So this past weekend, I went to the Cavanaugh Bridal show with my future mother-in-law. Our first reaction was “Holy crap!” There were more people in one room than we could handle. People walking all over the place and trying to get free samples of cake. Now, don’t get me wrong. When we saw the woman from the Gateway Clipper with the cocktail shrimp, we made a beeline straight to her. However, I was just amazed by the people flocking to the bakery tables. Oh and the chocolate fountain… I don’t think I really need to say more. Once we got out of that first room and were able to breathe again, we moved to the larger room. Again, more people than we could imagine, but at least it was in a larger room and people seemed to be a little thinner than the first room.
I was slightly skeptical about how much information I could actually get from this huge show. I had been to bridal shows before and they were much smaller and did not mearly have as many vendor options. I was pleasantly surprised. I actually found a florist who had the exact centerpiece I had envisioned. And to top it off, they were only $35! I will not name said florist quite yet because I do plan on looking around for the best pricing. But honestly, that is one of the biggest things that sticks in my mind. I just couldn’t believe that I had found the exact centerpieces I wanted!
Not only that, but three of the reception sites I had on my list were there and 2 of them had their appointment books. I was able to schedule appointments on the spot! That was wonderful because we were able to chat about what they had to offer in person before I even booked the appointment.
So what didn’t I like about the show? Of course you had your pushy vendors who ran out in to the aisle to grab you and force a card in your hand. But really, can you blame them? They have to pay to be in the show so I’d want to get my money’s worth too! I didn’t like how many people were crammed in there, but who can really help that?
So if I can offer any tips from my experience this past weekend:
1. Attend at least one of these shows before planning any wedding. You can get a ton of ideas and can learn about a ton of vendors you might not have otherwise known about.
2. Pre-print your name, address, and email on address labels. You can also include your phone, but they do tend to call you numerous times saying that you and your fiance won a cruise… you just have to attend this talk and then buy into whatever it is they are selling.
3. Print and highlight the list of vendors so you can hit the vendors you are most interested in and do not miss them by accident. You can avoid the grocery shopping method of going up and down every aisle this way. I was there for much longer than I wanted because I forgot my highlighted list.
4. Taste the cake. And anything else they are offering. It is worth it. It’s an easy way to see if it is even good enough for you to make an appointment. Just make sure you have enough time between the show and the wedding to burn it all off.