- Prioritize what you need - Make a list of what vendors you are still searching for, in order of priority. If you just got engaged and do not have a venue, that is at the top of your list. Followed closely by catering and photography, then cakes, flowers, and DJ's/bands. If you already have some vendors already booked, there is no need to stop at other booths for the same service. It's a waste of your time. Stop shopping for that vendor once you have one booked.
- Come hungry - seriously! Do not go out to lunch prior to the show. Caterers and bakers will have tons of food for you to sample. And you will want to sample in order to get a good idea if you like them or not.
- Spend time collecting information and talking to vendors you do need - the great thing about the Bridal Extravaganza is that you can talk directly to the vendor, touch their work, and sample their food. If you feel a connection with a vendor stick around and ask them questions. If you don't, move onto the next booth.
- Mark your brochures - you will get a lot of literature. A lot. There is no way to remember everyone at the end of the day. Bring a pen and write on your brochures. If you liked a specific vendor, put a star on their brochure. I had a bride tell me once that she brought two bags. One bag was the yes bag and the other was the no bag. Make notes too. If a vendor said something that caught your attention right it down. You won't remember who said it later. Or, if they had a display you really liked, put it on the brochure.
- Go out to dinner - and relax! You will be exhausted by the time the show is over. Take some time to decompress.
- Go over your brochures - in the next day or two sit down with your brochures and organize them. Put all the venues you liked together, all the bakers, etc. Research them. Read over your notes. Visit their website and check out their reviews. In each category number your top 3 choices.
- Contact the vendors - tackle each category one at a time. Let's say you still need a venue. Contact your top 3 choices and schedule a tour. Try to do all 3 the same week. Based on the tour or consultation, the reviews, your budget, and your overall feelings for the vendors select the one you would like to work with and book them! If you didn't feel any of them would be a good fit, move on to the next 3. But, don't visit 10 companies of the same service. You will get overwhelmed.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it's that time of year again! We are smack dab in the middle of engagement season. The days between Thanksgiving and New Years are the most popular for excited grooms to be to pop the question. During this time of year 1/3 of all engagements for the year take place. And only a few short weeks after the newly engaged brides-to-be have that ring on their finger, the two day bridal extravaganza takes place! Thousands of excited couples swarm the Austin Convention Center ready to plan their wedding! The show is huge...and to the unprepared bride, it will be overwhelming. Let me help you prepare for the big show!
Kayla grew up in the wedding industry and has grown to love all things wedding. Please enjoy reading her thoughts and experiences as she continues to walk in family tradition.