Broke-Ass Tag: wedding vendors

3/14

Well, Chris, the girls and I went to our first bridal show, and it was certainly an experience. We’re still in the having- a-tentative-date-but-nothing-actually-planned phase, which is not my favorite place to be as a chronic planner. The bridal show was held at a big conference center in a town not too far from us, so we loaded up the girls and headed down. I had signed up for tickets ahead of time and registered as a bride, so we got a coupon for $2 off the door price, and Chris and I were both given a bag of goodies when we first walked in the door. Overall, I enjoyed it, but there were definitely some pros and cons to the experience.

Pros:

  • You really get to see the variety of what’s out there in your area in terms of venues, photographers, caterers, florists and the all-important cake! It was great to see what a wedding on a golf course would look like versus one that’s lakeside, etc.
  • FREEBIES. We got to sample cake and catering, and most booths had free candy, pens or other small items to try and get you to their table (which made my kids the happiest kids on the planet). We also got coupons, including a $50 off coupon from David’s Bridal, and Chris got a couple of coupons for tuxes from various stores.
  • You get to talk to people and ask specific questions, which is definitely helpful when you have literally zero aspects of your wedding planned.
  • While it wasn’t pretty to see, it was definitely a good thing to see what venues cost and what they all include. I’ve been surprised to see how many venues don’t include food in their wedding packages, which means you have to add in the cost of a caterer.

Alissa visits a bridal show

I love me some free swag!

Cons:

  • It was super crowded, which made talking to any of the vendors really hard to do. I know it’s not the place to sit and really get down to the nitty gritty of things, but it made more than a cursory “ok hi yes your venue is beautiful/your photos are amazing/oh yes I would love to try more of your cake” difficult to accomplish.
  • So. Much. Information. Yes, it’s definitely a good thing to have a ton of options, but for me at least, it got very overwhelming very fast. Yes, we need to get planning, but having so much information thrown at me started to get very panic-inducing.
  • It was hard to communicate with Chris, not only because we had the kids (which I don’t recommend, but it was my day so I didn’t have a choice, and they were very well behaved for being surrounded by people, free cake and candy) but because it’s hard to convey  “oh hell no, that is waaaaay out of our price range” through facial expressions with someone staring at you holding a glossy pamphlet. I don’t have much of a problem saying nope, no thank you and walking away (thank you New England), but my gracious Southern fiance has more of a problem with not wanting to appear rude.

Bridal show aftermath

So much information …

All in all, I think it was a good learning experience for both Chris and I. It helped him to see that there is a bit more planning involved in a wedding than he might have originally thought, and it helped me to narrow down what I do and don’t want in our wedding.

What were your takeaways from bridal shows? Did you learn anything about yourself and your wedding planning in the process?

  • 1/30

    Sponsored Post Disclaimer

    Essence Photography

    Credit: Essence Photography

    Wedding planning can be stressful enough with plenty of time to plan, but when you’re short on time and also short on the perfect vendors to fit your vision and budget, the stress can get real and real fast.

    Perhaps your ideal photographer booked up quickly or ended up being outside of your budget, and you put off your search until you could dedicate more time to finding the right fit — and now you’re less than six months away from your big day and you’re still photog free.

    Or maybe you just don’t want to wait to get hitched, but you don’t want to elope, either. It can be tough to find all the pieces to the puzzle as time ticks away.

    Stephy Wong Photography

    Credit: Stephy Wong Photography

    Enter: Last Minute Wed, a website that bills itself a mix of Groupon and a larger traditional wedding website where you can find talented pros to help make your big day come to life. Created by a husband and wife team, Last Minute Wed is a one-stop-shop for wedding deals of all kinds, ranging from coordination and planning to photography to hair and makeup and beyond.

    Susan Shek PhotographyCredit: Susan Shek Photography

    Whether you’re taking your damn time and have a year to go before you walk down the aisle or you’ve got a fire under your feet and are less than six months out, you’ll find customized deals exclusively on Last Minute Wed to help you get all the little details in order and within your broke-ass budget. Simply use Last Minute Wed‘s wedding concierge page to specify which wedding professionals you’re in search of and when your big day is and then let them come flocking to you with deals catered to you and your nuptials.

    Monika John Photography

    Credit: Monika John Photography

    Don’t think that just because you’re working on short time you need to sacrifice quality. Last Minute Wed allows amazingly talented professionals to share their unbooked dates so you can work with the very best without spending the very most.

    Head on over to Last Minute Wed to check out the deals in your area or connect with vendors to receive your own custom offers.

    christen
  • 11/22

    food

    And other yummy treats! I detailed our food plan a while back, and if you recall, I was missing a fairly important detail: the total cost. We worked with our caterer to come up with the perfect menu, and we had a general price range of $12-$15 per person. We never had a contract and we didn't have to pay any sort of deposit. Kinda…

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    8/5

    Etsy bomobob ferris wheel carnival photograph

    One of the main requirements that Russel and I had when it came to choosing a venue was the ability to choose any caterer/food option we wanted. There were several reasons for this: 1) You can't have a carnival wedding without fun carnival food and I don't think most traditional caterers are down with all fried everything; 2) We knew that a lot of companies…

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    7/22

    Ring Security Polo Shirt by TheKnottedPalm

    Ring Security Polo Shirt, $22+ by Etsy seller TheKnottedPalm Will your ring bearer be the only security at your wedding? Hey guys, keep your advice questions coming! Dear Lisa, My MIL says I need to hire security for our wedding reception, but I don't really want to pay extra for security and it's a squeeze for our budget, plus I think it would offend our guests. Do…

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  • 7/20

    fairground

    And that's okay! We're a little over two months out from our wedding, so Russel and I decided to check out the progress at our venue this past weekend. It was actually a triple-duty trip to Amish country -- we worked on our invitations, stopped by the fairgrounds, and spent QT with my parents. Our summer has been insanely busy, so we haven't been able…

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    6/9

    owning your wedding

    The thing with planning a wedding that gets to a lot of couples is that it feels like there are so. many. decisions. that, in the grand scheme of things, seem pretty inconsequential, but when it comes to the event that is your wedding actually make a big difference. It really is OK to waver back and forth between linen colors and wonder if you should…

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    5/20

    Etsy TheAngelPaperie These are My People Quote on Canvas

    Quote on Canvas available from Etsy seller TheAngelPaperie I recently re-shared a post I wrote last year about fear-mongering, shaming and budget weddings because I've been noticing a trend that concerns me -- not necessarily among our readers, but more among wedding businesses. Recently on BAB's Facebook page, one of our advertisers was harassed and bullied due to the nature of her business. See, she…

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  • 5/17

    skid_row_hotel

    Photograph available from Etsy seller StovallPhotography Whelp, BABs. Turns out the hotel contract that I raved about in my previous post got pulled. Last week Monday, I gleefully took my lunch hour to walk up to the hotel to drop our contract off. The hotel was more beautiful than the pictures. The historic look of the hotel would be perfect for our photos. I ended…

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