When the euphoria of the proposal starts to fade, you then begin to realize… You have to plan a wedding… Where do you begin? What all do you need? It costs how much?!?!? Wedding expos are a great place to begin, or even to wrap up loose details. Wedding professionals in your area are all under one roof for your planning pleasure. How do you make the most of it? Here are a few tips to get you through.

1.Bring your support group: Is your fiancé opinionated? Bring him along! Is your MOH your go to girl for decision making? She should be there. Is there someone helping you cover expenses? Have them come too.

2.Be prepared: Most wedding expos will give you a bag to collect all the vendors information, if they don’t then you should definitely bring one! Have a notebook to take notes, it’s going to be hard to remember later what each vendor said. A lot of booths have giveaways, enter all of them quickly by printing out stickers with your information: Your Name, Finances Name, Wedding Date, Email, and Phone Number.

3.Communication is key: Know what you have booked already, and what you don’t. For the services you are looking for, have a list of questions to ask the vendors (and write down their responses) to easily narrow down the possibilities of who you might hire.

4.Bring your check book: Several vendors will give discounts for the day of the show. (Personally, I always give 10% off to anyone that signs a contract that day and puts down their deposit during the show) You could save $100s by making decisions that day! But how do you make that decision? By knowing what you’re looking for, having that list of questions to narrow down the vendors, and taking time to talk to and get to know that vendor.

After the Show

5. Filter and filter again: The show is over, and you have a bag full of information. What do you do now? Start by sorting by category: Venues, Photographers, DJs, etc. What speaks to you? If you’re looking at a photographers brochure, and you like their portfolio then set that brochure aside. Now that you have it narrowed down to a handful, check out their websites and social media- Do you like their full portfolio? Do they have the packages you’re looking for? Does their personality and style seem to click with you?….. Is it time to choose the vendor now? NO! Narrow it down to 2 or 3 in each category, and go meet them in person.

6. Interviews: Ok, so you’re meeting those vendors in person now, hopefully at their location (venue, studio, office, etc.) now what? Bring your list of questions, tell them about yourself, look at their work and location, but mostly just talk. If the vendor feels like an old friend, but is still professional, and you like their work then you’ve found the right person!!!

I hope this helps you on your wedding planning journey. Don’t get overwhelmed, every vendor is there to help you. If you’re in the Southwest Missouri area, come talk to Gamble’s Photography at the All About Weddings Show and Met Bride Expo! We’re in both the August and January Shows. Check out our wedding photography before you come, if you’re looking for a photographer of course 😉