I was at the Wedding Fair this weekend, having a stroll around and looking at all the fantastic booths. I love the Wedding Fair, the “BIG” show and judging by the crowds, I am not the only one. In my travels through aisles of table settings and DJ’s, I bumped into a gal who I used to work with. She was there with her fiancée, brave fellow, and we got to chatting about his experience that day. He said something I thought was interesting (possibly as a joke) – he said he had hoped they would just walk out of there with their entire wedding planned. Oh, buddy – don’t we all.
I started thinking about it – could you really plan your ENTIRE wedding at a wedding show? Are there brides who power up, crack their knuckles and at the end of the day, come out with a good portion of their wedding done? Answer: with the right preparation, yes, I think you could lock down the majority of your wedding needs at the Wedding Fair and I also think you could come out with some great deals to boot.
By the right preparation, I don’t just mean bring your cheque book and a day planner. I mean lists and research – elbow grease. Come prepared; know what you want and who you’re looking for: what vendors you want to see and how much you are realistically ready to spend. I consider myself rather efficient when it comes to organization – and even the idea of that type of pre-planning makes my knees slightly buckle. You need help – I need help – we could all use a little help.
If you really wanted to get things done at the Fair, the best case scenario would be to hire a wedding planner and bring’em with you. That’s right – pay them to come with you, booth to booth, meet their contacts and see what the two of you can come up with, right on the spot. With a professional at your side, who understands what you need, what you’re looking for, and how much you’re willing to pay, you might be able to save some serious stress – and serious cash. Unless your wedding planner is a vendor at the show, this should not be a big deal for them to do. This is a great chance for them to strengthen their professional relationships by bringing their contacts business – your business.
If you can’t hire a wedding planner or a wedding coordinator (not all of us can!) – what is going to be the next best thing? I’ll tell you – it’s called Google Docs. I’m serious. Google Docs Weddings has 21 fantastic different templates from a request to update your address book ( where email recipients simply fill out a form and it pushes all the information into a neat and tidy excel spreadsheet) to templates that track all of the wedding dresses you’ve tried on. Another great feature? With Google Docs, you can share the docs online – start a spreadsheet of the dresses you’ve tried on, share the spreadsheet with your bridesmaids over email so they can go into it online and then help you rank the dresses you liked best. Then use the spreadsheet to schedule the next time you’ll all get together to try on dresses again. And again. And again. It is the best part. And the best part about Google Docs? It’s free. Not a work often heard in the wedding world.
We can’t all have a wedding planner – but that doesn’t mean we can’t all be organized and it doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of great events like the Wedding Fair. These vendors are there to make a deal – so get organized, get a spreadsheet going and go make your dream wedding happen.
Because photos of Google Docs are boring, here are some of the photos I took this weekend of some of my fav table settings (names of vendors coming!) There are tons more great photos on their Facebook page too.