I decided, despite all my preconceived notions about bridal shows, that I would try to go to one. I was pretty sure I would find a lot of cheese-ball vendors that wouldn’t have anything I wanted for my wedding. Boy was I…right…
The first man to talk to us was dressed in a suit and missing half his teeth. I’m not sure, but I feel like teeth are an important thing when you are the front man to your business. He asked me about my wedding, but I could already tell I didn’t want anything he had to offer me. It turned out he owned a photography business, but all the photos were just horrible. When he invited me to look at the portfolios, I don’t know why, maybe I’m a softy, but I didn’t say no. I found myself scanning through albums of the worst wedding pictures ever, wondering how I got here.
This brings me to Bridal Show Caution #1: Don’t be afraid to say “No Thank you, this is not what I’m looking for.” If you don’t want to spend hours looking at things that have nothing to do with your vision or style, don’t be a softy. You are really the one with the power here, if you know they have nothing you’re looking for, just say “No.”…”Thank You.” Manners are important after all. Not to mention, if you are looking at photography and the photographer is offering packages for less than $1000 I would be very cautious about hiring. I know this sounds horrible, and some photographers who are starting out, but are really good, charge a small amount to build the company. But here I am talking about an established company offering $500-ish for the entire day. To me, that is a red flag. That kind of photography will be formulaic, not creative, and look horribly posed. The whole portfolio I looked at had posed photos only, and zero moments captured. Look for a photographer that captures the moments. That is what you and your husband want to remember.
We made our way around the room cautiously trying not to make eye contact with the used car salesmen-type vendors who were obviously just trying to make a buck doing a cheese ball wedding. What ever happened to wanting to put love and care into your wedding? There was, however a moment of clarity. A sweet little cake lady who didn’t bombard us or harass us, but simply answered our questions and offered delicious cupcakes for us to try. A gem in the middle of the dung piles!
This brings me to Bridal Show Caution #2: Don’t assume that everyone at the show is horrible. Just because they seem like they are all used car salesman, doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few people who won’t catch your attention. I realized the people I liked the most, were the ones that didn’t accost me when I walked by their table, and really seemed to care about what I was looking for. Believe it or not, there were some people who, after I explained what I wanted for my wedding, said that they probably wouldn’t be a good fit for me. I was so appreciative of that. They weren’t shoving their product down my throat. Go with an open mind. You may be surprised to find some good people mixed in with the…others.
I did decide to bring my MOH with me, and I am very glad I did. So my last tip, Bridal Show Caution #3: Don’t go alone. Take anyone! It is very good to have someone who can offer you another opinion, or maybe sees something you don’t. Also, it is great to have them there to laugh at all the posed photos, poorly decorated venues, and the DJs who are obviously wearing toupees.
So if you are wavering on the line of whether to go to your local show or not. Go! Why not? At the very least you’ll be entered into a lot cool drawings and may win something neat! And you do get A LOT of free stuff! Keep an open mind and a sense of humor and you’ll do just fine!