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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.

January is Bridal Show Month!

January is a very busy month for bridal show producers, including Today’s Bride.  We are the largest Bridal Show producer in Northeast Ohio for over 20 years, bringing newly engaged couples hundreds of wedding professionals all in one place!  It’s one-stop-shopping for all your bridal needs.

This Sunday, January 17th will be our largest show of the season at the IX Center in Cleveland.  Over 200 wedding professionals will be on hand, from florists to teeth whitening, Bridal gowns in Henri’s gown showroom to photobooths that will add additional craziness and fun to your reception.  It’s all here!  Beautiful fashions shows highlighting this seasons most sought-after gowns will be at 11:00, 12:30, 2:00 & 3:30pm, brought to you by Henri’s Cloud Nine with fashions from Henri’s, Expressions Bridal, David’s Bridal, Dora’s Bridal & Formal and more!  For the Mother-of, beautiful gowns from Peneventures will also be featured.  Don’t forget to check out the American Commodore Tuxedo dancers showing off the latest in formal attire for the groom too!  They are sure to rock the show!

Doors will be open from 10am to 5pm.  Admission at the door is $10 but you can get a $3 off coupon or buy tickets online for 50% off by pre-registering at www.todaysbride.com.  Parking is $8.

To help you prepare for the show, check out our bridal survival guid by clicking here.  Come to the show excited and prepared!

Bridal Shows – One Stop Shopping

2009-10Facebook Image-2Planning a wedding can be fun and exciting, but with so many plans to be made you’re going to need all the help you can get. Don’t sweat it Bridal Shows may be just what you need.

If you’ve ever planned a wedding before, you know the budgeting and myriad of details involved can be overwhelming. And if you’ve never planned a wedding before, you’ll soon discover the pressure of contacting and contracting with the church, the reception site, the caterer, the florist, the photographer, the videographer, and the musicians – – not to mention ordering invitations, sending thank you notes and finding gifts for your bridal party.

Feeling stressed yet? Well don’t – – whether you are newly engaged, almost ready for the big day, or planning a second wedding, attending a bridal show will save you an abundance of time and significantly reduce the amount of stress you may experience. 

Bridal shows are an inexpensive and timely way to meet and speak directly with a vast variety of wedding professionals from your hometown at one time, in one location! They can help you to get started planning or help you acquire those last minute services to make your event special and unique. 

If you are an encore bride (planning your second or third wedding), don’t hesitate to attend a bridal show. So many new wedding ideas have emerged since your first wedding and a show is an ideal venue to soak it all in.

With shows being a one-stop shopping experience under one roof, a bride can virtually plan her entire wedding in just one day if she is prepared ahead of time. Here are some helpful hints to benefit the most from your bridal show experience:

Establish your wedding budget ahead of time. Make a list of what you need the most and what portion of your budget you wish to allocate to each service/product. 

Plan to spend half of the day there.  Allow enough time for parking, registration, watching the fashion show (usually it lasts approximately one hour), and time to view exhibits before & after the fashion show.  When you get there, go to those businesses who have what you need the most first.

Pick up any information available.  Take some time to look over what you’ve collected once you get home.  Make notes on the literature at the show while it’s fresh in your mind.

Be prepared to make decisions and put deposits down on services. Bring those people who are vital in helping you make decisions, or at least bring someone to bounce off ideas.  Wedding dates fill up quickly once an exhibitor participates in a bridal show.  If you know you definitely want to book with a service provider at a show, they’ll probably require a deposit to hold your date.  Each exhibitor will have its own requirements for payment be it cash, check, or credit cards.  Read contracts carefully and inquire about refund policies before giving any money.

Bring color swatches of the material and ribbon in the colors of your wedding, and even photos of your wedding gown.  This will assist bridal shops, bakeries, florists, and many other professionals in generating ideas to complement your wedding theme.

Bring printed address labels and a pen. Some shows have multiple prize drawing opportunities through the show producer and/or offered by the individual vendors.  To avoid having to write your name, address, phone number, and wedding date 50 times, consider bringing some address labels with all the information on it, or make up your own computer labels that include your phone number (which is usually required for all drawings). If you do print your name on entry forms, write neatly and legibly.

Bring a calendar or date book to help you schedule appointments with potential service providers after the show.

Arrive early regardless of which fashion time you choose, approximately 1 to 1-1/2 hours before the fashion show.  Fashion show seating is typically first come, first serve.

If you can’t attend personally, send your mom or a friend to pick up information for you. You may even still qualify for prizes at some of the shows.

Grooms-to-be are always welcome!  Bridal shows are not just for brides, there are plenty of wedding plans that may require the groom’s input. 

By all means, ASK QUESTIONS! The vendors are there to help you. You are under no pressure to buy from them, so find out everything you need to know.

When used to the fullest extent, you can plan your entire wedding with the help of just a few shows and without having to fight traffic and drive all over town.  How many shows you decide to attend is up to you. If you only have time to attend one show, try choosing a show that is either produced or sponsored by professionals that specialize exclusively in weddings. However, the more of them you can attend the more time and money you can save. And who knows, you might just win a valuable prize!