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Brides-to-be…What to do After the Bridal Show

Ok, so you went to the bridal show and talked to a lot of people, picked up a lot of literature, saw great fashions shows with the latest in wedding and bridesmaid gown design, awesome wedding cake ideas and so much that you are getting dizzy.  Hold on!  We made it happen, we will help you through it!  Great organization, follow through and planning can turn piles of brochures into a well thought out and perfect wedding day. 

1) Dump & Categorize

Dump your bag out and separate the brochures by category; DJs, cake companies, photographers, bands/live music, flowers, reception halls, etc.  Once you’ve done that, take each pile and pull out the company, or companies,  you actually had the opportunity to talk to.  These will be the first people to review.  From that group, chose one to three companies from each category, paying attention to any coupon or show pricing deadlines, that made the biggest impression on you when you spoke, i.e. personality of the representative, overall look of their booth – samples, photos, etc – and any offers they presented.  These will be the first people you want to consider for your wedding.

2) Contact them

Now that you’ve narrowed it down, the next step is to contact them and set up an appointment to talk about what you’re looking for, what your budget is for that particular service, availability on your date, etc.  The one thing we do not recommend is just calling up a company and asking what they charge.  That doesn’t give you a true idea of what that company can offer you.  Here’s something to think about, just because a company may LOOK expensive, i.e. high quality ads, brochures, booth displays, etc. doesn’t mean they are expensive, that they aren’t willing to work within your budget.  You’d be surprised how many companies can offer you their best work and still won’t break the bank.  Give them a chance. 

3)Research what you need to ask

After you set the appointment, print out  a copy of our wedding
planner  http://www.todaysbrideonline.com/planning_tools.phtml.  It contains great information and just about every question you should ask.   You may want to check out their website too.  Many companies will list their services and possibly a price list.  But don’t let that be the end of your research.  A true measure of a company is not necessarily what they look like online or what their brochure look like, it’s the people and how they interact with you.  Which brings us to the next step…

3)Get to know them personally

While talking with the vendor, make sure everything they will do for you will be written in the contract and that every aspect is covered.  Yes, they know what they need to do, but you need to know too!  They do this for a living and it’s second nature to them.  What you might assume will be included, often times is not and could be an issue later on down the line.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to ask for it in writing!

4)  Time to Make a Choice

You’ve “interviewed” your top choices. Now comes the hard part, choosing that one company that will make your day perfect.  Review all of the information you collected when you spoke.  Take into consideration the personality of the person you spoke to, the atmosphere of where you met, any testimonials or recommendations from others that have used their service, etc and the choice should be obvious.

5) File It Away

Once you have made your final decisions and booked your wedding professionals, don’t throw away your research!  File it away for a future use.  You never know when you’ll need the services of a company you talked to or received literature from but didn’t use. 

Your wedding day is the most important day of your life and the companies you choose to help you celebrate play a big role in making it perfect.  Follow your heart, after all, it brought you to this point and hasn’t been wrong yet.

How to Create your Bridal Registry

jcpcollage21As a soon-to-bride the gift registry will be a nice way to invite your friends and family to purchase items that you need or want for your new life with your husband. There are a multitude of stores such as department stores such as Macy’s, JCPenny, Dillards, Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond, and other small family heirloom shops and in-home demonstration companies that can provide a bridal registry. One stop shopping places such as Wal-Mart and Target also offer gift registries. Creating a bridal registry is simple and can be done in a short period of time.

Set up a wedding registry checklist if you want to avoid getting five sets of cutting knives and multiple waffle irons among your wedding gifts. 

A wedding registry is a system where you and your partner go to various stores and choose a list of gifts your friends and family members can choose from. Setting one up helps you make sure you do not receive items you already have or do not need, and it will help your loved ones choose gifts you and your partner could really use.

Most stores have a wedding registry system either in the store or online. If someone buys a gift, the list is updated, which will prevent another guest from bringing the same item.

Getting Started

Think about the kinds of items you and your partner need and want for your new life together. Some people will want dishes and others may want decorations.

Remember to research the stores you use; each store may have a different set of guidelines and policies for their wedding registries. Choose stores with wedding registries that are easy to use. Ask if the store has multiple locations, online access and an easy ordering process

Wedding registry Web sites have simplified the gift-buying process. Using the Web will allow you and your guests easy access to your online wedding registry when all of you look to see if updates have been made to the list.

Check on the return policies for the stores you’re considering. For example, they may give you cash back for returns from the registry. Other stores may have restrictions on returns and dictate that you have to have a receipt, that the tags must still be on the item and that you can exchange items only in the same department as the original gift. Make life easier on yourself by finding this information in advance.

Also, some stores offer users a discount on items that are not bought. If you choose each wedding registry list wisely and consider what you and your partner really want, you will be able to start your new life while saving yourselves some money.

Ask friends and family members about their experiences. Also, check with bridal forums and magazines for word-of-mouth feedback on stores and their user-friendliness.

How Many Wedding Registries Are Enough?

You want to have enough wedding registries and selected items so that your guests have options, but you do not want to have so many registries that you overwhelm them. Remember to start this process early; you want to give your guests enough time to shop around and make a decision regarding the perfect wedding gift.

However, you do not want to start your search so early that the items sell out, are discontinued, or shift in price. Take your time doing your research and make your selections three to six months before the wedding. Make sure to check back from time to time to see if the store still has your items in stock.

What Items to Choose

Be sure to choose a variety of items in a range of prices. You don’t have to ask for things you don’t want just because they are cheaper, but some of your guests have and are willing to spend more money than others. Let your guests enjoy buying you gifts without worrying about their bank accounts.

Before you select items, look at your guest list. Most people select two to three items per guest. Your guests will have many options to choose from, but they won’t see so many items that your guests can’t make a decision.

Choose items that you want, and take a little extra time to assemble your wedding registry list. This is your chance to ask for things you and your partner really need or desire and will eliminate gifts you’d return or might take up unneeded space. Many people use their registry to receive items for decorating their new homes. Traditionally, people ask for tableware, china and kitchen appliances, as well as bedding and other home-based items. But always keep your and your partner’s needs first.

When you create your wedding registry, also specify you and your partner’s name. Some of your guests may want to personalize their gifts to you. For example, they may want to engrave a picture frame with your names.

If you do not want traditional gifts like kitchenware and throw pillows, try making a honeymoon-specific registry where guests can contribute meals, trips, lodging and small extras. Also, consider asking your guests to donate time, money, or gifts to some your favorite charities

How to Tell Guests

Many stores provide users with cards to include alongside wedding invitations. However, the decision to include these cards is up to you. Some people may think mentioning gifts in your invitations is uncouth or rude, but some people may welcome the information because they won’t know where to start or shop. 

Check out  this Bridal Registry Checklist when trying to decide what you need and what you don’t.