Houston Bridal Extravaganza–A How-To Survival Guide

The Houston Bridal Extravaganza happened over the weekend. According to its site over 5,000 brides attended to get help planning their wedding. Hundreds of vendors were there to get seen by brides they normally wouldn’t have access to, and although the space is well-organized, it is still overwhelming. So if you went over the weekend, feel free to add to my survival list!

Have a Plan

Going into an extravaganza where there are 400 vendors vying for your attention requires planning. Get with your significant other and know what you need for your wedding. Make a list of what it is you are struggling to find and what you both want from the vendor. If you go in saying “I need a venue”, but you don’t know what kind of venue, where you want it to be, you will be overwhelmed. There are a ton of choices! Everything from elegant and intimate {The Gallery is a great example for this one}, to out in the country {White Oaks or 2k Reserve come to mind}. There are a lot in-between and they all have beautiful displays.

Same thing with photography and videographers–you will find there are a ton, with various styles. So before you go, sit down together and look at wedding images and decide what style you like. Do you like dark and moody {Endless Exposures is a great example}? Light and airy {Christine Gosch is great at this}? Bright and colorful {Stacy Anderson Photography rocks at that}? Or do you want someone who has more of a feel to their images–like soft and romantic or documentary-style and less posed. Thus, having a plan will help you eliminate vendors and help you stay on track.

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Samples

This might be the best part of the extravaganza! There is an almost endless supply of cake samples and food samples! I might be a bit of a germ-aphobe, so when I was looking at these samples, I was pleased to see they were individually packaged in plastic. I got the choice of several flavors and I may have had a few from each vendor. The other cool thing is that both caterers and some venues gave out food samples to showcase their work. Mini mashed potato bars, chicken skewers, you name it. The best food I had was from the La Tranquila booth, their mashed potatoes were glorious!

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Photo Booths

On one side of the extravaganza there were quite a few photo booth set-ups. I especially liked the one in the white camper. It was adorable and a great way to add pizzaz to your wedding. I also saw photo booth vendors scattered around the floor plan, with cute props and backgrounds. I even saw floral background vendors and videographers hosting a photo booth. If anything, this year’s extravaganza was year of the photo booth!

Runway

I am not going to lie, when I was getting married and went to a show in Canada, I had no interest int he runway. But now that dress designers are offering dresses in all sizes, it was fun to check out some designs and see how the dress looked on a person. As we know, a dress on a hanger isn’t done its justice. You need to try on a dress to see what it truly looks like. The runway this year showcased Alfred Angelo, David’s Bridal among other dress designers. I enjoyed Renegade Bridal because their designs had more color and personality in them.

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Giveaways

There are a ton. Each vendor usually has some sort of giveaway and then you have the one the extravaganza is giving out as well. If you have a few vendors you are choosing between, sometimes the discount they are offering for the extravaganza makes the difference. That being said, don’t just shop for deals, make sure what you are getting is quality. Some of the worst vendors I have heard of through word-of-mouth have the best deals at this show and the flashiest booth. They need these tools to book, rather than having the quality of their work speak for themselves. So be wary!

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Budget

You are going to see so many vendors and ideas you never thought of. And you will get excited! But remember all these ideas come with a price tag. So go into the extravaganza with a budget range for each vendor and eliminate from there. This will allow you to get excited at these fun ideas, get the vendors information and see if what they offer fits into your overall budget. If they do, awesome! If they don’t, maybe there is wiggle room and sometimes something else gets cut to make room. For me, if I were getting married, I feel certain I wouldn’t have had a photo booth in my budget. BUT! After seeing that adorable camper photo booth, I feel certain I would have worn a paper bag to the wedding to have it there.

Have FUN!

I almost feel like this goes without saying! You have Starbucks there to get you going, but then once you enter you can have free food, get some awesome pictures of you and your tribe at numerous booths! Plus there is a bar, sure it is expensive, but drinking a mimosa while looking at gorgeous bedazzled invites is worth it. Enjoy the runways shows and don’t take everything too seriously! You are getting married to the love of your life, the rest is just details!

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Houston, TX PhotographerLove my work? Want me to capture you and yours? Let’s talk!! It’s easy, my email address is Christine@cwrightphotographyhouston.com. Let’s have a heart-to-heart, get excited about the possibilities of the session and come up with a plan that is uniquely you! I want to hear from you!