For any newly engaged couple or bride heading to their first bridal expo, open house, or wedding trade show, we know it can be overwhelming and stressful. With so many vendors to check out, things to think about and decisions to make for your wedding day, there is a lot to take in. No matter where you are in your planning stage we recommend checking out the bridal events and open houses in your area as a chance to meet vendors and see various reception/ venue spaces. You will get to meet potential vendors face to face, gather information and get the opportunity to ask questions. Larger bridal shows have the perk of having more than one provider of a certain service for you to compare. Also, many vendors offer promotions, prizes, show specials, and there is always free food/cake to taste!
We wanted to take this opportunity to help you simplify and de-stress your bridal event process. Here are our top 5 tips for ensuring you have the most enjoyable and productive experience at your upcoming bridal events.
1. Make a list. Making a list of the vendors you need, are interested in, or have not booked yet, is very helpful. Even if you are at the very beginning stages of planning, make a list of vendors you know you want and need. Your list can be in booking priority order or just a list, whatever helps you most. Similar to making a grocery list, identifying what you need before you enter the store makes the trip more successful and a lot less expensive.
2. Do your research. Do some research ahead of time to get an idea of what the average vendor costs are in your area. Knowing this information ahead of time will cut down on stress and familiarize you with price ranges for various services. It will help you quickly recognize decent companies, great deals, and good special offers. It will also help weed out unreasonably priced vendors. Early vendor research will also help you form a draft budget early in the process helping you to understand what you can afford when talking or negotiating with vendors.
3. Come with personalized stickers. If there is one tip to remember, THIS IS IT! Think return address labels for an envelope, but instead of name and address, these labels will have your full name, expected or potential wedding date, venue (if you have one) and a good email to reach you. You’re welcome to put your phone number down, but let’s be honest, you’re not going to pick up! Almost every vendor has a raffle to enter to receive great discounts and prizes – but you have to fill out an entry form to be entered to wine. Having pre-printed labels with your information will save you from writing your information many, many….many times.
4. Spend the time. Make an effort to spend some time talking to the vendors you really like and are very interested in their services. By spending more than 1-2 minutes with a vendor, and asking a few questions, you are showing genuine interest in that company. Vendors enjoy meeting potential clients, and they will be more likely to offer you discounts, or offer more assistance, knowing you actually care about the services they offer. When a vendor remembers you, that’s the start of a great relationship!
5. Follow up. There are benefits to following up with the vendors you liked. Check out websites and social media pages for more information or insight to who they are as a company. Most bridal events have a list of post-show specials on their website offered by the vendors who attended the event. If a vendor stood out, email them asking for more information or request a sit down meeting for a more personalized conversation. After the show many vendors will reach out to follow up with you. If you are not interested, let them know so you’re not bombarded by emails. If you are, take the time to share where you are in the planning process and say you are interested. Vendors do not mind hearing you are interested but need more time. We appreciate the update!
Hope our tips will help you! We have a few upcoming shows our self. We would love to meet you at our next show! Check out our upcoming show dates and locations at www.completelycoordinated.com. Hope to meet you there!