5 British Royal Wedding Traditions You’ll Want to Borrow

5 British Royal Wedding Traditions You’ll Want to Borrow

The countdown to the most anticipated wedding of the year is underway. Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle are just hours from tying the knot at St. George Chapel on Saturday, May 19, in what is guaranteed to be a lavish ceremony with a refreshingly modern spin. No matter how Americanized the royal wedding may be, there are still some time-honored customs that will likely be by the book, if only at the behest of the Queen. Luckily, you don’t have to be royalty to incorporate them into your own fairytale nuptials. Consider these British royal wedding traditions your “something borrowed.”

Tiaras

Tiaras are an emblem of the British royal family, and Queen Elizabeth II has on   e of the most impressive collections in the world. Typically, it’s under lock and key, but royal weddings offer us a rare glimpse of the crown jewels. Remember when Kate Middleton married Prince William in April 2011 wearing the Cartier Halo tiara, on loan from Her Majesty the Queen? It featured a whopping 1,311 diamonds! Rumors are circulating that Markle may don the Strathmore Rose tiara, the Lover’s Knot tiara, or Princess Diana’s Spencer tiara, which she wore during her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles.

 

If you’re going to invest in a bridal tiara for your own wedding, plan well in advance. The key is finding one that complements your dress and doesn’t compete with it. You’ll also want to consider the venue, the theme of the wedding, your face shape, bridal hairstyle, and even your height. (Yes, there’s a lot that goes into one little tiara!) Often, bridal shops or expo vendors will have a selection on-hand for you to try. If you’re worried about wearing the tiara again, there are variations that collapse and turn into brooches. In short, there’s something for everyone!

Morning Suits

In the States, “black tie” usually implies a tuxedo for men no matter what time the wedding festivities begin. But across the pond, men often wear morning suits for daytime formalwear. Expect to see many of the notable male attendees at the royal wedding in a cutaway tailcoat, a waistcoat (vest), trousers, and a 4-in-hand tie. Gloves, canes, and top hats are optional, of course.

A morning suit is a great alternative for formals when the groom and groomsmen are planning on renting. Because, let’s face it, a wedding is one of the few times a man can really get away with this.

Fruitcake

A fanciful fruitcake always takes center stage at British royal weddings. In fact, they’ve been a staple since the medieval period. Prince William and Kate opted for two cakes when they said “I do.” The pièce de résistance was an eight-tier fruitcake created by Fiona Cairns that was made with cherries, raisins, orange marmalade, currants, and brandy. A second dessert came in the form of a simple chocolate biscuit cake that was said to be a favorite of both Queen Elizabeth II and William.

Earlier this year, Kensington Palace released a statement that Prince Harry and Meghan were bucking tradition in favor of a more “Americanized” cake made with organic Amalfi lemons and English elderberry. This delicious confection was commissioned by Claire Ptak, of hip East London shop Violet Bakery, who will top it with buttercream icing and decorate it with fresh flowers. That being said, it’s still an English wedding. We’ll be shocked if there’s not a fruitcake of some sort hiding in the corner.

For your special day, we have two words for you: groom’s cake. And that takes care of that.

Elaborate Hats

British wedding etiquette dictates that women who attend the ceremony should wear hats or fascinators. The cardinal rule? Bigger is better. Back in the day, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie made waves for their over-the-top headwear at Prince William’s nuptials, and we’ll likely see more where that came from on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day.

If you’re planning a formal wedding, a garden soiree, or even a themed event, you may want to consider adding headwear to the dress code specifications. However, if you’re getting married in a church, be sure to check their guidelines before mailing out the invites.

A Sprig of Myrtle

According to Kensington Palace, royal wedding florist Philippa Craddock will be using locally-sourced foliage from native trees for the decor, along with seasonal plants, like white garden roses, peonies, and foxglove. No doubt a sprig of myrtle will also be on the docket. This tradition dates back to Queen Victoria, who received myrtle from Prince Albert’s grandmother and planted it on the grounds of the Osbourne House on the Isle of Wright. This same myrtle plant has provided clippings for the bouquets of royal brides, including Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Victoria, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, and Kate Middleton. Myrtle symbolizes love, luck, and prosperity.

Since royal decorum isn’t a factor you’ll need to consider, you can sprinkle in myrtle wherever you please. Perhaps you’ll want to use it in the groom’s boutonniere or your mother-in-law’s corsage. It’s also a sophisticated filler for garlands and tabletop centerpieces. The options are endless.

 

 

 

Want to Give Your Bridesmaids the best gift? Check out our list!

On your journey to plan the perfect wedding, did you remember to plan the perfect gift for your favorite women?

Although not “REQUIRED”, it is a super good idea to give your bridesmaid some extra love and pampering. After all, they are helping you make your wedding perfect, right? (hint: bridal shower, bachelorette party)

You can give your bridesmaid a gift during any phase of your wedding- bridal shower, bachelorette party, etc. In my opinion, the rehearsal dinner is the perfect time. Everyone is more relaxed and looking to have a good time.

If you are having trouble coming up with the perfect bridesmaid gift, check out our list. You might exactly what you want!

We have split the list into different categories for easier browsing.

 

Gifts to Pamper

 

 

  1. Silk pajamas, a comfy robe

  2. A gift certificate to a local spa, hair salon, or boutique

  3. Monogrammed set of bath towels

  4. A designer clutch, handbag or makeup ba

  5. A perfume gift set

Gifts that are Handmade

 

  1. Soaps or scented candles

  2. A photo album of the event

  3. Homemade desserts

  4. A framed picture, poem or something personal to you

  5. Something they can wear- knitted scarves, hats, gloves etc.

Gifts to Entertain

 

  1. A subscription to something they love

  2. Tickets to a show, event or sporting event

  3. Headphones in their favorite color

  4. A popular book

  5. An awesome bottle of wine

 

Hobby Gifts

 

  1.  A gift certificate for an introductory class like dancing, gardening or cooking

  2. Workout clothes/gear

  3. A new cookbook

  4. Tools or supplies for their favorite hobbies

  5. Subscription to a magazine dedicated to their hobby with a matching gift

 

Remember, they are your bridesmaids. You know them better than we do! Be creative with the gift, have fun with it.

If you still need help planning your wedding, or want more ideas, check out one of our Bridal Expos! They are located across the country.

For ticket information go here: /get-tickets/

 

Leave us a comment and tell us what you gave your bridesmaids as a gift. We would love to hear your stories!

Until next time!

~Sarah A.

 

 

3 Spring Wedding Trends You Need To Know!

One of the highlights of every Great Bridal Expo is the chance to check out new wedding dress trends, including a live fashion show where you can see models displaying some of the hottest new designs from the world’s best designers. So what can you expect at bridal shows coming up this year? Here are a few of the spring wedding fashion trends that you need to know.

 

The Meghan Markle wedding dress effect

 

If there is one event this spring that will change the look and style of wedding dresses in 2018, it will be the upcoming Royal Wedding between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. The name of the designer who will create the bride’s wedding gown has not yet been publicly announced, but the British media are reporting that the choice will come down to London-based Roland Mouret and the Australian-born duo Ralph & Russo (Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo), who designed Meghan’s absolutely stunning $75,000 couture engagement gown. You’ll definitely want to keep your eyes on Windsor Castle on May 19. Within days of the wedding, you could start hearing stories about “knockoff” royal wedding dresses hitting the market.

Romantic lace and floral prints from the new H&M Wedding Shop

 

If paying $75,000 for a couture gown is, well, a little out of your budget, how about the opposite end of the spectrum? Scandinavian fast-fashion retailer H&M, known mostly for its affordable fashion options, is branching out with a Wedding Shop. One of the highlights that the media is talking about right now is an affordable version of the wedding gown that the Duchess of Cambridge wore to her wedding – it’s a long lace dress with sheer lace sleeve and a low neckline. But the H&M Wedding Shop is not just for brides – there are plenty of budget-friendly options for bridesmaids and just about anyone attending a spring wedding, including a few romantic lace stunners and floral prints. H&M usually has its hands on the pulse of the fashion industry, so these dresses might give you a good idea of what to look for at the Great Bridal Expo.

 

Non-white wedding gowns are now on trend

 

This one might be a shocker, but fashion shopping site Lyst.com just released its 2018 Wedding Fashion Report, and one of the major trends in the report was the preference of women for non-white wedding gowns. And we’re not just talking about off-white or ivory dresses, either. Three of the hottest colors of the season are rose, red, and yellow. And if you’re feeling particularly fashion-forward, some of the world’s best designers – including the highly-acclaimed Reem Acra – are now showcasing black wedding gowns. Other trends noted by Lyst include white jump suits and pant suits for women instead of gowns.

 

One thing is certain: there is going to be a lot of change and innovation happening in the wedding dress market this year, and one of the best places to get ahead of those trends is by attending the Great Bridal Expo, where you’ll be able to meet some of the exhibitors who are showing up in bridal magazines and being featured on fashion websites.

 

4 Tips To Make the Most of Your Experience at the Great Bridal Expo !

 

Attending the Great Bridal Expo is a great way to start planning your wedding. For brides, attending this event can be a way to check out new wedding gowns all in one place, as well as a convenient way to find out more about parts of the wedding experience that they might not have even thought about – such as catering services or floral arrangements.

 

To make the most of your experience at the Great Bridal Expo, here are several quick tips!

 

Tip #1: Plan in advance which exhibitors you want to see first

 

When you first arrive at the Great Bridal Expo, you might be overwhelmed by all the exhibitors and all the events planned throughout the day – there’s a lot packed into each bridal show! As a result, you’ll want to do a little advance planning to make sure that you get to visit all the booths and vendors that you need to see. The Great Bridal Expo venue is divided into different themed areas (e.g. gowns, venues, catering, honeymoons), so it’s actually easier than you might think to come up with a general plan of attack. Just pick up a program guide for the Great Bridal Expo and highlight your “must-see” exhibitors at the event.

 

Tip #2: Ask plenty of questions

 

Each booth is staffed by a knowledgeable, friendly representative of a company, so why not take the time to stop by and ask a few questions? Most brides tell us that they learn more in a quick 5-minute conversation than they do by reading through the company’s promotional materials. This is your chance to get very specific, customized advice for your wedding, so why not take advantage of this opportunity? You don’t have to talk to every exhibitor, of course, because you won’t have time. Weddings are extremely personal, so it’s good to establish a personal connection with someone at your vendor of choice.

 

Tip #3: Treat this event like a show, not a convention or conference

 

The Great Bridal Expo is meant to be a fun, interactive experience. Throughout the day, there are different contests and giveaways, so make sure you enter at least one of these. And one of the highlights of the bridal show is the fashion show with live DJ – this is your chance to see the latest designs from the most famous wedding designers in the industry. You might walk away with a few great ideas for your bridal gown!

 

Tip #4: Keep an eye out for new trends

 

If you are attending the Great Bridal Expo with plenty of time before your upcoming wedding, this is a great opportunity to catch up with various trends in the industry. The more you start planning your wedding, the more you will see how weddings today are very different from weddings just a few years ago – not just in bridal fashions, but even in the types of venues that some people choose to celebrate their wedding. You might make a note in your planning guide of the different exhibitors who seem to be more traditional, and those that are influential tastemakers within the industry, pioneering new trends.

 

And one final bit of advice – if you are attending this bridal show with friends or family, you might plan to do a little “divide and conquer” that will let you focus on what matters the most to you, while still making sure that you visit as many vendors as you can at the event. By doing so, you’ll have everything that you need to plan the wedding of your dreams.

You got married! Here is how to have an awesome honeymoon.

You did it. You are married! Congratulations. Now it’s time to start your married life off with the perfect honeymoon.

Did you know that a honeymoon has evolved from the typical beach getaway? Almost any locale in any part of the world can be the perfect spot for your honeymoon. With so many Instagram-worthy options, how do you know which honeymoon option is the best for you and yours? I am going to try and help you figure it out.

So, a perfect honeymoon means something different to every couple. To get started on the right track, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions. Be honest!

Question 1: What’s your dream honeymoon location? Where have you always wanted to go? Where does your mind go when you think of the perfect destination? If you are the kind of person that hates the sun, you should probably not consider a beach getaway. If you got married in the middle of the summer, and you want to go somewhere cold and exotic, you might need to wait until later in the year for the cold weather you love. If you don’t want to wait, did you know that the southern hemisphere has the opposite seasons that we do? When it’s hot here, it’s cold there! Also, I heard toilets flush the opposite direction too. So there’s that.

Question 2: What is your budget? There is a fantastic honeymoon for every budget. You definitely don’t want to start your marriage off with an extremely expensive honeymoon that is going to add a ton of financial stress. There are several ways to score some sweet honeymoon deals, or even get a honeymoon for free. Attending a bridal show like the Great Bridal Expo will put you in front of wedding professionals that offer incredible deals on their honeymoon getaways and some even offer contests to win free honeymoons! You can also use your bridal shower events as well as your wedding registry as a sort of “fundraiser” for your honeymoon. Don’t need all the stuff? Do you already have several mixers? Have people donate to your honeymoon cause!

Want to save even more money? Why not volunteer on your honeymoon? Yep, these days there are lots of couples who go on a honeymoon volunteering experience. You can go to wonderful, exotic locations and actually do some good. Want to plant trees? Teach kids English? Learn how to build houses out of the Earth? The options are limitless. On a plus side, this is a really good way to build a bond through shared “do-gooding” between you and your spouse.

Question 3: How long do you want your honeymoon to be? How much time can you take? Depending on the timing, especially with the vacation time you have left from work, certain destinations will be better than others. Only have a week or so? It’s probably better to stay within the country, or neighboring countries. You don’t want to spend 2-3 days of your 7 day vacation in an airport. Right?

If you are strapped for time, there is always the option of taking a “mini-moon”. A mini-moon would be a weekend road trip to a town or state near where you live. You can even pretend to be a tourist in your own city. Always wanted to go camping, hiking or check out that awesome restaurant nearby? Go do it!

Maybe you want to go on a honeymoon, but want to bring your friends. You can! This is called a “buddymoon”. You, your friends and family can split the costs of all expenses, and continue your wedding party anywhere you want to go!

 

 

At the end of the day, your honeymoon is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Don’t let other people pressure you into doing anything you don’t want to do!

A honeymoon does not have to be an expensive, time consuming or over-the-top experience.

Be honest with yourself. Have a heart to heart with your spouse and make your dream honeymoon a reality! You’ve already had the dream wedding. Have the dream honeymoon!

Let me know where you decided to go or what you decided to do in the comments. I would love to read your stories.

Have fun!

~Sarah A.

 

Make Your Next Bridal Expo A Success!

You want to have the perfect wedding right? Of course you do! We all have an idea of our dream wedding. Guess what? You can turn that dream into a reality!

 

Truth is, with the right wedding planning, you can have the wedding you have always dreamed of. The planning process will take your time, energy, and money, but a wedding expo can give you that much needed shortcut. For brides, a great bridal show will present a lot of advantages, but you just have to be prepared before going. At Great Bridal Expo, we want you to have that perfect wedding, so here are tips on how to make your experience at the wedding show fruitful.

Go Ahead Of Time

You don’t want to attend bridal expos when your wedding is fast approaching. You need enough time between the show and your wedding. This is to give you an ample opportunity to get familiar with wedding trends and come up with the right amount of resources to get what you want. If your wedding is scheduled to be held in the spring, it is expected that you attend the bridal shows that are held the fall before in order to get an idea of what is hot and trending.

Plan Your Movement and Follow The Schedule

The Great Bridal Expo is divided into specialized themed areas and if you don’t have a planned schedule, you will waste time and energy. Plan your tour and visit stands based on order of importance. You can start with wedding gowns, men’s attire, then move on to venue, food, catering etc. If you already have some of your guests covering certain areas, then it is a good idea to visit the exhibitors that cover the parts of your weddings which require your expertise.

By Ready to Explore All Possible Options

This is an exhibition for brides to explore different options, so there is absolutely no reason to be ashamed to ask as many questions as you need. You can also be picky about everything. It is YOUR wedding! You have to work with the understanding that the more information you have, the better your chances of making the right decision. Do not make decisions on the spot. Don’t be pressured to make any decisions without some time to think about it and compare with other offers. Gather as much information as you can and look at them objectively before reaching a conclusion.

Take Your Time, Do Not Hurry

This is an opportunity to make sure that you save time, energy and money in the planning phase of your wedding. If there are areas in your wedding planning process that are giving you headaches, seek out a professional to help you out! Spend as much time at the Expo as you need to feel 100% confident. Take the time to compare each offer and make sure that they represent the best choice for you based on quality and price. If you found an exhibitor that has really made you curious, plan to meet them at their own establishment after the show. Don’t rush!

Be Ready To Participate

There are lots of contests and events in a bridal show that call for sort of participation. Be sure to register, participate, do whatever it takes to win those awesome prizes! Take the time to really get lost in the wonders of the bridal expo. I’m sure you’ll find something you love!

There you have it! The above are a couple of tips to help you get the best out of your bridal expo experience. Even if you are not the bride, be sure to tag along so that you can get the inside scoop on the best of the wedding industry. Plus, there might even be free cake! A bridal show at the Great Bridal Expo offers you the opportunity to get great ideas and meet the right people that will make your wedding the event you’ve always dreamed of.

 

Be ready to have fun!

~Sarah A.

5 Things to Look For When Selecting Your Next Wedding Exhibitor / Professional

 

Let’s say you go to the wedding expo,  have a great time, and then while you are there, you meet some wedding professionals that might have what you are looking for. How do you decide if they are the right fit for you?

Here are 5 questions to keep in mind when selecting your next wedding exhibitor:

1. How professional do they look?

Everyone says you can’t judge a book by its cover, but sometimes you should. If the wedding professional you are talking to looks like they just rolled out of bed, aren’t organized or looks like they don’t even want to be there, that is a sign it’s time to move on! A wedding expo is not the time for a wedding exhibitor to “have a bad day”. Only select those professionals that have brought their “A” game. You want the best for your wedding right? Look for those that came prepared. Trust me on this one.

2. Are they willing to work within your budget? Do they offer show specials?

You have taken the time out of your day to attend a wedding expo. You definitely want to be rewarded for this decision right? A wedding show is a great place to get “show only” deals from wedding exhibitors. If you find a product or service that you like, ask the exhibitor if they have a show special or are willing to work with you on your budget. Remember- it’s OKAY to negotiate. Most companies have wiggle room in their service prices and would be willing to do what has to be done to get you to book. Go get that deal!

3. Do you actually enjoy interacting with them? Are they too pushy or salesy?

When you spoke to the exhibitors, did you seem to vibe with them? Were they listening to you, and actively engaged? The last thing you want is some super salesperson trying to push you into products or services that you don’t want. You want them to offer you solutions to YOUR wedding. Be sure to gauge how you feel during and after your interactions. If you seem to hit it off, that’s a good sign that they might be the right professional for you. If you don’t feel like they were listening, or you felt like just another number or customer, then you should probably take that as a hint and move on to someone else.

4. Do they have a website and active social media? Do they have good reviews?

A company that doesn’t have a website or active social media is usually behind the times and may not be up to date on the latest and greatest in the wedding industry. This isn’t always the case, but I will always go with an exhibitor that has a polished website, engaging social media and has good reviews online. I don’t want to take chances on an inexperienced wedding professional for my wedding. Who wants to book someone that doesn’t even have a single 5 star review? What if they only have 1 star reviews? I don’t want to book with them. Neither should you.

5. Are they going to be a good fit for you and your wedding?

At the end of the day, sometimes you have to go with your gut feeling. You will know if the exhibitor is trustworthy and legit. Every wedding pro is a little different, some have big personalities while others are more laid back. Remember, you will most likely be working with these people for a good period of time, so you want to actually like them and look forward to your interactions. They will be involved in the most important day of your life. You want to be happy they are there!

There you have it! Be sure to keep these 5 things in mind while you are at the show. They will hopefully save you some serious headaches and even heartaches down the road.

Until next time!

~Sarah A.

6 Reasons Why you should attend a Wedding Expo

 

You want to have the perfect wedding right? Who doesn’t! 🙂

Did you know that attending a wedding show can be a fantastic experience filled with the very best of what the wedding industry has to offer?

Trendy wedding styles, wedding photographers, DJs, you name it- the wedding expo can deliver.

If you still aren’t particularly convinced on why you should go (spoiler: you should), here are six reasons why you should!

 

1. Make Friends

When you attend a bridal show or a bridal expo, they are usually specific to your local area. That means that there will be hundreds of brides, guests and wedding professionals all interacting with each other that also live relatively near one another. Chances are, you might meet someone you know or someone you are happy to have met! Bridal expos are a fun and lively event and people go to these shows to have fun and surround themselves with the sights, smells and sounds of the wedding industry. No matter how hectic your wedding planning situation might be, be sure to go to a wedding expo in a positive mood ready to meet people!

 

2. Make it Personal

One of the hardest parts of wedding planning is finding wedding professionals with services you need…and those that you actually like. If you are looking for a more casual environment where you get to meet the people that run the wedding services you need as well as sample whichever products they might have, a wedding expo is the perfect place to do it. You want to actually enjoy working with your video photographer right? Most wedding professionals will be involved at some point in your wedding process for several hours if not longer. It is good to test the waters first before making any decisions! The hope is that during the expo you meet a caterer, or Dj that really understands YOUR ideas and vision for your dream wedding- and can help make it happen!

 

3. Save Money

Here is a wedding show expo secret: Exhibitors at the show offer show only deals- all the time! That’s right, if you show up to the show, find a wedding pro you like, chances are they have a fantastic deal specific to brides that attend the show. Score! Here is another tip, even if the exhibitor does not show that they have a wedding show promotion, be sure to ask. They are there to book brides just like you and they want your business! Many of them will do whatever it takes (within reason) to get you to say yes. Take advantage!

 

4. Advice from Professionals

If you are anything like me, planning a wedding is a hard thing to do. It can be challenging to figure out where to find what you want and even what you should want? How do I know how many place settings I need at my reception tables? Do I give everyone at my wedding a swag bag? I might not know all the answers, or even some of them, but I can tell you that the professionals you come across at the wedding expo will be able to answer any question you have. Many of them have been in the wedding industry for a while and have seen it all and know what works best. Don’t hold any questions back. No question is a bad question! This is your wedding. Get all the advice you need from the people who know!

 

5. Win Cool Stuff

I like free stuff. People like free stuff. I can only assume that you like free stuff too. Right? If you do, then a wedding expo is a fabulous place to get new swag. Many exhibitors during the show will have show-only giveaways and prizes for potential brides and couples to win when you visit your booths. They might come in the form of raffles, online drawings or free stuff on their booths. Be sure to sign up to anything and everything you think you want. You could even win a free honeymoon! Now that’s what I’m talking about. Remember, if you don’t enter, you don’t win anything. If you don’t attend the expo, you can’t enter… See where I’m going with this?

 

6. Keep up with the latest

 

If you have ever wanted to learn what the latest trends and fashions were in the wedding world, this is the place to be. The best exhibitors will be in attendance and they know the very top of the line, cream of the crop, good stuff that you probably have never seen before-and never knew you needed, until now. Did you know that the Great Bridal Expo offers an exclusive wedding fashion show to its guests? Take a look at the hottest in wedding dress and formal wear fashion at our shows!

 

There you have it! A bridal expo is simply a great experience that every bride should attend at least once. From free stuff, awesome advice and exposure to the latest in wedding fashions, a wedding show has it all.

Happy wedding planning!

~Sarah A.

The Do’s and Dont’s of a Winter Wedding!

The cold, winter season is now upon us. You know what that means- winter weddings!

Yes, surprisingly, there are lots of people that choose to have their wedding in a winter wonderland. Isn’t there just something so beautiful about the snow, the silent majesty of a winter’s morn?

If you have had any thoughts of having your own winter wedding, or know that you will be attending one soon, we are here to help make sure these events are a success.

Here are our do’s & dont’s for those of you that want to have their wedding in the snow!

 

List of Do’s

 

Do Dress Your Bridesmaids in Style

 

Just because you are doing your wedding in the cold, doesn’t mean can’t look classy. Furs? Wool Skirts? Those big Russian jackets? These are all acceptable! With a winter wedding, you don’t have follow traditional wedding styles. It will most likely be cold outside during the ceremony. There might even be snow falling! During a wedding like this, you can have your bridesmaids wear layers, boots, hats, and modify them all to look great and be warm.  Layers are especially important because after the chilly ceremony, everyone will be headed into a (hopefully) warm reception area. You will want your bridesmaids to be able to switch to their “warm weather gear”. I would recommend saving the heels and short dresses for indoors. Since a winter wedding isn’t traditional, you can think outside the box and style your bridesmaids however you want! Be creative!

 

Do Choose a Warm & Cozy Reception Area

Just because you want to have your ceremony in a winter wonderland doesn’t mean you have to freeze the entire wedding! It’s a good idea to have your wedding in a warm, cozy fireplace-in-a-lodge type space. There is nothing better than walking into a a softly lit, warm space after being in the cold! Be sure to have warm drinks, hot cocoa, cider, to keep your guests warm. You can also provide a winter/holiday soup for the same effect. I would personally try to make sure the reception area is filled with delicious smells of warm cinnamon and other holiday goodness.

 

Do Be Creative With Food, Guest Gifts and Decorations

One of the great things about choosing to have a winter wedding is all the holiday and winter themed possibilities! You could use cute mini Christmas trees on each table that have an ornament with each guest’s that is assigned to sit there. You can give little Christmas themed boxes filled with holiday treats as gift bags. You can go old school Santa with milk and cookies for dessert. There are so many options to help give your wedding that extra holiday/winter “oomph”. Be creative!

 

List of Dont’s

 

Don’t Feel Forced to Use Christmas Colors.


Just because it is the holiday season doesn’t mean everyone has to wear red and green and look like Santa’s helpers! Be bold and use colors that really stand out against the holiday season. Spring colors, soft pinks, yellows all work great. Your guests will be expecting you to go with the holiday theme, but you can surprise them with a tropical themed wedding. But, who are we kidding, if you want a winter wedding there is a good chance you are a fan of the holiday theme. If you really love green and red, don’t be afraid to use those too!

 

Don’t Let Your Guests Freeze to Death!


Just because you prefer a chilly wedding, doesn’t mean everyone else loves the cold! Be sure to keep the ceremony, especially if outdoors, on the shorter side. There is nothing worse than enjoying your big day and looking over to see everyone shivering and miserable. Be sure to let your guests know to wear coats and other warm clothing while outside. It is a good idea to let the ladies know to NOT wear their heels outside in the snow. They should wear boots and then switch to their glamour gear once inside. Please be sure that there is enough space for all your guests inside the reception area. You don’t want to force anybody to stand outside in the cold.

 

Don’t Overdo the Heat


Okay, I know I just said not to let everyone freeze to death, but you always don’t want to go the complete other direction and unleash a million heaters on your guests. During the reception, be sure to keep an eye on your guests and make sure they aren’t all soaked to the bone in sweat. Once your party starts dancing and grooving, the reception area will heat up fast. Being uncomfortably hot is worse than cold, right? You can only take off so many layers!

 

There you have it!

Winter weddings can be a beautiful, one-of-a-kind wedding experience. The winter background can make for absolutely beautiful photographs.

Stick to this list of do’s and don’ts when planning your wedding and you are sure to have a winter wedding that will be amazing!

 

 

~Sarah A.

Attending a Bridal Expo? Here is What You Need to Know!

Attending a Bridal Expo? Here’s What You Need to Know.

Yay! You’re engaged! Congratulations. How are you and your fiancé preparing for your wedding? Are you feeling overwhelmed already? I bet someone has suggested a wedding expo and now you, your mom and girlfriends are trying to decide if you should go and what you can expect.

If you can’t decide if you should go to a wedding show or if you have no idea what a bridal expo is, we at Great Bridal Expo are here to help!

First thing’s first…

What is a Bridal Expo?

A bridal expo, like Great Bridal Expo, is a fabulous, wedding planning event. There is simply no better way to see the latest wedding trends, compare the best wedding services and get all the inspiration you need to have the wedding of your dreams. All of the exhibitors/vendors at the event are truly the top professionals in the wedding industry. If you ever wondered how you can find the best wedding companies and services, the Great Bridal Expo is where you can find them.

Most important of all, a bridal expo/wedding show is FUN for you and all of your guests. You will all get to sample products (cakes), win prizes and get free wedding swag! The list goes on. You and your guests will find yourselves getting makeovers, becoming mesmerized by the wedding fashion show, and finding yourselves thinking, “Where are we going to put all this free stuff?”. One of the most important perks of going to a bridal expo is that sometimes you get to eat free cake! Not just any cake mind you, wedding cake! Let’s just say I am a big fan of the cake element of wedding expos.

So now you have the background of this wedding extravaganza called a bridal expo. What when you are at the show? What should you expect to encounter?

What you will encounter (probably) at a Bridal Expo.

As mentioned previously, there will be a ton of wedding professionals, events and all sorts of wedding related excitement going on. We will take you through some specific examples of situations you might encounter or find yourself in at the expo.

1. The Crowds.

Bridal expos and wedding shows will bring out hundreds of like-minded brides, their guests and other spectators. You might encounter lines at the best booths, tastings and at the front door where you have to buy tickets unless you have already bought tickets online (you have right?). If not, buy them here. It’s important to plan ahead. Know where you want to be!

2. Exhibitors.

From wedding dresses makers, to photographers, jewelers and everything else in between, there will be so many different types of vendors you will surely find exactly what you are looking for…and a lot of things you didn’t know you needed. 🙂 To make the most of your experience, you should have a plan of the exhibitors you want to see, the things you need, your budget and where everything is at the expo. Doing these steps will help you make your wedding planning exactly as you want it.

3. Food Samples.

There will oftentimes be an assortment of catering companies eager to have you to sample their delicacies. You will find me around the cakes, of course, but there will be all types of food and drinks to suit your needs.

4. Wedding Gowns.

Are you still looking for a wedding dress? Do you need to get fitted or have specific questions about tailoring your current dress? A lot of times, you will find wedding dress professionals that can answer all of your questions and show you the latest styles.

5. The Latest Trends in the Wedding Industry.

If you find yourself struggling to stay up to date with all the wedding trends and styles, the Great Bridal Expo, will get you up to speed, fast. All of the exhibitors at the show stay up to date with all of the latest trends and styles. Be sure to use your phone to take pictures and to type up some notes on all of the trends and decor that catches your eye. A big part of attending a bridal expo is the inspiration. Get inspired

6. Prizes & Giveaways.

One of the best parts about attending a bridal expo (besides the cakes) are the prizes and the giveaways! Sponsors and exhibitors will raffle off all sorts of items ranging from wedding dresses, to all expense paid honeymoons and more! It is super important that you register for anything and everything that catches your fancy. People at the show WILL win these prizes, but only if they sign up!

7. The Fashion Show.

The Great Bridal Expo has one of the most premier wedding fashion shows in the country. Our fashion shows are one of our most popular events at the bridal expo. You will get to watch gorgeous models walk the catwalk wearing the latest wedding fashions. If you see anything you like, be sure to take a picture (no flash) with your phone and write down the names of your favorite designers and outfits. Just so you know, if you want to get a good spot at the show, you and your squad should get there early. These shows are super popular!

What do you need to do to have the most successful bridal show?

Now that we have covered some of things you will encounter at a bridal show, here is what you need to do to prepare so that you can have the most success at the expo!

1. Create a Wedding Email Address & Phone Number.

One of the most important reasons to attend a bridal expo is to find exhibitors and designers to help make your wedding awesome. This process will require giving your contact information as needed. The best way to organize all of this wedding information and to also prevent having tons of email sent to your personal account is to create a wedding email address to be used specifically for your show. If you plan to give your phone number out, it is also a good idea to use a service like Google Voice to get a free phone number that you will only use for your wedding planning. I personally don’t like having my phone ring a million times a day and would rather have some control of when and how someone can contact me.

2. Bring Pre-Printed Labels.

There is nothing more annoying than having to write your name, wedding date, email, address and anything else over and over and over and over again. Make sure to pre-print all of your contact information on labels that you can use to give exhibitors. This is the easiest way to enter contests and have vendors contact you. The most important information to have on your labels is your name, wedding date and contact info. This tip is super important, seriously. An expo could have over 100 booths. Who wants to write their contact information that many times? Not me.

3. Buy Tickets Online – Early!

Remember I mentioned the lines you might encounter, especially at the ticket booth? If you are planning to attend a show, you should definitely buy tickets online. You can find the show nearest you by using this link. By buying tickets online, you get to skip the line on the way to the show. Also, order tickets online is usually the best way to score discounts like buy one get one’s. Buy your tickets now!

4. Plan Your Time at the Expo.

One of the best ways to have the most success at the expo is to plan out your experience. It’s important to know exactly what you are looking for and what your budget is before you go into a show. Depending on where you are in your wedding planning, just engaged or almost ready to walk to the altar, you might have different needs and require certain services.

5. Take Care of Your Feet – Wear Comfortable Shoes!

From the moment you step into the expo, you will be on your feet walking around and carrying things. You will be doing lots of walking from booth to booth and standing while talking. Don’t wear the fanciest pair of heels you have if they make your feet miserable after 5 minutes! Trust me, you don’t want to be the only one walking around barefoot at the show. Keep your feet happy!

6. Take Care of Your Body & Tummy – Bring Water & Eat a Good Meal Before You Arrive.

Yes, I said there would be cake, but have you ever eaten nothing but cake all day? You and your tummy will start not to feel very good. Just like before you took a test at school, it’s important to eat a good meal so you can stay energized and focused throughout the event. Be sure to leave a little room for all the treats and yummies you will eat at the expo!The reason why you should bring water should be obvious. Getting dehydrated sucks. It makes me feel cranky, itchy and makes me unable to concentrate. I always have water with me wherever I go. Be prepared!

7. Bring People That Actually Want to Be There!

It has to be said, even though this is a “Bridal Expo” with emphasis on the bride, you can still bring your hubby-to-be, your family and your friends! Make sure that the people you decide to bring with you actually want to be there and will support you on your quest to having the best wedding. The worst experience I have had at a show was bringing my Aunt Lisa with me who complained about the prices, the food and basically everything else the entire time. I would have had a blast at the show… if I had left Aunt Lisa behind. This is your time to have fun and experience the awesomeness of the wedding industry. Remember, you want to have fun! Bring people that love to have fun with you!

8. Use Your Phone – Take Pictures & Video of What You Love!

Attending a bridal expo can be quite overwhelming, exciting and fun. Also, the time flies, so it’s critically important to take a picture or video of your favorite booths, vendors, anything that you want to have in your wedding and actually want to remember after the show. You will probably forget that booth you loved 15 booths ago. Don’t let this happen! The exhibitors should always follow up with you if you have given them your contact information, but don’t take any chances if you absolutely loved them.

9. Enter to Win All of the Contests!

There are some absolutely fabulous prizes at the bridal expo. Some vendors will give away free wedding dresses, cakes, decor and even amazing honeymoons. All you have to do is enter! Remember, people at the show WILL win these prizes. It could be you! But only if you enter.

10. Follow Up With Your Favorites.

Don’t wait for your favorite wedding vendors or exhibitors to contact you. They might have had 500 brides give them their contact info. Make the first move! The last thing you want is to have them fully book their calendar and not have a spot left for you. Follow up with your favorite vendors and exhibitors after the show. You already did the work at the show. Get the wedding professional, the date and what you want for your wedding!

11. Keep an Open Mind.

A wedding expo is a completely different experience. It’s a world of its own, especially if this is your first time. You will meet people and see things that you never would have without the expo. It is important to keep an open mind to the many ideas, designs, and services that you will encounter. You might see something that would be absolutely perfect that you would never have thought of. Let the experience wash over you and pick what you love. Everyone is there for you. Have Fun!

The most important thing I have to say is to have fun and eat cake. The entire expo is designed to help brides have the weddings of their dreams. Enjoy the crowds, the sounds, the sights. Everyone wants to help you make all your wedding dreams come true.  The exhibitors and vendors are all truly the best wedding professionals in your area.

A wedding expo is the one stop shop for all things weddings. Brides and their guests can meet all of the top wedding professionals in one place so that they can plan their dream weddings. From samples to prizes and even free honeymoons, a bridal expo is one of the best places to be as a bride. Remember, all the professionals are there for you.

Go. Have fun. I’ll see you there!

~Sarah A.