Got a wedding photography checklist started? If not, you should. And the first item of business you need to add is :
I’m bet you are asking yourself…. isn’t going to a bridal show a waste of time? I mean….I have Google.
I know it seems as if sitting in front of your computer and using the power of “Google” is the way to go…. but I assure you it is not. Yes, you can gather a lot of great ideas and pin them to your Pinterest boards… but I assure you, nothing, absolutely nothing beats the experience of meeting your potential vendors in person. In addition you can see, smell and taste all the different products vendors have to offer. Think about it…..will your web browser let you sample a piece of wedding cake, feel that gorgeous silk linen you’ve had your eye on or touch and feel a wedding album that a photographer such as myself has on display?
In addition, attending a bridal show is a great way to gather creative ideas and to ask local vendors questions not only about the services they offer, but their opinions on other wedding topics. For example, you could walk into the Leap Photography booth, browse through my display albums and see a photo with floral arrangements you just love, or see photos where the guests are having a great time at the reception. If you asked me… I’d be able to tell you who the florists or DJ were for those weddings. Attending a show is a great way to learn from the collective experience of the vendors. We’ve been to a lot of weddings, seen a lot of DJ’s in action, tasted many cakes, and worked with many different coordinators. Basically, we’ve seen it all and can give you our opinion on what does…. and what doesn’t work.
OK, I’m in… when is the next bridal Show?
Leap Photography will be at two bridal shows in the month of January. I encourage you to come to at least one of them… if not both. Some vendors are only in one show, and others you’ll have a second chance to visit.
January 6, 2018 — 10 am – 5 pm
January 7, 2018 — 11 am – 4 pm
Location: Boise Centre on the Grove (Boise)
January 20, 2018 — 10 am – 3pm
Location: Idaho Ford Center (Nampa)
What can I expect as a bride?
The biggest show here in the treasure valley…THE WEDDING PARTY SHOW is quite large. It is a 2 day show which gives you the opportunity to go back a second time if you feel like you just couldn’t get through it all. There will be over 100 vendors in attendance plus a number of fashion shows will be held throughout the two days. You will want to budget ample time to collect brochures, talk to vendors, taste samples and watch the runway shows. Make sure to give yourself enough time to get the information you need plus gather the verbal information you may be in search of. You don’t want to feel rushed.
The….. IDAHO WEDDING EXPERIENCE
is the next largest show in the valley. This one day show packs a lot of punch into 5 hours. The show is slightly smaller than the one held in Boise earlier in January. It will have over 50 vendors in attendance. Like the Wedding Party Show, this show also has a number of fashion shows and is a great place to sample food and talk to vendors. I suggest showing up earlier in the day so you can soak in the experience.
1) Someone who you value their opinion.
Ask your fiance to come along….but don’t fret if he declines. Guys just don’t get as excited about wedding planning as we do. I definitely suggest asking your maid of honor to come along with you. It’s helpful to have a second pair of eyes. Also if you have family members you would like to invite…do so.
2) A large bag to throw collected brochures and business cards into.
3) A list of items you really need to look into for your wedding
Like going to the grocery store……it’s easy to get sidetracked while at the bridal show. If you’ve already done some wedding planning, you will want to bring a list with you to help keep you on track.
4) 2-4 sheet of labels which include the following:
A number of vendors will be giving away door prizes. You wouldn’t want to miss your chance to win something and you certainly don’t want to spend to much time writing this info down.
5) A pen/pencil + a pad of paper.
It’s helpful to write down notes about specific things you liked about one vendor or another or products you want to research more…. while you are in a vendors booth. You will gather a large amount of information while at the show. The notes you make while in attendance will help you remember specifics about vendors and products after the show.
6) Your smart phone
Take photos of all the cool ideas you find at the show. You can come back to the images later when you need inspiration.
7) A comfortable pair of shoes.
The show is quite large and you will be doing quite a lot of walking. Comfy shoes are highly recommended.
8) A check book and credit card
If you find a a must-have product or service and you want to book it immediately… you’ll need to have some form of payment with you…..and not everyone takes plastic at the show.
A lot of first-rate services such as photographers, florists, and venues book quickly, so you may want to reserve their services with a down payment/deposit at the show. Some vendors also offer “show discounts” if you book with them while at the bridal show.
Most Important Tip
Now that you have all the information on how to attend a show…. the most important advice I can give you is to have fun! Planning a wedding can be stressful enough. Don’t turn the show into a miserable experience.
The bridal show was designed to not only be a great way for you to gather all the information you need under one roof…..but to be fun as well. So enjoy your day at the bridal show! Taste the cake samples, the mini quiches over at “XYZ” catering and learn a new line dance with one of the DJ’s. You’ll be glad you did.