Making the Most of a Wedding Show

Whether you’re recently engaged or about to walk down the aisle, wedding shows can be the perfect arena to usher in the vendors that will be best suited for your big day. Think of the wedding show as your “One Stop Shop” for finding the vendors that best match the design style and production needs for your wedding. January and February are always the hot months for these industry showcases, making it imperative that brides-to-be prepare accordingly!

As you journey from vendor to vendor, you’ll want to keep a few questions in mind when it comes to pursuing a wedding professional that you’re interested in working with. Having these general questions tucked in the back of your brain will allow you to stay conscious of how well your priorities for the wedding align with their services. Take a peek at a few questions that we recommend you come prepared to ask:CandC

General Questions:

  1. Availability: You’ll want to get a sense for their availability on the date that you have in mind for your wedding before you get too invested in poking around to other questions.
  2. Industry Experience: Find out how long they’ve been in the industry and also find out as much as you can about their general reputation. AKA: Do your homework! Read reviews from past clients and ask the vendor for a few references you can have to ensure that they’d be a good fit for you.
  3. Scheduling: Ask the vendor how many weddings they typically have in one day and make sure that you feel comfortable with the attention you’ll be getting from them when you’re big day arrives!
  4. Portfolio: Seeing pictures of their product or design come to life in a picture is always a good indicator of what kind of outcome you can expect at your wedding.
  5. Fees/Cost: At a wedding show, it is always beneficial to hear a little bit about the wedding professional’s pricing and packages. This will serve as an indicator about how their services will fit into your budget.

Customized Questions:

Florist

1. Can they customize the floral design to the theme, venue, and season of the event? (TIP: Take a look at their portfolio and have them tell you about ways they’ve done this in the past).

2. What other décor and rentals can they provide (aisle runner, candelabras, trees, arches, votives, mirrors, etc.)?

3. Will they deliver and set up the flowers on-site?

4. How far in advance of the wedding will they create the bouquets and arrangements, and how are they stored?

Baker

1. Can they offer design ideas based on your theme and budget?

2. How far in advance of the wedding do they make the cake?

3. How many flavors do they offer?

4.  How much is a tasting?

DJ or band

1. What type of music do they specialize in?

2. Can you provide them with a list of songs you would like to be played?

3. How do they dress for weddings?

4. What type of equipment is available to use?

5. How many breaks do they take?

Photographer

1. What is their wedding photography style? (This would be a good time to review their portfolio of work).

2. How long will it take to receive your pictures?

3. What type of equipment do you use?

4. Are they familiar with your ceremony and reception location?

Reception sites

1. What is capacity for a seated dinner or a cocktail reception?

2. What is the time limit for the space?

3. What rentals are included in the overall rental fee of the space?

4. What is the back-up rain plan (if necessary)?

5. Is there a bridal suite available?

6. How many parking spots are available to the wedding guests?

7. Do I need a membership to access the space?

Caterer

1. Do you specialize in certain cuisines?

2. Can you create a custom menu for the event, or is every menu option pre-set?

3. What types of linens, glassware, plates and flatware do you provide? (TIP: You want to make sure that these items will align with your design style before you commit).

4. Do you provide alcoholic beverages and bartenders?

5. What is the ratio of servers to guests?

Wedding Planner & Designer

1. What kind planning do they offer? Some wedding planners will offer different packages; ranging from event coordination to event design and production.

2. What aspects of the planning do they manage? This will give you a good sense for how “hands-off” or “hands-on” you will be during the planning period. Most wedding planners will cater their event management around your needs.

3. Who will be at the actual event? You want to feel comfortable with who you have managing the wedding day tasks.

Getting the answers to some of these questions during your time with each vendor will allow you to do the most important part of the planning process…feel a connection with the wedding professional you choose! Having the vendors around that you genuinely feel comfortable with will make your wedding day less stressful, more fun, and stunningly unique. Happy planning!

-Sally

http://www.kickstandevents.com

PS: You can catch us and other amazing wedding professionals at Courtyards & Cobblestones on January 12th! Mark your calendars…it’s going to be a blast!

Here’s a sneak peek of the Courtyards & Cobblestones Tour. Watch this film to learn more about C&C! http://vimeo.com/lifestagefilms/candcshow

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