that I’d like to book them. As a plus, the company she represented was offering a special “bridal show” deal which was lower than the price she had originally quoted me when we began emailing each other. The company is called Master Musicians, Inc. and I highly recommend checking them out if you are in the South Florida area!
What was also great is that we asked Julie, the violinist, if she could recommend any officiants since there weren’t any at the show. She recommended someone who we met with a couple of weeks later who turned out to be everything we were looking for!
The bridal show event was a successful one for me so here is a checklist of ways to make it successful for you:
- Purchase tickets in advance and get at least one or two people to go with you.
- Make a list of vendors you need or want to visit.
- Bring a canvas bag for brochures.
- Only stop at vendors you are interested in and ask vendors to make recommendations … especially if there’s something you need at your wedding that isn’t being represented at the show. If they are a good vendor and they cannot provide you with the service you’re looking for, they will point you in the right direction.
- Don’t forget to have fun!
If you live on the east coast of South Florida, here are a few upcoming shows:
1/26/10 – $30 – Signature Grand – Davie, Fl – www.signaturegrand.com
2/16/10 – $10 – Jacaranda Country Club – Plantaion, FL – www.perfectweddingguide.com/southflorida
4/18/10 – $10 – Diplomat Resort & Spa – Hallandale Beach, FL – www.perfectweddingguide.com/southflorida