This show was nothing less than a success and we cannot thank everyone enough for making it the great turnout that it was!
*Disclaimer – If you are following us religiously, then you know this month’s blog post was going to be about our new offering of micro-weddings. We decided the bridal show needed a bit more attention so come back next month for the promised micro-wedding content. If you have questions before then, please feel free to email us and chat more!
Now, if you were able to attend, then you already know about the amazing food, samples, discounts, and door prizes that we had at our show. You also know that the weather was absolutely miserable. We got rain, hail, wind and all. You were the real troopers bundling up, braving the weather, and having a great time.
If you weren’t there, you should have been. Just kidding. Kind of. Don’t fret, we are looking into another event like this in the future and we just might have a little winter surprise for you all coming soon.
Sticking with our blog style, that was the general recap (recipe) and we are now going to get into the nitty gritty (super long background before the darn recipe). If you are here for the content, keep reading. If you are here for the pictures, keep scrolling.
There were a few things with this bridal show that we really looked forward to and that contributed greatly to its success. First is how we managed the vendors and second was how we planned our guest experience.
Bridal shows can be very expensive for vendors to attend which does not make them accessible to small businesses, startups, or anyone that has a normal marketing budget. We thought long and hard about our vendor fees, what they would get for their money (tables, chairs, etc.), and what exchanges we would allow in place of vendor fees. This is a HUGE part as to why we were able to have local and small businesses participate and show couples the absolutely amazing services they have to offer that you simply may not have heard about yet!
Every vendor participated above and beyond what we asked in some way, shape, or form. It made this event fun to plan (as fun as planning can be) and made us excited for the connections we would make with these humans.
Letting our blog readers in on a little secret here. Our website is going through a redesign to include new features for our couples and our vendors. We are transparent about our pricing, what we offer, and what a wedding is like at our venue. We are going to be allowing vendors to submit a vendor listing for approval by us. They will be able to upload contact information, their website and social accounts, pricing and offering pdfs, and some pictures. This will create a space where anyone can go to see local vendors and what they have to offer without Googling a million different things. We are excited to see how this works and the network that we can create for couples and vendors alike!
Onto the client experience we wanted to create! If you have been to a bridal show before then you are already rolling your eyes or making a face thinking about attending one at a banquet hall. If you haven’t been to one, picture this. 20 -100 vendors all in a giant open room. They all have the same amount of space and tables. They have all their business cards, pamphlets, and pretty things out to try and catch your attention with all the other shiny things around you. You go table to table collecting cards and talking to humans. You go home and then have no idea what to do with any of the overwhelming amount of information you got. Doesn’t sound like a great time for you or the vendors, does it!?
Here is what we wanted to do and how we did it. We wanted a quick event where people could come and go. We wanted to make it where they did not feel pressured to stay but make it homey and true to our roots as a venue so that they would be welcome to stay and linger if they wanted to! Fun things. There has to be fun things that aren’t pens and pads of paper with logos on them. Food. There has to be food.
We flipped our venue into this cozy little bridal show where vendors all had their own space to talk to customers without talking over the tables next to them. They had room to bring displays, massage chairs (yup, that happened), food, laptops for pictures, DJ set ups, giant LOVE letters and all the things in-between. When you walked in you were guided to the bar to grab a drink before you even started with the vendors. Guests were free to roam the barn, the lofts, the man cave, and the tented area, all of which had vendors. We made one of the lofts open for pictures with the LOVE letters and cornhole. We had a cigar roller in the man cave so people could enjoy their samples under a pop-up tent on the back patio, because mother nature didn’t get the memo.
Food. There was so much food. We had mac and cheese, saucy meat balls, desserts, mini beef wellingtons, tacos, nachos, pizza, kettle corn, and some fun edibles if you catch our drift. Food makes everything better. We wanted to showcase our venue and give couples ideas to run with. For that part, we took a section of the tented area and set up our tables. We decorated a few tables ourselves and then Baby Bird and Bushel & A Peck both helped setting up a few other tablescapes. This gave couples ideas for how to dress up our venue and go all out, plan on a budget, or take middle ground of the two.
The amount of hard work that went into this event was absolutely worth it and we could not be happier at how our first ever public event went. A lot of new paths have opened up from this. We are excited to see all the new information and tips and tricks we can provide to our couples everywhere! The wedding industry needs a little kick towards a more client friendly experience and we are happy to provide it.
See you next month!