Bridal Shows are an exciting opportunity for everyone planning a wedding. You can actually meet the vendors, get a feel of their personality, see what they offer, win free stuff and more importantly, get the discounted rates that many vendors offer. So you save money, win free stuff and feel good about your choices, what more can you ask for?
You can see a sample list of some of the vendors that will show up on their Wedding Professionals Page.
There will be:
- Wedding & Grooms Cakes
- Reception Halls (Venues)
- Honeymoon and Travel
- Health and Fitness
- Professional Houston Disc Jockeys (DJ’s)
- Chair Covers and Table Cover Linens
- Limousine Services
- Dance Instructors
- And many other services offered for you to plan your PERFECT WEDDING DAY!!
So HOW do you tackle a Bridal Show????
Don’t take my word for it, that’s why Jennifer Schafer of Premiere Bride was recently asked to give her EXPERIENCED take on how to get prepared to attend a Bridal Show; Like Houston’s Bridal Symposium Show.
Her tips are:
NOTE: These questions were asked by Kristen Chase of MyWeddingHero.com
Question: What are the top three things a bride should bring to a bridal show?
[Jennifer Schafer] 1. STICKERS!!! Print out your name, address, wedding date, number in party, telephone number and email address. They usually charge brides that go to the bigger shows a few dollars per page of AVERY LABELS, but itâ€™s worth it to take the time and get organized before the event. 2. BAGS! Even though the shows usually provide a big bang for handouts, nine times out of ten, the show bag will break. Invest in a bridal bag that is strictly for your wedding. 3. COMFORTABLE SHOES!! I sound like a grandma, but itâ€™s exhausting to stand with vendors and walk the entire length of a convention center with high heels on. The shows are a wealth of great information and you can even book your entire wedding at one show, however, be aware that you need to do as much research on the vendors as you can so you donâ€™t get burned.
Question: What are the top three things a bride will be sure to see at a bridal show?
[Jennifer Schafer] FASHION: Many girls have just gotten engaged when they go to their first shows. They have no idea what to look for or where to start. I suggest relaxing during the many bridal shows. CAKES: I always love looking at and even tasting cake at shows. The top reason is you donâ€™t have to spend the extra time and gas in order to make tasting appointments, bakers usually have a treat or 2 for you to sample as well as plenty of designs on hand to look at. PHOTOGRAPHERS: At the Bridal Symposium, we have a dedicated showcase for our photographers to show their best wedding portrait. Itâ€™s a nice relaxing gallery and you are able to meander through the photos without being stressed by a sales person. Itâ€™s a way to break up the TRADE SHOW monotony.
Question: What areas of planning should a bride focus on most during a bridal show? (If she should chose between two types of vendors due to time restraints – what should come first?)
[Jennifer Schafer] GET A WEDDING COORDINATOR!!! Budgetary restrictions are always the case because EVERYONE is on a budget. Even those that are spending great amounts of money have budget restraints. A wedding coordinator can assist in finding the best bang for your buck. Organization and budgets are the keys to having a great wedding. I would say another focus would be to have a wish list of items attached to a realistic budget and then add 20% to that number. That is essentially what you will end up spending. It happens every time. If you are trying to choose one vendor over the other, testimonials from clients, accredited organization participation, and certifications along with insurance would be my first priority.
What has changed the most since you started?
[Jennifer Schafer] NOTHING. The fun part of this industry is there are brides of all types and kinds. I would say that big weddings are making a comeback from â€œdestinationâ€ weddings of the past. However, the reality is, there will always be a bride getting married somewhere and she will employ the services, no matter how lavish or simple, of the wedding industry. I also see a shift from the Home Depot brides to paying professionals their price to have a professional job done. Do it Yourselfers are for kitchens and tile, not weddings. Although we are all creative, it costs more money in the end to â€œdo-it-yourselfâ€ than if you just paid someone their price. What I think brides understand now is, it cost your more time, energy, stress and money to do something on your own. Reality: enjoy your day and pay the leaders to deliver your vision.
What is the newest trend you love or hate?
LOVE : Same day wedding video editsâ€¦â€¦for guests and couples to see themselves get married from the videographers perspective or for a bride and groom to see the reactions of the guests at their RECEPTION is powerful. A lot of videographers are getting into same day edits where they have an editor turn out the wedding video montage for guests to see at the reception when the bride and groom are introduced. It is very powerful and emotional.
HATE: do it yourself brides. The quality isnâ€™t there and the bride is beyond a bridezilla and beyond a control freak. I vote, pay the professionals and have a cocktail to relax and enjoy the day.
What are some suggestions to make your booth work for you?
[Jennifer Schafer] Invest in yourself. Hire someone to design your marketing materials and really invest in a booth that you can take to different shows. Itâ€™s part of the branding process and it works. Think of it as your little storefront. Use textures and dacor to spice up your booth. It will attract more bridal parties to you.
Do you have any advice for how to present yourself at the show?
[Jennifer Schafer] My vote is all black. We are in the service industry with creativity flowing all around us. Itâ€™s striking to see a great booth with people dressed in all black ready to serve you. I think itâ€™s classy and you canâ€™t go wrong when trying to hire people to man your booth. This is barring any company logo shirts and aprons which I like as well. If it doesnâ€™t have your logo, dress in a nice black dress or slacks and black shirts. I donâ€™t know, I just like black I guess.
Do you have any advice for creating promotional pieces?
[Jennifer Schafer] HIRE ME. Again, pay professionals that have experience in creating your materials. Again, we are all creative in some way, but I canâ€™t put a bouquet togetherâ€¦..I just know what I like when I see it done. Same with marketing materials. Hire a service and allow them to develop a plan. You spend more money in the long run changing your look every five minutes than you do investing in one you like and will stick with through the years. Follow McDonaldâ€™s. They donâ€™t change their name and look, they blast it out all over town the same with Starbucks. $750 please. Just kidding. We all know what we SHOULD DO, just do it.
NOTE: These questions were asked by Kristen Chase of MyWeddingHero.com
There you have it, whether you are a Bride or a Vendor, these tips will definitely save you time, Money in the long run, headaches and allow you to have a relaxed, stress free, wedding day.
Francisco H. Perez
Your Choice for an Elegant Hispanic Houston Disc Jockey
Don’t Forget to Visit the Bridal Symposium’s Website for more information on times and Location:
September 15, 2007 & September 16, 2007