If you've just returned from attending your first Bridal Show, chances are you are pretty overwhelmed! Even if you go into the show having planned course of action, the massive crowds, sea of vendors, and the huge bag of brochures and promotional material is sure to leave your head spinning...So here's some helpful tips on how to make some sense of everything!
Organize your pile. Chances are you ended up with a huge bag of stuff you collected from the various vendor booths at the show. Start off by separating them into vendor type: florists, limos, etc. Also, start a pile of services that you don't need or already have: I would advise not to throw these away, as maybe they can be useful down the road for a friend, or even for a service that you may want to add to your budget later. Once you have things sorted out, create a wedding binder to include all of the stuff you've acquired.
Follow your instincts, and follow them fast! By no means make any hasty decisions, but you may want to look through and identify any deals or discounts that were offered at the show. Many times, vendors have "Bridal Show Specials" that do expire shortly after the show, so if you are interested in taking advantage of any of these, you want to identify how much time you have to act. Chances are too that a few vendors that you met made a special impact on you...You definitely want to mark these vendors so you can respond to them first.
Be prepared to be contacted by many different vendors. Weddings are a business, and these vendors are setting up at the show to create business...Every bride that visits their booth is a potential client, and assertive companies will try contacting you sometimes immediately after the show. And the next day...and next week...and so on. Multiply this by the many vendors that saw you at the show, and you can expect a whirlwind of phone calls, emails and/or even texts. Which is why the next step is very important...
...Be upfront with vendors you are not interested in. You are planning a wedding, and chances are you don't have time to take phone call after phone call, or respond to a hundred emails. But there is only one way to stop a pesky vendor from contacting you over and over...tell them that you are not interested or have already booked that service. Don't feel comfortable doing this? Sounds like a perfect job for your fiance! Give him a phone or email list and tell him to contact those that you wish to stop hearing from.
...Be upfront with vendors you ARE interested in. On the flipside, if you meet a vendor that you are interested in, pursue it! Depending on your wedding day, and if the company is a refutable one, they will book up. If you don't want to pass up on a certain vendor, be sure you show your interest and fast. Keep in mind that if you liked a particular vendor, there were several other hundred brides at the show that probably like the same vendor.
In the end, know your budget, and prioritize which vendors and services you are interested in, all the while taking advantage of any Bridal Show deals that interest you. Good luck with your planning!
Post your comments to this article, or contact Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.cvideosolutions.com for ideas on future Detroit Wedding Examiner articles.
Tom Santilli has been in the Detroit wedding industry since 2002, and in that time has established himself as one of the top in his field. His company, Complete Video Solutions , was named as the #1 Best Wedding Videographer in Detroit by local brides and Channel 4 5 consecutive years, 2010-2014, and was currently inducted into TheKnot.com's "Vendor Hall of Fame." He also has won several awards for his wedding production, and is a member of WEVA (Wedding & Event Videographers Association.) As the Detroit Wedding Examiner, he has helped hundreds of brides with their weddings, with a local knowledge not found anywhere else. Being in the industry for so long, he is an expert in all areas of wedding planning, not just videography. He welcomes your questions, article suggestions, or feedback, and he can be reached