It can be so much fun to take an afternoon with your bridesmaids, groom and any family you may want to bring along and hit up a bridal show or two! Believe us, we’ve been to our fair share of shows. There can be hundreds of business, so many ideas, tastings, giveaways and more. What can be more fun than food and prizes?!
In the end though, the end game is what is important. You are getting married and you are usually spending money (not at DC Centre’s Bridal Show!) to attend a bridal show so you can meet with all of these businesses in the industry at one place. It should be a big time saver for you…should be! Here are some of the tips we’ve picked up over the years for bridal show attendees to get the most out of it.
- Pre-register! Nothing is worse than bring people along with you only to be stopped at the door because you haven’t registered yet. Take the 5 minutes and pre-register online prior to the show so you can drop off your tickets and just walk in and enjoy.
- You know those mailing envelope stickers you put your information on? Time to break those out (with a few tweaks)! You want to put the following on the stickers: Full Name, Address, Phone #, Email Address and Wedding Date. Every time you want to sign up for a giveaway or give your information to a business to have them contact you, you don’t have to waste time standing and filling out the form! Just slap one of those stickers on and you are off to the next one.
- Let’s address a few things in this list. Why should you put your Address & Phone #? Because half of the time something will go wrong with email, whether it is sent to your Spam or it blocks the business. They have no option to contact you then. Give them at least a second way to reach you, just in case. Email is usually the preferred method though so don’t worry about getting a ton of phone calls or things in your mail.
- You will use your email for everything for your wedding. From contacting your venue, to your florists, even your bridal party! Want to keep all of that in order? Make a wedding email! It will make such a huge difference in your life, we promise. Once you are married, you can go ahead and just delete that account and all of the things with it, and they stay out of your regular email.
- Bring a pad of paper and a mini stapler with you. The pad of paper is so you can take notes on the vendors you talk with. After you’ve received information from the vendor, you can go ahead and just staple everything together and drop it into your bridal show tote.
- You may want to bring your check book or credit card that you are using for the wedding. There may be a vendor that you just love and you’ve seen their work and you are ready to book at the show. They may also be doing a deal specifically for attending the show that you want to lock in. Better to be prepared than not!
- Our last piece of advice…Have Fun! After all, this is all about your wedding day!
You see all those adorable photos of pets (mostly man’s best friend) in wedding photos and you love the idea! But is it really for you? There are definitely a couple things you want to consider and things that are no-no’s when including your fur-baby in your big day.
Is your pet such an important part of your life that you can’t even imagine getting hitched without them by your side?
You love your parents family dog, but they may not be worth the trouble to find a way to include them in your forever photos with your new hubby/wifey. Really consider how imperative it is that your pet plays a role. If your special day would truly not be complete without your pet watching on as you exchange vows, then it is totally worth the trouble.
Does your venue allow you to bring in your pet?
No, we aren’t talking about your reception venue. Your pets may be able come to the ceremony but the reception is for the humans. Make sure your ceremony location will let you bring your pet to share in your special day. But make sure they are taken home afterwards. Most reception venues will not allow you to bring in a pet because of the food license so there’s no point in fighting this. Anyways, who would want to watch your fur-child while you rip it up on the dance floor? And you certainly aren’t going to want to keep an eye on the little guy all evening, you’re going to be busy!
Are you able to make accommodations to get your pet to and from location?
You are going to be way to busy to make sure that your pet(s) gets to your photo location, to your ceremony site, is watched during the ceremony and then taken and cared for after the ceremony. From experience, because all of our family obviously played an important role in making sure the reception was set up, the cake, and there for photos we had to come up with alternate plans. In our instance, we had a family friend that wanted to help out on our big day. She was kind enough to bring our fur-children to come get photos and to our ceremony location and then took them home to feed and watch them the rest of the evening. It was extremely generous and the only way we could’ve pulled this off.
Is your pet going to be okay in all the commotion?
It will not be a calm situation for your pet. You may think because it’s a ceremony that it will be quiet and they will be fine but consider all the other things! There are lots of people. So many people! Does your pet do well in those kinds of situations? You have to think about how they are going to feel, too, when putting them in this role. If your pet is so anxious that they can’t stand being around anyone but you and your S.O…it may be a good idea to leave them at home. In our case, we had a golden retriever who just wants to be friends with everyone, perfect! The other one, a small pomeranian is very shy in public. My mom walked with her down the aisle and sat on her lap for the ceremony. On my way back down the aisle I picked up my little love-bug and carried her with me. She was fine the whole time, just very quiet and attentive to my every move.
Okay…so now that you’ve at least thought about these a little bit. Are you ready to include your pet in your big day? Just make sure you plan it out and not wing it, because it definitely won’t work that way. And make sure to think about how your pets are going to handle the people and stress of your big day also!
Are you not quite the traditional bride? Looking for a way to maybe save a little money on your wedding? You have to consider the possibility of having a brunch wedding! It can be so beautifully done and done in an affordable way.
Here are some ideas to consider if you are thinking about having a brunch wedding reception:
- Not sure what to do if there isn’t dance music? And obviously having silence is just…awkward. You can have a DJ, just pick some classics! Maybe having your DJ play songs from the likes of Michael Bublé, Frank Sinatra and John Legend would create a fun yet relaxing brunch. The other option could be having live music. Whether you want a live band, we’ve seen a few bluegrass bands that are definitely fun entertainment or for a more classic and elegant vibe you could go towards a string quartet.
- There may be a full bar at an evening reception but you could have some pretty awesome drink options for a brunch reception. A couple of our favorites have to be the mimosa bar and the Bloody Mary bar. Guests can choose their own ingredients! Not big drinkers? How about an ice tea bar?!
- The menu can vary depending on your favorite breakfast food. Bacon, eggs, quiche, hash browns…what about an omelette station? Breakfast food is amazing! (Can you tell it’s one of our favorites?) Big trend in NY right now? Frittatas! They feel lighter but are still substantial without being too rich.
- The dessert options are endless! Cake? Absolutely. Cookies? Um, yeah! Chocolate croissants? You just can’t leave out anything with chocolate.
- You can also still have all those little traditional moments in your reception if you’d like too! First dance, father-daughter, mother-son, bouquet toss. Since you have some nice music going it’s the perfect atmosphere for such memorable moments.
- The other nice thing about having this kind of reception is you and your guests have literally the rest of the day to do whatever you’d please! Brunch receptions usually happen between 11am-2pm, if you want a breakfast reception the earliest would be 9am. Hang out with your new hubby and relax afterwards, go have a nice dinner that night maybe! Or even better, start your honeymoon early and head out without being super exhausted. Believe us, your guests will thank you for this one! Except for maybe the earlier wake-up call, but we think it’s worth it.
- Just in case you didn’t already have this in mind, brunch weddings are usually less expensive. Bonus! Breakfast/brunch food tends to be less expensive to begin with. Then because it is not “prime” time, the cost of the venue may go down as well.
Do a little research and make sure that you make it just as unique as you are. Brunch wedding have the opportunity to be absolutely beautiful and we always want to make sure that you have all the options when considering what to do with your wedding day. As always, we wish you the very best in your planning! Good luck!
Hello busy brides!
We know, better than most, that sometimes the decision to invited couples to bring their children can be a controversial one. On the plus side, it truly is a family event! On the negative, there is a chance that there will be running, screaming and even breaking.
But there are options, there are always options!
Here is a roundup of some of the best ideas to keep your tiny guests entertained and occupied throughout your wedding reception. Make sure to click on each photo to go to the “How-To” on our Pinterest page!
The oldest trick in the book? Coloring! How about these adorable personalized coloring sheets from Etsy? Keep it all wedding themed, even for the little ones!
Want to get a little more creative? This next idea could keep the kids occupied for a while. How about a custom I Spy Game: Wedding Themed!
Photo booths aren’t just for the adults! Yeah, we said it! Why not a booth for the kids? Or some cute props that the kids would love! How about these super hero props?
So we think there is one more idea that is worthy of being mentioned. And let’s be honest, pretty much anything to do with sweets will keep a child’s attention for at least a little bit of time. But what about a cupcake station? Kids get a chance to create their own cupcake creation, toppings and all! Just make sure to put some mats around the area to keep the floor clean!
We know, we know…there are so many reception venues and they all offer a variety of different services, where do you even start when going to go check them out? We can help!
Here is a list of questions that you can ask any reception venue, the answers are only good and bad depending on what you want. This will just give you a better idea:
- What is your payment policy?
- Can I have my ceremony at your facility?
- Do you offer event insurance?
- Is there lodging nearby?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- How much is required for a deposit?
- Do I pay for security?
- What is the latest time my event can conclude?
- Who does the clean-up?
- What vendors do I have to use for my cake, music, photos, etc?
- When can I bring decorations or drop off items for my reception?
- Can I bring my own liquor?
- Do you have guest minimums?
- What kind of discounts do you offer?
- What is the price range for a sit-down or a buffet dinner?
- Is there a dance floor?
- What does the ballroom rental fee include?
- Is there free parking?
- Are bartenders and servers extra?
- What decorations are available?
- Are there decorations that I can rent?
- Do you do pre-nuptial and rehearsal dinners?
- What about a gift opening brunch for the following morning?
- What color of linens are available?
- What happens to the cost of my reception if your prices go up?
- Do you cut the cake?