How to be a bride at a wedding fair
By: Ali Choe
Are you going to the Corpus Christi Wedding Fair in January? Prepare yourself for wedding chaos. You are going to see about 100 wedding professionals who all want to make your big day as special as possible. So to make getting through the room with your sanity intact, I’ve put together some tips for you.
Before you go, you should know…
Firstly, you are going to need some information about your wedding ready to talk to vendors. Make a quick guest list to determine the size party you will have. Have a date in mind – but be flexible! There’s nothing worse than finding your dream venue, only to learn that they don’t have your one single date available. But they will have other options for you. Printing out labels that have your name, phone number, email, wedding date(s) and number of guests will save you from writing this information 50 times.
Come up with a vision. Knowing what you want will help you find the most compatible vendors for you. Gather five to six keywords to describe your dream wedding, and watch your perfect vendors’ eyes light up when you hit their trigger words – “rustic,” “industrial,” “nautical,” “unique,” etc. You want vendors that are passionate about your big ideas because they will be most willing to go above and beyond to create that perfect day for you.
Make a shopping list. Knowing which vendors you are looking for will help you breeze through the room a lot easier. If you already have a photographer booked, don’t confuse yourself – be confident, walk by and continue looking for the vendors you still need.
And possibly most importantly, make a budget! You probably don’t know how much a centerpiece with dahlias and eucalyptus costs, and you don’t have to at this point. There are many tools online to help you narrow down a budget, both overall and for individual vendors. I suggest listing your vendors in order of importance to you (e.g. 1. Décor, 2. Venue, 3. Photographer, etc.) and breaking up your overall budget into what you think is realistic for each category. This will help you find vendors that are more perfect for you and your wallet!
While you’re there…
Bring a friend whose judgment you trust. Your friend will help you remain focused on your vision while keeping things light and fun. Chances are your fiancé wants the same things you do, or at least supports the things you want. So it’s OK to leave him at home with a case of beer for the day. This is a day for you to have fun and dream up all the possibilities of your big day. In my experience, it is more fun to gush with a girlfriend about lace dresses with sparkly beading.
Really try to engage with vendors. Use the keywords you listed, and see who is the most responsive to you. Though you want vendors with really impressive work, you also want to surround yourself with positivity and people who reflect your personality. This will make your big day even more enjoyable. The ones who really give you their interest will likely bend over backwards to create that one-of-a-kind experience for you.
Bring a pen. You will get a lot of brochures that day, so make a little star on your favorite vendors. This will help you remember them when you get home and pull out 200 pieces of paper. You can also make important notes on their brochures as needed. If you already have a dress, skip the fashion show! Most people like to watch the show, so all the vendor aisles are clear for you to get through with ease. You won’t be bumping into others, and you’ll have more time to talk with vendors.
Don’t overwhelm yourself! All the vendors approaching you can be quite intimidating, so just stay focused and take a break if you need it. This is supposed to be a fun day for you to get ideas about possible resources for your wedding – nothing has to be decided immediately.
When you get home…
Rest! You’ll need it after walking around the booths all day. You’ll have some time to discuss things with your fiancé and narrow down your selections over the next few weeks. And if the wedding fair didn’t present you with your perfect vendor, there are more out there! Continue the planning and dreaming of your wedding day – it will be here before you know it!
For more information, contact Ali Choe at firstname.lastname@example.org.