Planning a wedding? Well, I certainly suggest attending a bridal show near you! I've been on both sides of the bridal show madness and would like to give you some tried & true tips for surviving the stress of this visual, physical & mental beauty assault!!
1) Before you even begin by telling your parents that you are engaged...sign up for a free e-mail address that you can dump immediately after the wedding!! You will get spammed continuously for 9-24 months while you plan your wedding and even well after the blessed event. Take my advise and use this temporary e-mail for your bridal show needs, RSVP's, and inquiries to various vendors and wedding websites. This way, when you are a happy newlywed, you can shed this e-mail and go back to business without the never-ending wedding spam!
2) At the bridal show, wear comfortable shoes. This goes against every fiber in my soul...but heed this advise!! Be prepared to spend all day, even two days, at this event! Gorgeous shoes make me happy but skew my concentration if I'm in pain!
3) Borrow a baby stroller, sans the baby. Unless you would like to have a rolling suitcase or sore shoulder, this is a wonderful "airy" alternative for storing your precious wedding information, purses & all important bottled water (or in my case, diet coke) in the convenient cup holders! Stuff the basket on the bottom with healthy snacks to keep you energized for the long trek! Those convention snack shacks can be expensive!
4) The "Give-a-ways"...almost 75% of vendors give a prize away at the show or in the weeks after the show ends. Be prepared with several simple mailing labels to provide with the following: Names, Phone number or e-mail address, wedding date(s), budget, and whatever else you would like them to know. This way, you can stick your info on every give-a-way possible without cramping your hand writing on 300 forms! In my wedding career, 4 couples have won a Sandals Honeymoon! It's real people!! Get out there & take a gamble!!
5) So you are not severely overwhelmed, take all of the information possible on the day of the bridal show and look over in the calm environment of your own home. There are MANY great deals that are said to last for only the show but don't make any rash decisions. Especially when deciding on the wedding location, take your time to tour during the Open House hours offered after the show and make your BIG decision after viewing your top locations. You need to see it to believe it :)
That being said, some of the best deals are offered at the show. If you are looking for tuxedos, limo transportation, photo booths....things that might not be offered in any wedding facility package, book the best deals at the show!
6) Remember, date & location are the biggest hurdles. Once you have booked these two important details, you may launch headfirst into the frilly trimmings & details! Most wedding facilities these days offer "inclusive packages". This means they include things like, the DJ/Emcee, the wedding cake, minister, floral, even perhaps the photographer & videographer! Be mindful not to solidify these sort of vendor contracts until you have chosen the date & location. You don't want to have to pay two professionals to do the same job or eat a deposit because the wedding location doesn't allow outside vendors!
7) THE LIST. AKA, The "War Book". Many brides these days are completely organized with their wedding books, PDA's, smart phones & I-pads. All I am suggesting is to have a simple list of what you still need to complete your BIG DAY! Whether there are 45 things or 4 things on the list. This will help you solidify your focus on your day at a bridal show. It is the easiest thing to get distracted by a set of crystal toasting glasses, or the cutest flower girl dress... stay FOCUSED! You are here to "get er done". Once you have accomplished this list, you may go lick the satin, Swarovski encrusted shoes you lust after but can't afford ;)
This is just the basic advise for brides of the masses. Each blushing bride-to-be has a different situation and custom ideas & situations. For a more personalized set of advise tactics, you may alway e-mail, Facebook me (@ Secret Garden Weddings) or text me at 702.318.1484 . I am happy to be your event efficianado!