July/September 2014

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Bridal Show Boot Camp

Posted: Friday, Jan. 17, 2014

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Ashleigh has been living in Charlotte since 2008 with her oversized yellow lab. She is a communications professional, grad student, runner, and lover of all things wedding! After attending 13 weddings in three years, it's now Ashleigh's turn to be at the altar. Join her as she blogs about her adventures in step-by-step wedding planning and tips for other brides-to-be!

Calling all engaged couples! The Bridal Showcase is being held on January 26th, 2014 at The Charlotte Convention Center. Bridal shows are a great opportunity for you to not only meet potential vendors, but to get ideas for your own big day. To prevent you from being overwhelmed on while you’re frolicking from vendor to vendor, here is a checklist we have compiled to help you stay organized and on track:

Buy your tickets online in advance instead of on the day of the show – this will save you money and guarantee your entry!
Scope out the vendors and exhibits BEFORE the event and determine who you are most interested in talking to and locate those vendors FIRST before you stop at all the other booths
Print labels with your contact information on them to use at the vendor’s booths so that you don’t get carpal tunnel writing your name all day long (you can order these straight from the registration page!)
Make a list! If you have questions, dates, examples/ideas, write them down and bring them to share with the vendors – they’ll be able to tell you if they’re available, able to do what you have in mind and answer your questions (consider this a free consultation!)
o Questions to consider: will they travel? Do you have additional meetings/consultations for free? Deposits? Availability? Do they have assistance with their service on your big day? List of references?
Take a notebook! Keep track of who you’ve talked to, who you are interested in, and any time-sensitive information such as deposit dates, booking dates, or follow up meeting dates – also, TAKE PICTURES! It will help you remember what you loved (floral designs, gowns, cakes, etc.)
Grab your groom, since this showcase is man-friendly, and promise him time to hang out in the “Groom’s Lounge” with games and drinks – and also use the opportunity to get his input on vendors and ideas
Register for the BIG giveaways – especially from Carolina Bride vendors such as Indigo Photography, Lily Greenthumb’s Wedding & Event Design, Sky’s the Limit Cakes, and more!
Have some fun! Every vendor at the show is going to be happy for you and also wanting to be a part of your big day. Make sure you talk to the ones you wanted to get face time with, and then stop by some others that you aren’t as familiar with to get more info. This is a great opportunity to see how you mesh with the vendors and if you are on the same page. Consider it a first date, and hopefully afterward, you’ll know if you want to see them again or not!

Plan a recap date afterward to discuss and sort all of the information you just received. It’s a great time to write down some additional notes (while it’s still fresh) on the vendors you loved – and to toss the information from the ones you don’t plan to use.

We’re giving away two tickets to The Bridal Showcase!

Follow us on Instagram (@CarolinaBrideNC), share your favorite feature from our Jan/March issue and tag us (@CarolinaBrideNC) and use hashtags: #carolinabride and #TBSJan2014 to be entered to win. Good luck! We hope you see your smiling face on the 26th!

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