2015 Outer Banks Wedding & Bridal Expo

2015 Outer Banks Wedding & Bridal Expo

Outer Banks Wedding & Bridal Expo

Details and Tips for Attending the Outer Banks Wedding Association Bridal Expo on January 17-18, 2015.

Please note that Blue Sky Photography in Kitty Hawk has prior engagements and will not be in attendance at this years Outer Banks Wedding & Bridal Expo. However we are offering special savings on wedding photography packages to clients that use PromoCode “Christmas 2014” when they book their wedding with us before January 15, 2015.

If you live outside the Outer Banks of North Carolina and you’re planning a wedding here in the coming years, it would be smart of you to attend the Outer Banks Wedding & Bridal Expo on January 17 -18, 2015, and if not this year – then next. This annual two day event, hosted by the Outer Banks Wedding Association in Nags Head (252-449-9333), has helped lots of newlyweds successfully plan their weddings here. The Expo has all the wedding vendors you’ll need to hire like photographers, DJ’s, florists, venues, caterers, ceremony officiants as well as tons of ideas, tips on fashion and lots of inspiration. Whether you will be coming alone, with family or with friends, here’s a Top 10 Tip list of things you can do to help you get the most out of this years Big Wedding Expo.

1. Plan ahead
Industry experts from New York to LA say the big mistake brides-to-be make before attending expos is they fail to plan ahead. Sound silly? It’s not really. An expo like ours is a two day event with lots of glitz, glamour, fashion shows, food tastings music and tons of local vendors offering giveaway prizes, money saving promos and “book at the show” special offers. Walking in without an idea of what you’re looking for can be an easy way to waste time and money. Plan ahead. Decide before you go. Do you need a photographer? A non traditional wedding photographer? Someone who offers wedding albums and rights to your images? Does style and personality matter or is price your biggest concern? Decide how much money you’d like to spend and the services you’ll receive in return. Deciding what’s necessary before you get there can make the whole experience much more rewarding.
2. Dress for the occasion
We dress for church. We dress for the beach and we also dress for weddings. So dress the part when you go shopping too. Yes, you love your favorite pair of high heels, but wearing them to an expo like ours is a bad idea. Not only is the Outer Banks more casual than heels, the floors are really hard, and before you know it – you’ll be in more pain than you’re willing to bear. Come relaxed. Be casual, wear a pair of sneakers or flats. In January we typically sees temperatures averaging 40-50 degrees and so the Outer Banks Wedding & Bridal Expo could be a cold one, have a sweatshirt or sweater and keep a jacket in the car just in case. It’s not a bad idea to dress in layers either. It’s not he Arctic North, but I’m just saying it will be chilly.
3. Look at vender delivery times
I’ve written several posts already discussing the idea of reading a contract before you sign it, and yet, the idea seems to be forgotten by brides-to-be. When you’re at this years expo ask to see a sample contract. Look to see if it explains delivery dates and waiting periods on products or services you intend to purchase. There’s no sense in hiring a florist if the special orchids you want from Australia can’t be delivered in time for your wedding. The same is true for your photographer, DJ, dress maker and so on and so forth. So I advise you to never sign a contract before you read it. The same can be said for deposits as well – never leave a deposit until you’re read the contract. And never be afraid to ask the vender to amend the contract either, seasoned professionals will not be offended by this. Some might and they aren’t the right vender for you so move on.
4. Leave the posse behind
No one argues that you don’t love your girlfriends and yes, you want them to take part in planning your wedding, but the reality is you don’t bring 20ty people with you when you shop for pants, so there’s no reason to bring them here either. You have work to do and bringing your posse to the Bridal Expo will quickly turn a day of action and major decision making into free-for-all of back and forth I like this, no I want that kind of situation. The less people you have with you – the quicker you’re gonna be and the more information you’ll digest. No ones saying don’t bring a friend or two or three, just not a posse. Keep in mind to keep one sober friend at all times so you can get home safely and that your time here is all about gathering information and making decisions.
5. Create mailing labels in advance
A client of mine who my wife and I later became close friends with made “contact me” labels which she handed out to all the wedding professionals she was interested in interviewing. I thought it was a really neat way to save time and energy while at the Bridal Expo and so Im listing it here in the number 5 spot. Each of the people she talked to ask her to write down her name and phone number plus email address so they could contact her. They in turn would give her their business card. Her “contact me” labels meant she didn’t have to fill out all their forms and which she said made her less irritated and wasted less time. Your labels should have your name, address, email, phone number and the date of your wedding and be easy to read.
6. Scan before you start
Imagine this scenario: you get into the exhibition and then you see something that you really like. You immediately head over there and spend lots of time at the booth. When you’re done you walk down a few stalls and you realize that there’s something even better. Too bad you bought at the first stall, right? NO. When you first go into the exhibition scan the whole place and note the stalls that are of interest to you. They’ll be a map and diagrams. Go to the booths one by one and get an idea of what everyone has to offer before you buy.
7. Take notes
This is not like everyday shopping. You’re dealing with so many vendors that you can easily forget some of the best. A note pad isn’t necessary, but rather simple tricks like folding over the corner of a business card from the professionals you liked best help to reminder you of who you wanted to call back the most.
8. Don’t go for broke
The Outer Banks Wedding & Bridal Expo is a huge two day event with lots to see and do. I strongly advise that you stay sober. I’m not saying don’t drink. I’m saying drink in moderation. The expo is divided across multiple buildings so you’re gonna need all the energy you got.
9. Pay for personality
Probably one of the most unappreciated and undervalued priorities is your relationship with your wedding venders. Of course, yes, it should always professional – but there needs to a balance between being professionalism and friendly. Your photographer may take the greatest pictures in the world, but if you can’t stand him or her – is it worth it? Personalities that clash only make planning the wedding harder and sets you up for a disaster. You want to find someone you like and hopefully someone you can trust to make your wedding dreams a reality.
10. Relax
This is supposed to be something fun. Don’t get so caught up in planning that you forget that it is supposed to be a time for fun. This only increases tension and stress. Planning your wedding should be as much fun (maybe not in the real world) as the wedding itself. Do whatever it takes to keep yourself calm, focused and free of distractions and stressors.

2015 Outer Banks Wedding Association Bridal Expo Details

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