I personally love the show! I love all the energy, the music, the different brides, and chatting with other vendor friends. One of the most common things I hear from brides is how overwhelming the show is. With rows and rows of booths at the Austin show, I can certainly see why. So, today's blog will discuss how to organize yourself to get the most out of the show with the least amount of stress possible.
1. Create a priority list. Create a list in order or priority for the things you need. Obviously, your venue is first priority. Followed by photographer and catering. Then florist and cake and DJ/band. Dress and invitations, transportation, etc follows.
2. Do your homework. Visit http://www.austinweddings.com/bridalextravaganza/exhibitors/ and see which visitors will be there. Visit their websites and research their reviews. Usually you can get a good feel if you connect with that vendor based on those two things. Make a list of vendors you really want to see. If you haven't chosen a venue yet, I would recommend visiting the venues before the show (and maybe even booking them). That way you are a step ahead as you really can't plan much else of the wedding until your location/date is secured.
3. Start on one side of the convention center and just work your way through. If you already have a vendor selected (say florist) then there is no need to stop at florist booths. So, skip booths that you already have or are not planning on having at your wedding. Spend the most time at the booths you need first. If you need invitations and catering, catering is top priority. So just get the necessary information for the invitations, but really take your time at the catering booths.
4. Do not eat before the show! Seriously, don't! There is so much food there and if you are looking for food vendors you will want to sample. And they will be pulling out all the really tasty stuff!
5. Bring a bag to put everything in, as well as a pen. Write notes on the brochures. If you really like a vendor, put a star next to them. If you don't, maybe put an x on their brochure. You will get so much information, it will be hard to remember everyone when you are going through everything after the show.
6. Less is more. Do not bring an entourage. The show is crowded and the booths are small. Trying to keep a group of 6 together can get very overwhelming. If you can, leave the kids at home. Wheeling strollers through the crowds can create frustration and distraction. Your attention will be divided and your focus won't be on planning the day, but grabbing information and getting home before your child's attention span runs out. Try to keep your group to 2 or 3 close friends/family.
7. Relax and have fun! You probably won't get your entire wedding planned, so don't try to do it. Enjoy the day and the experience. Go to the shows. Eat the food. Have fun planning your wedding day!
Hopefully these few tips will help as you prepare for the show. Next week I plan on discussing how to narrow down and select your vendors. So check back in next week and I hope to see you at the show!