I'll be at a the Tapestry House's Starry Night's and Twinkle Lights Bridal Show this Sunday (Jan. 27, 2013) meeting brides and grooms to see if they want me to host their wedding receptions. It's a day full of new, energetic faces, excited couples, and answering 'yes' to the question 'Do you take requests?'. 

Wedding planning can be a real whirlwind and sometimes really stresses people out. Understandable. It is probably the biggest party they will ever throw. It's something on which they may spend an astronomical amount of money. Everyone who matters in their lives will be there. Want to make it easier? Attend a bridal festival, and have a pen ready so you can take notes on their business cards.

You are going to meet a lot of vendors, so write a few notes of what you need to remember on vendor's business cards or materials.

Take notes on vendors you meet at any bridal festival so you can make sense of it later

Rank the Vendors

Along with helpful notes, create a ranking system to help you remember who you liked and didn't like. Scales of 1-10, letter grades, 1-5 stars, however you measure, this can be the most important thing to have once you've gone through the entire show and can barely remember a florist from a photographer.

Be Ready with a Lot of Questions

For those who know what they want from their wedding, it's simply a matter of finding the vendors to execute it. That's where bridal shows come in very handy. If one vendor doesn't seem to get you, it's okay, just move to the next one after you've written a note to yourself.

Avoid the Ego

I don't know how prevalent this is in the caterer/venue/photographer realm of weddings. I do know that DJ's can carry some ego. Something about the combination of microphone and speakers seems to make us think we are just the coolest thing since Jeremy Bloom. Any DJ that indicates that they think they know more about what you want than you do is trouble. Any DJ who limits how many requests they will take, or limits the number of songs you can choose should be avoided. It's your day! If they tell you they won't play your music and you hire them, well, you get what you paid for.

Avoid the 'You Must 10 Things By This Date' Vendors

Beware the wedding venue or vendor that requires you to do too much work. There are a few that make the couple contact the DJ to let them know they have to do a walk through, and when it doesn't happen, they call to harass them about it. I've worked with some of these folks, and honestly, I believe they do it because they like to be able to boss others around. Don't give yourself the headache of working with them. All that should be required of you is that you pay. Beyond that, vendors that require you to do a lot of work aren't necessary because there are so many in town that will take care of everything for you. Of course, you will have to do a walk through, submit final guest numbers, have tastings and that kind of thing, but if that list grows too long, move on to a venue or vendor that is working for you, not making you work for them.

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