June 12, 2017

Bridal Expo Detox: What To Do After a Bridal Show

What To Do After a Bridal Show

Being engaged was one of the most exciting times in my life, so I remember exactly how you feel. But no one ever tells you going in, that wedding planning is a full time job. The decisions are endless and you’re desperate for direction. You’ve been on a high ever since you got engaged, excited to delve into planning your perfect day. You purchase tickets to a bridal expo, like the Arizona Bridal Show, in hopes you’ll find that direction you’re looking for.  Going in, you have a list of what you’re looking for and convince yourself you won’t get distracted when you get there. Yet, you step foot into the Convention Center, only to be greeted by hundreds of wedding professionals all vying for your attention. Suddenly you’re lost in the sea of beautiful imagery, dresses and decor, falling in love with each new idea you’re introduced to. You think to yourself “they are the one”, until you meet the next.

Now you’re bag is overflowing with brochures,  business cards and samples. You head home and realize how exhausted you feel and how many people you’ve just met. You know it was a worthwhile experience, but admittedly you’re now feeling more overwhelmed than when you started. I want you to know, I totally get it, and I’m here to help!

In this post, I want to share with you 5 tips for what to do after a bridal show. This will be the ultimate bridal expo detox to help you make the most of your experience and have fun along the way! 

1. Go With Your Gut: 

Gather everything you received and go through it with your fiance. Do this as soon as you can after the expo so it’s still fresh in your mind. As your browsing through your bag, some vendors you’ll have fallen instantly for, others you’ll have a good idea that you’re not the right fit for. If you’re having positive vibes about certain vendors and remember vividly something that stood out about them, put their material in your heck yes pile. Neutral feelings or you vaguely remember liking them, move those into a kinda-sorta-maybe pile. If you don’t remember particular vendors at all or their material is uninspiring move them directly to your not happening pile. Every potential vendor on your list should make you feel excited to work with them. If you’re unsure about something but you’re attracted to their business keep them in your kinda-sorta-maybe pile. Put these 3 piles into separate gallon size zip-lock bags and label them so you know which is which.

2. Rest, Revisit and Reflect:

Bridal shows are intense and after organizing your material, you should take a few days to rest. Once you’ve done this it’s time revisit your bags and reflect. We all change our minds and that’s absolutely fine! After all, we want everything on our wedding day to be as dreamy as we imagined it to be. That’s why I believe in taking a break and revisiting the wedding pros you were first attracted to, before you invest any time, energy and/or money into securing them.

  •  As you’re revisiting the 3 bags, it’s time to make some serious decisions. At this point, you will eliminate the kinda-maybe-sorta bag, so you may want to visit that one last. Confirm your decisions from the yes/no bags and then separate the maybe bag until you’re down to those 2 bags. Now you have permission to trash the not-happening bag. They’ve left you feeling blah and uninspired and they obviously aren’t a good fit for your day. That’s okay! You’re moving forward. Now that you’ve both agreed, the vendors in your heck yes bag are the the ones you want to pursue and find out more about. You should be feeling really excited about this now, right? That’s the goal!!

3. Make It a Date:

Order a pizza and pop open a bottle of wine. If you haven’t discussed a wedding budget this is going to be your first step. There are lots of great articles on Pinterest for how to setup your wedding budget, but Wedding Planning 101 is  my favorite for some awesome budget creation tips. Once your budget is in place and you have an idea of how much you have to spend it’s time to pull out the laptop and visit those favorite vendors websites. If their site is designed well it should keep you engaged and answer a lot of your questions. While one of you is browsing, the other can be categorizing the material by vendor type. I suggest hole punching these and keeping them in a binder/planner to organize everything in one place. It’s time to ditch the zip-lock!!

  • Go through what you need to tackle first. If you haven’t selected your date or a venue, you’ll need to start there.  I’m sure you have a wedding planning checklist, but in case you need one this one is great. Keep in mind, venues, planners and photographers book up faster than florists and bakers.

4. The 3 and 1 Rule:

Choose 3 of your favorite vendors from each category and focus on 1 vendor at a time. Remember to you refer to the timeline to make sure your on track with what needs to be booked when. Now that you have your priority vendor in mind, talk about those 3 contenders. What can remember about them, their style, their personality, and how they made you feel? Re-visit their website, social media channels, and connect with them. Communication is a huge priority when you’re planning a wedding. You want to make sure they respond promptly to your messages or that can be a huge red flag.

If you’re short on time, setup some pre-screening phone interviews to narrow down who you really want to meet with in person. You can tell a lot about a person from a phone call, and may not need to waste your time scheduling a face-to-face meeting. Keep things simple. In my opinion, meeting 2-3 of the same vendors in person is all you need. The more choices you have, the more overwhelmed you’re going to be. You’ve already done all the behind the scenes work. Trust your gut!!

5. Have A Blast:

Wedding planning is supposed to be fun! If at any point in the process it starts to feel like a hassle it’s time to step back and take some pressure off. Remember that at the end of the day, all that matters is that your marrying your best friend, your other half. Plan some date nights {no wedding talk allowed} and feel free to unsubscribe from the lists you’ve signed up for. Throw away those uninspiring brochures and business cards you were given on the day of the show. Use these tips to your advantage and you’ll definitely avoid stress and overwhelm. Let bring the love and fun back into your planning!

Are you cruising through these steps and already feel like I’m in your top 3? Let’s setup a coffee date and chat details about your wedding. I can’t wait for us to connect!

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