Jon and Lena with Liza at a bridal show
2015 has arrived and we decided our website needed a new and updated look with easier ways to navigate for our clients! We love the new look and hope you enjoy it, too! Our website is still getting a face lift as well as our business cards. We have new sample albums arriving which will be ready for all the 2015 bridal shows!
Are you recently engaged and need some help planning your wedding? We highly recommend attending a bridal show to meet vendors face-to-face. Bridal shows can be a little overwhelming but I will give you some advice to help you along the way.
What is a bridal show like?
Bridal shows are usually held in a ballroom at a wedding venue. If you are especially interested in that particular venue, it is a good idea to attend the show so you can see the space while you visit various vendors. Most shows are set up so that you walk down a path to meet each vendor. Vendors sign your cards so when you meet the last vendor, you can turn the card in for a chance to win a free gift. Make sure to pre-register for the show you get tickets to attend!
What should I bring along to the show?
Bring your fiancé or maid of honor along to look at all the fun stuff that is on display. We also recommend that you pre-print out labels with your name, address, phone number, email and your wedding date. Many of the vendors do give-aways at their tables and it is much easier to put a sticker on the entry form versus writing the information over and over. You may end up writing your information 50 times! Wear comfortable shoes. I see so many girls who are exhausted mid-way through the show and want to take the shoes off their feet. Heels are really cute but this would not be the time to break your new heels in! You will want to bring a bag/big purse to carry information in. Sometimes the front staff has a limited number of bags that they give out and then you may have to walk around with information in your hands. A bag or big purse will make it easier on you! Bring your cell phone or camera to take photos of information or set-ups so you can remember how something looked. Always ask the vendor if it is ok to take a photograph of their display so you can have it to refer back to. There can be anywhere from 50-75 vendors and everything will become a blur so taking photos to help you remember is very useful - especially if you REALLY liked a certain vendor. I have had potential brides ask to take a photo of Jon and I in front of our booth so she can remember us after the show.
What should I avoid at the show?
Don't avoid the vendors. Each one needs to sign you card! Be friendly and courteous. Let them know if you have already booked a vendor that is similar to them. All the vendors are excited to be at the shows and even if you have booked a vendor, sometimes we simply just want to say "Congratulations!" We are in the business of weddings and find weddings very exciting so we definitely want to congratulate you! I would also say bringing a baby stroller makes it very hard to navigate because there are many people and the stroller can sometimes be stuck due to so many people in attendance.
What do I do with all that information?
Congratulations, you've made it through the show! Now you are at home and have a bag full of information from various vendors. Where do you start? The easiest way to sort through the information is to separate the vendors by category. Put all the DJ's in a pile, florists in another, etc. I would then recommend finding the vendors online via their website and reviewing it. Check their websites to see if the style matches who you are as a couple. Contact 3-4 vendors of each category that impressed you the most and ask to set up consults with them. Most vendors should offer a complimentary consult to go over your wedding day, pricing and your vision. You want to make sure that the vendor you are going to work with is one that you are comfortable with. Make sure you are on the same page and that you like each other. You have to work with that person to a certain extent and you want to make sure it's magic and not a dud. When you narrow down your choices, check their social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Many times you can tell what their personality is like just by visiting their fan pages online. I would also recommend that you check the Knot and Wedding Wire to look at their reviews online. Don't be afraid to ask vendors for some reviews from other clients but the majority of vendors I know should already have that information displayed online.
Can I book a vendor at the show?
It is possible to book a vendor on the spot but keep in mind that shows are fast paced and the vendor will have a hard time devoting a ton of time with you as other brides will be wanting to speak to the same vendor or get them to sign their cards. If you really want to book a vendor on the day of the show, I recommend doing that while the fashion show is taking place as everyone is seated. Another good time to book them on the spot is later in the show (towards the end of the show) or even after the fashion show is over with. Vendors are very excited to be at the show and nothing makes them happier than to see a bride who is truly interested. If you want to know more about the vendor and their services, ask them if they can call you to book a consult. Remember, vendors pay a very big fee to be at the show so they can show off their skills and talents. Nothing makes us happier than to book a bride on the spot or a consult. Vendors spend a lot of money on the booth as well as business cards, flyers and other things they may hand out. A lot of time is spent prepping for the show as well. The reason we are at the shows is to book brides and being at the shows allows you to see so many different vendors all at once! What better way to shop?
Here are a few shows to consider:
January 19, 2015 NIU.
January 25, 2015 Whitetail Ridge in Yorkville, IL.
If you aren't quite ready to start planning in January, you can also catch us at the shows below.
You can register for the following expos here: Complete Wedding Expos
February 8, 2015 Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles
February 22. 2015 Pinstripes in South Barrington
April 12, 2015 Noah's Events Venue in Naperville
April 26, 2015 Eagle Brook Country Club in Geneva
May 31, 2015 Holiday Inn in Schaumburg
August 30, 2015 Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles
September 30, 2015 Pinstripes in Oakbrook
October 4, 2015 Eagle Brook Country Club in Geneva
November 8, Holiday Inn in Schaumburg
Indian Bridal Show