Yesterday was a dreadful wintery day here in Minnesota. Granted, the snow is beautiful when it sticks to the trees, but it’s not beautiful when you’re trying to get around town…. and to a bridal fair, which was exactly what I was trying to do with one of my bridesmaids.
Yesterday the Minneapolis Convention Center hosted the Unveiled Bridal Show. Originally I was supposed to go to this event with my soon to be mother-in-law, but due to the weather, she was unable to make the 2 hour trip north. So in her place, I took one of my very dear bridesmaid (she gets hauled along to lots of things for my wedding – I hope she doesn’t mind!). I’m extremely glad we made the trek out because I feel like I saw a lot and was able to meet some new vendors I hadn’t looked into previously – namely photo booths, florists and bakeries.
I haven’t been to an Unveiled Bridal Show previously, so I was pleasantly surprised when I realized how large it was – there were three spaces filled with vendors, which was a little confusing, but definitely fun to see. There were a variety of vendors to meet and chat with – from florists, to photographers, to bakeries, to bridal salons and tux rental shops, amongst many other categories. Because I already have my venue, caterer, photographer, dress, bridesmaid dresses and DJ taken care of, I really only needed to focus on florists, bakeries and photo booths.
The first stop we made was at a local bakery/catering company that was very reasonable in its pricing. I really want to have cupcakes for our wedding,with a small one- or two-tier cake that we can cut and save the our one-year. Most places I’ve looked into charge anywhere between $2-$4 each cupcake, which will break my budget due to my large guest list. This bakery starts at $.79-$.99 a cupcake, which is way more reasonable. And they gave me a free sample cupcake to take home – it was DELISH!
After some roaming, we stopped to talk with some photo booths – a service I’ve wanted for my wedding even before I got engaged. I think they’re just so fun! This was a great bridal fair to be at, because I feel like every local photo booth business was under one roof – and they all had a booth there to try out. My friend and I got our share of pics – which was so fun! It was also great marketing for them, and a great way for us to decide who our favorites were. When we finally narrowed it down to two companies, I had to negotiate my way to a down payment, a chance to back out in the event the fiance doesn’t agree with my decision, and the total hours they’re there for (5 total – I’m proud of that one!). They were super accommodating so I gave them my money right then and there – talk about impulse spending! The company we went with is called the Mobile Photo Booth. Their booths are super cute and retro and offer lots of extras with their package – like a logo at the bottom of each strip, 2 print outs for each trip in (one for the group and one for our guest book), a guest book with all the fixings, props, an attendant and loads of fun! I’m so excited for this one!
In addition to the bakeries and photo booths, I focused on florists. I already have somewhat of an idea on what I’m looking for in terms of centerpieces, and feel I’ve chosen a low cost option that’ll look great (hydrangeas). I’m also pulling in my accent color (lime green) in through my flowers, so I wanted some insight on flowers that would look good. Through chatting with most of the vendors, it’s apparent that they all price about the same… which I thought was reasonable until I calculated the numbers with my mom. Holy Peony, flowers are so expensive! If only our guest list wasn’t so massive, it would be more affordable! I’m going to need to do some extra research to figure out how I can keep some costs down – candles maybe?
Overall, my experience at this wedding fair was a productive one. I feel like I was able to cross some items off my research list, as well as my to-do list (the photo booth). There are some things I just can’t stand about the fair though – mainly the need for companies to hound you for your email and phone number. As a marketer, I get it, as a consumer, I just want to flip the bird and walk away. My email is loaded with enough junk, I don’t need you sending me ten emails a week and calling me 4 other times a week. Talk about annoying. I’ve found that it’s best to be honest and tell them you don’t want to give them your information – especially if it’s for a service you already have booked or don’t need.
That’s all for my first bridal fair experience (well, at least as a bride-to-be). Be sure to stop back later this week for more great posts – like detail on my trip to Vegas that’s coming up!