Engaged? Now what? How to make the most of bridal showcases without wasting your time
So you have the gorgeous sparkler on your finger, but now begins the task of planning the wedding you've dreamt about since you were five. That begs the question, where do you start?
Going to the right bridal shows and exhibits can make a world of difference, but these events can definitely be daunting. The good news is that bridal shows are a great place to start; they give you the opportunity to meet the best vendors Austin has to offer in one afternoon.
The bad news? They can be a time suck, and you could get stuck wasting precious hours perusing one that isn’t up to your wedding’s snuff. My company has been involved with the Engaged! in Austin bridal showcase for many years because it feels more like a progressive wedding showcase, than a cold, convention center free-for-all. Below you’ll find an insiders’ guide to this weekend’s bridal show, Engaged! in Austin.
Top 5 things to know before you attend a bridal show or event:
1. Make a list of the vendors you still need to book and prioritize which are top on your list. When you make your list, leave space to take notes on each of the vendors you speak with at the show so you can compare once you are home and it’s quiet.
2. Set a budget or at least a budget range for your wedding before you start talking to vendors at the show. The last thing you want to do is fall in love with that florist or photographer only to get home and discover that they won’t fit into your budget. Then you’re not only disappointed, but you will have wasted your valuable time at the show.
3. Make yourself a sheet of labels with your name, address, phone and email as well as your wedding date. This will save you a great deal of time when you are at the show and all the vendors ask you to fill out forms, guest books or “prize entries.”
4. Take a notebook (or better yet a tape recorder) and camera with you so you can document conversations and capture inspirations. Most smartphones have a recording device and camera these days so this should be super easy.
5. Do your homework. Spend an hour on the Internet checking out the vendors that will be there. This will save you a ton of time on show day. If you have spent time on the websites of vendors before you go, this will help you narrow down whom you want to visit and may even spark specific questions you want to ask before the show. It’s far better to spend quality time visiting 20 vendors you know you like, than 40 vendors you know nothing about.
Once at the bridal event, take a look at the layout of the event. If you haven’t selected a wedding planner or venue, I suggest you start there. The venue will be a large part of your budget, and most usually have preferred vendors (such as a required caterer).
I, of course, think having a wedding planner from the get-go is a super smart thing to do. Wedding planners can actually save you money, not to mention time and headaches. We have done this many times before and can help you avoid mistakes that often times can be costly.
See Leave The Details To Me’s design featuring lush fabrics and floral arrangements with a vintage flair, and meet the team at the Westin at the Domain Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012 from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. Tickets $15 in advance and $25 at the doors. For more information visit www.austinweddingday.com/events/asp.