Booking vendors – Are you lost in a crowd?

I don’t know where to begin!!

So, you attended a bridal show (or two or three). You’ve talked to a gazillion vendors, tasted cake and pulled pork, looked at pictures, ran your hands across paper and fabric…and you are now faced with many decisions. But, what do I do first? How do I start booking my wedding vendors?

Booking Vendors

Are you lost in the crowd? Not sure where to begin? There IS an order to planning your day and booking your vendors.

Where do I start?

As a vendor, I know that when I ask that all important question, “WHEN are you getting married”, I will get a variety of answers. Obviously, once he puts a ring on it, the next step is to choose a date. You may even have to choose more than one.  This can be one of the hardest decisions. And, it is made even harder for the budget bride.  A lot of vendors (ACCSVP included) DO offer special incentives for off-season as well as Sunday through Friday weddings.

OK, I have a date.  What’s next?

What’s next?  This may be even harder than the date.  Set a budget.  PERIOD.  Deciding how much you have to spend SHOULD influence that number of guests, the number in your bridal party, type of wedding, etc.  It is much easier if you know how much you have to work with.  And remember, any good budgeting tool will allow for “extras”, such as taxes, tipping, etc.  It all adds up.

I know when…and I know how much.  What should I be booking first?

This is obvious to most, but not all.  Without a venue or venues, you do not really have a date.  Set up appointments and visit venues.  Some venues are booking two years ahead, so once you find the one you love, be ready to put down a retainer to hold the date.  If your ceremony is not in the same location as your reception, make sure that you coordinate the dates prior to making any firm commitments.  Changing dates after putting down a retainer can, in some cases, result in the loss of your retainer.

We booked the church/venue.  Now what?

Now it’s time to book your other vendors.  Officiants, caterer, photo, video, DJ/band, ceremony musicians, stationary, florist, cake, limo, photo booth, dress, tuxes, honeymoon, etc.  And, contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t wait.  Here’s why.  There’s only so much of a vendor to go around on a particular day.  Why miss out?  Waiting won’t save you money.  In fact, it will probably cost you money.  Prices increase year to year, a lesser-expensive vendor will book faster, proms and homecomings are vying for vendor attention, bridal show specials go away once the season starts—it just doesn’t pay to procrastinate.

OK…we have all of our vendors.  Next?

First, enjoy being engaged.  In the scope of your lifetime commitment, it’s a very short period of time.  Second, work at the little details at a leisurely pace.  All night marathon centerpiece-making the day before your wedding makes the day tense.  Take your time…do it right.  It doesn’t have to be stressful with a little forethought and planning.

Booking Vendors and Wedding Planning

Plan ahead so you can enjoy your special day!



You need to attend a Bridal Show…NOW! What you don’t know about shows (and NEED to know!)

It’s Engagement Season

You are newly engaged! Congratulations! You’re finally getting around to that wedding. Let us help. OK, so it’s sort of last minute…that’s OK. It CAN be done. No matter what stage you’re at, you should plan on attending a bridal show.

ACCSVP Engagement Photo

Planning your wedding at a Bridal Show can be a pleasant experience.

So, you’re planning on attending a Bridal Show

What is it like at a bridal show? Well…it CAN be sensory overload mixed into a carnival-esque atmosphere. It’s vendors who have a limited time and space vying for your attention. BUT, it’s an event that can help you cross off all the important details of your day with one-stop shopping. It’s an event that’s meant for couples planning for one of the most important days of their lives.

You may not realize these things about the show. First of all, we vendors pay a lot of money to be at a show. We may seem a little anxious—maybe even a little rushed and pushy. Believe me, this isn’t OUR normal. THIS is our show demeanor, based on the urgency of the event. We want to talk to as many brides as possible and we have 30 seconds (maybe?) to capture your attention. Bridal shows are what fills in our calendar…how we earn our living…how we eat for the next 2 years. It’s a lot of pressure for us. But, that aside, we DO enjoy meeting you, talking with you, and listening to your love stories and your plans for your big day.

Bridal Show 101

How can YOU, the planning couple, make the experience more pleasant for yourself AND everyone else? First, be prepared to answer one basic question over and over—WHEN are you getting married? For us, we have a fixed number of available slots for services. Second, if you’re NOT interested in a service or product, be polite. A little kindness can go a long way when a vendor has been on their feet talking for many hours. Third, if you DO need services, come prepared to book. Most vendors will take credit cards and/or checks, and would love to take care of you at the show…saving you from taking time from your busy schedule for another appointment.

If you DO need some extra time, make an appointment that day.  Make sure you mark any literature you have received from vendors you love—you will have a lot to go through once you get home.

ACCSVP Engagement Photography Bridal

Although weddings take a lot of planning and preparation, you still need time to kick back and enjoy your engagement. Take care of the details at a bridal show.

Preparation is key

A little homework before the show can save you time later. Find the website or Facebook page for the show you are attending and look at the vendor list. Most sites will have links to these vendors’ sites and you can go over what they have to offer BEFORE you meet with them at the show. If you have your questions ready for vendors it will enable you to make educated decisions and give you confidence to solidify your plans.

Follow up

You will receive A LOT of information at the show.  In order to ensure that you can secure your dates with vendors you would like to work with, call them IMMEDIATELY.  Did you love a particular vendor?  Chances are that others did, too…so don’t risk losing that vendor due to procrastination.  As a vendor, my least favorite phrase is, “Sorry, I’m already booked on your date.”  So, take care of those bookings right away.

Bridal shows can be an important AND fun part of the engagement experience, so enjoy your time at the show and use the information you obtain before, during and after the show to plan the wedding of your dreams. That being said, don’t get so caught up in the planning that you forget that the reason for all of this is THE MARRIAGE!

ACCSVP Engagement Photography Bridal

Don’t forget WHY!

We hope to see you at a show this month. Click on the links below and mark your calendars!


January 14th & 15th Wedding Show – I-X Center



The Maronite Center

Mr. Anthony’s