Or in other words, Bridal Expos 101. Welcome to another Friday Brideday, where we get sappy for everlasting luuuurvvvveee and all things wedding. In case ya missed it, I got engaged and am now wedding planning for a Fall 2016 bash. I already gave y’all the low down on what we learned from planning so far (Hint: an ice luge shooting vodka and/or shrimp will not be present).
- Shop around, in one place.
At bridal expos, local vendors are present selling everything that could possibly surround a wedding (An orthodontist, anyone?). You’ll have the five best cakemakers in town next to the three best chivari chair rentals, a dress shop, and a magician. Talk about a party.
- Don’t feel pressured.
Vendors would obviously love more clients…and they’d love for you to sign a contract before you bounce with another plate of cheese and crudités. Know going in that this is just a fact of the day, and don’t feel pressured to succomb to good sales pitches.
- Have fun with it!
It’s your WEDDING dangflabbit! You know, the “happiest day of your life?” Try as hard as you possible can to not get caught up in details (the tablecloths won’t *actually* make or break your happiness). Resist the urge to go all bridezilla and just enjoy the day.
- Bring the fiancé for easy involvement (and free food!).
If you plan on actually making a few real decisions at the expo, consider bringing along the fiancé if you want his opinion or approval, too. Since there’s always food and drink samplings galore, he won’t be too burdened. (;
- Be ready to price shop.
There are competitors all in the same room. Hear everyone’s schpeal, check out portfolios and price packages, then be ready to negotiate if _________
- It don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that bling…
Not engaged? No problem! I went to my first expo about a month before I was actually engaged. At first, I felt waaaaay insecure, as if everyone and their mother would be judging me for being overexcited and ringless. But no worries – vendors get their $$$ either way, so no one will give you side eyes I swear. It’s actually a fabulous way to just get ideas beyond your four different wedding Pinterest boards!
- Keep your group small.
Ever try planning a wedding in a team of ten? Don’t. Pick a few key people you’d want chiming in on details of the day, but be ready for differing opinions and tastes across the board.
- Get ready to get confused…
…And then go round two and see the light. This is why I went to two different exposin the same area! It was like buying a gorgeous Kate Spade. You see it the first time in the window and your heart goes wild, but you don’t want to dole out the dough irrationally. There are so many other gorgeous designer bags out there – heck, even other gorgeous KS bags! – and you’re only doing this once (right now). So you think about it. Maybe that means coming back another day, or maybe it means walking around the block and coming right back to splurge. Either way, you might feel confused or torn, so don’t fear sitting on things and considering options.
- Be bold and ask for detailed info…
…But be on guard against intense sales pitches
- Bring your check book…
…But keep it in the car. This will ensure you’re thinking every decision through 100% before impulse purchasing something for your once-and-done event.
- Consider on the spot deals.
We ended up with a “free” photo booth (a few hundred bucks value) by putting a down payment on our photographer at the expo. With that though, don’t jump on a deal before inquiring about the vendors schedule for future expos nearby. If they’re coming to another venue near you soon, consider sleeping on it and revisiting their booth to snag the same deal at a later date. That’s what we ended up doing, since we had previously seen our photog – and the photo booth extravaganza – and had time to consider if he was our guy.
Overall, the most important one is to just. have. fun. Don’t let any stresses get in the way – this could potentially be the easiest way to make great planning progress while getting a few freebies and having a blast!
Have you ever been to a bridal expo? How would you plan a wedding fast?
In other news, the wedding is 491 days away, my dress fitting is in three months, and I’m halfway through my bridesmaid asks. Life is good. And the first ever Coming Up Roses newsletter is coming out THIS WEEKEND. There will be real talk and inspiration and fun things galore, so be sure to sign up with your name and email in the lower right-hand corner pop-up box to not miss out!
I hope you all have a fabulous, fabulous weekend! Let me know your plans in a comment below, or over on the Instagram, where you can win $340 CASH, BABY!