There’s nothing better than finding a great deal at a bridal show. But the worst is thinking you got a great deal only to find later that you’re getting what you paid for (not a lot). With a million ways to save money on a wedding, and thousands of dollars at stake, every single bride that gets married in Nashville this year will be trying to make the most out of their budget. Bridal shows are a great place to do this—you can sample, compare, and contrast to your heart’s content. But how do you know you’re getting the best deal without getting a second-rate product? I’m glad you asked.
Trust your instincts.
Personal interactions will tell you a lot about the professionalism of a vendor. If they smell like they just got back from a smoke break at the ashtray factory, expect them to show up the same way to your ceremony. Do they talk to you like you’re an idiot? Expect the post-day image selection meetings to go the same way. But if you feel like you’re BFFs meeting up at a high school reunion? This is a good sign.
Remember, vendors at shows are on their best behavior—your gut’s first impression of that best behavior will tell you a lot of what you need to know.
Beware of the new guy.
There are a ton of great vendors that are just getting their start, and giving a new guy a shot can be a good way to get a great price. Just keep in mind that certain things come with experience. When it rains, for example, is your photographer going to have the chops to pull off a change in plans at the last minute? When your Uncle Bob’s boozing girlfriend has too much free beer, is your DJ going to know how to handle her gracefully?
To spot the new guy, look for variety in their portfolio—if all of their beauty shots look like they come from the same wedding, know that you might be sacrificing some polish for a good price.
Don’t just ooh and aah at portfolios, or gorge yourself on free samples—go to bridal shows armed with some difficult questions, and see how vendors react to them. How they respond to the little bit of stress you put them under will tell you whether they can handle themselves under pressure, and will tell you whether they have the experience needed to make your day as great as it should be.
This post sponsored by The Life Lens, who sees your wedding day as a reflection of you. Let us help you capture the best you. You’ve earned it.