It's Bridal Show Weekend in ATX!
It's here! The Austin Bridal Extravaganza is here! This bridal show is literally THE bridal show to be apart of in Central Texas. Literally hundreds of florists, caterers, dress shops, venues, photographers and videographers, planners, and so much more showcase their business to brides and gives brides (and grooms) an opportunity to eliminate alot of guesswork, games of phone tag, and, not to mention gas and time, while choosing who's going to make their wedding day beautiful and memorable.
The $15 ticket is SO worth it to discuss their day with some of the BEST places and service providers in Austin. Caterers like SLAB, Trudy's, and Z'Tejas will be on hand with some yummy samples for you to try while listening to entertainment provided by awesome DJs like Texas Pro DJ and Groove Line Productions. You can discuss personal training with Camp Gladiator, Look through the racks at Belle Saison Bridal, and daydream about your bridal bouquet with Moore Design Styles and H-E-B Blooms. You can find it all!
BUT....there's typically a but, I'm sorry to say.... it IS a lot of information that's going to be collected, a lot of contact information given out, and a lot of big decisions to make. It can seem overwhelming, but don't sweat it! I have a few tips to help make your bridal show experience much easier.
This is the first year in 6 years I'm not participating in a bridal show. As many of you know, prior to creating and growing CCPhotoFactory, I was employed by a few other photographers in both Dallas and Austin. I've been on hand at many bridal shows and open houses and have discovered a few tricks and tips from brides and other vendors on having a successful bridal show.
First things first, your support system. You're going to be meeting a lot of people to discuss the most important day of your life (so far). You're going to be making a lot of really big decisions for this ONE day....you may want to think about your support system. Some ladies are totally great with going out on their own to make these decisions, some only need their groom, others want a huge entourage of ladies with them. However you need to process your decisions is totally up to you. I've seen brides make decisions with any of these compatriots and I have found that many brides who come with friends generally seem much less anxious, more eager to ask their questions, and have a tendency to spend more quality time with vendors.
Secondly, you want to be prepared. Seriously prepared. You want to arm yourself with plenty of questions for your vendors, a list of preferred vendors, a way by which you can give your information out with ease, and comfortable shoes (I'm not kidding).
To help ease the guesswork for your wedding day, it definitely helps to do some research. The Austin Bridal Extravaganza website provides a comprehensive list of their vendors and the show itself is two days long. You do have an opportunity to explore, gather, then recon. This way you can identify your favorite vendors and go back and speak with them at your leisure.
Of course you're going to have a ton of questions for your vendors. It's the perfect way to figure out who would work best for you. It's definitely not a bad idea to have a set series of questions for caterers, gown shops, photographers and videographers, as well as any venues you may visit. You're going to definitely want to know if your caterer can accommodate your vegan friends, what the general turnaround time for any alterations would be, how many hours of coverage you're going to get, and weather or not linen and chair rentals are included in your venue rental. Be armed and ready with questions.
You're also going to be given a whole lot of offers from vendors if you book at the show or shortly afterward. Vendors want to reach out to you and you absolutely want a way by which you can be contacted. One of the most popular methods I've seen is brides creating a specific wedding email account for vendors to contact them through, then creating labels to hand out to vendors. It's no joke that you're going to have a lot of information sent over to you. Lets be honest, you're not going to want all of that clogging up your email inbox. I would honestly recommend this.
The labels are a huge help because vendors work hard to get your contact information...and some peoples handwriting can be a bit hard to read. Plus, it's clear, consistent information that gives all vendors ease to reach you with new specials and promotions for your wedding day. It's also not a bad idea to use the labels sparingly, only with the vendors you absolutely love...because, like I said, it's ALOT of information that will be sent out to you.
Also, you're going to want to dress comfortably. Don't get me wrong, you're going to want to show off your overall awesomeness, your engagement glow....but you're also going to be doing a lot of walking through a facility with concrete floors. Personally, I'm grateful for the cushioned fake floor pads and carpets we used to take to bridal shows. Totally saved my back and my feet. I've seen brides in all kinds of attire enter the show and get through with ease. However you feel most comfortable, is totally up to you.
Lastly, remember this going in....this super crucial piece of advice will save you SO much sanity through your show season; there is NO PRESSURE to make ANY decisions during the show. Seriously, you may feel a little pressured, you may feel like you should absolutely pick all of your vendors that day....but honestly, there's not. None whatsoever.
It's YOUR wedding day. You and your groom are the ones in charge, so all of the decisions are completely up to you. DO NOT feel the need to ABSOLUTELY choose any vendor today. There will be more booking specials, there is a second day to this show...take as much time as you need.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER TODAY: Have fun.
Your wedding is a once in a lifetime event, you're going to want to drink in all of this experience. Please, enjoy yourself during the shows and take in as many ideas as you can. Keep daydreaming about your perfect wedding...it's just around the corner!
Despite NOT participating in a bridal show this season, I am still offering $500 off all of my wedding packages and $700 off my top package this month! Book your appointment soon! I'm looking forward to hearing from you.
-Caity C. | Owner and Lead Photographer