Kudos to all the brides that have been making the rounds of bridal shows. Indianapolis has a wide variety of events to help you secure all the vendors you may need, and some you didn't know existed. While I was absent from the January shows, that does not mean that I am not currently booking. I just have taken this year to focus more on marketing outside of shows. Bridal shows are very necessary and valuable. I know many of you saw and heard Jan and Jennifer. I know they are amazing and great additions to any show. It is hard to believe that we can offer so many shows in Indianapolis and fill them with such diverse vendors.
Now that the shows are over, many of you are wondering what to do now.
Hopefully at the show, you only took information from the vendors in which you were intersted. This will certainly weed out the large amount of flyers and brochures you received. From there, really decide what you want...photographer, florist, cake, location and then see if you remember what you enjoyed when you met the vendors. Was the price in your budget? Were they available? Did they offer any additional bonus for attending the show?
Once you have narrowed down your search it is time to make some calls and talk with your vendors. I know that sometimes to book your vendor of choice, you need to move quickly and might only be able to exchange and email or two with a vendor, but if at all possible, try to meet with them. Get a feel for their style, their personality. Some people are very surprised when they meet me that I don't answer the door in a flowing ball gown...I"m a little more down to earth than that. But it doesn't lessen my capability. I am a wife, mother, friend, volunteer, and harpist so while I may greet you in a pant suit, I will still give you wonderful music.
Pricing is often what makes the difference for a lot of couples. That is alright. You can still ask for references, meet the professional and ask for samples. Remember they are showing you their best work, so if that is what you like, make sure you say so. I have a current client that I met at a wedding last year and she said "Play everything the same way you played for Emma's wedding." But during our meeting, she heard something played a little differently and made sure that I knew she wanted as it had been at her friend's wedding. No problem and I'm very glad she spoke up about the music.
Lastly, remember that the planning can still be fun and memorable. Don't be afraid to ask other vendors for help in finding other vendors. I know many vendors in several fields of weddings and event planning. It is always beneficial for me to know who I will be working with the day of an event. I know their routine, their staff, and how much time they need. I know the cues that DJ's prefer and the exits of the hotels. This familiarity will allow for a great event.