By Paul Kavanaugh
Maybe your beloved went down on one knee with a ring in hand; maybe it was on a scoreboard at halftime; maybe it was a waiter taking a cover off a dish and there the ring was. No matter how the proposal happened, you said yes. That might have been the easiest part! Now you have to plan your wedding. Welcome to the world of checklists and endless decisions!
Yes, that word: decisions. You’ll be facing so many that you can initially feel a little overwhelmed. Don’t fret, help is at hand. One of the most popular ways to acquire information (the key ingredient in decision-making) is to attend a Bridal Show. The one thing all Bridal Shows have in common is the availability of information. Many vendors and venues participate in the various shows in our region, all with options to fit many different budgets. So, attend a show – or several; talk with anyone and everyone; gather as much information as possible and start to get a better feel for what you want and what is possible. And no need to feel pressured; it is rare that you must make a decision on the spot – and not usually a good idea. Bridal Shows are first and foremost fact-finding missions. With free samples! Although the General Morgan Inn had their Something Blue Bridal Fair last weekend, you can still get a lot of information and a list of participating vendors by calling the hotel. Both The Pink Bride and The Tri Cities Bridal Show have ads in this issue. We recommend both to you.
Elsewhere in our Bride Guide are advertisements for many vendors, venues/facilities, flowers, etc. We encourage you to visit as many as practicable. At these shows and visits, taking notes and getting contact information will make the whole process easier as decisions get made.
One thing we cannot stress too much is that very early in the process you set a budget. Talk to whoever is involved in the finances – your intended naturally, parents, grandparents, future in-laws, etc. You must get an idea of what you can spend before you make any decisions – except for saying Yes! Keep a running spreadsheet or total page so you always know where you are financially. Finally, once you set a budget, stick with it. All those nice-to-haves are not as important as the need-to-haves, so keep that clear in your head. Oh, and good luck!