First of all, welcome to all you brides and grooms and family and friends of brides and grooms who might be stopping by my blog for the first time. It’s so great to have you here! Feel free to browse around the different categories (listed above), or just read up on what’s been going on around here these days. I’d love to hear from you!
Yesterday was one of the craziest, most chaotic, most exciting experiences I’ve had as a wedding photographer. I had heard tales about bridal shows… the manual labor, the exhaustion from being on your feet all day, the insanity of it all…. but I have to say, I actually had a lot of fun! Of course, there’s no way I could have done it without the assistance of my wonderful and patient husband, who managed to not have a heart attack when I explained in detail exactly what we would have to do in order to pull this thing off. But we survived it, marriage intact, and now that it’s over, I’m so thankful I did it!
Here’s our booth:
I have to admit, I’m really proud of how it turned out. After doing a ton of research online and getting advice from seasoned pros, I decided to go all out and basically construct a mini living room to reflect my personal aesthetic. It was a complicated and labor-intensive process, but I think it really made the booth stand out in the crowd. We built the “walls” by hinging together 5 3′-wide hollow doors (I originally purchased nine thinking I wouldn’t get a corner booth, but then I did, so we pared it down to six, but then we had to remove one on the end because of bridal show policy about leaving open space to see other vendors or something. Luckily it was an easy fix, but I wish I had known before I painted both sides of NINE doors, which required 3 coats of primer and 2-3 coats of paint on EACH side. Oh well! I’m just thankful we snagged a corner booth. They’re so much more open and visible, and we were able to handle the crowds from both sides. Highly recommended!) On one “wall” I hand-painted my logo, which would have been easy if I had one of those projector things to make a tracing, but I didn’t, so I went all 9th-grade-art-class-style and made a grid over my logo and then enlarged it on the wall and did a lot of free hand drawing and painting. I have new respect for my logo designer, who makes that lovely calligraphy look so effortless… it took me a LOT more effort than I thought! I purchased the sofa from Urban Outfitters (which is being used in my office), and the coffee and side table are from our living room. The bookshelf was a $15 Goodwill purchase, which was easily freshened up with a coat of white paint and some fun green accents. The accent lighting was from Lowe’s, and the lamp on the table is from IKEA. I also brought along my brand new sample albums from VisionArt and new canvases from Simply Canvas (one of which is not pictured because of the wall issue, but again- oh well!). And I had a slideshow running on my iMac the whole day, too.
Here are some detail shots:
Overall, we got an AMAZING response to the booth. Even before the show started other vendors would walk by, stop, stare awhile, and just smile. And that was exactly the reaction I wanted! I wanted it to be a little unexpected and fun and happy and cozy. A lot of brides told us it was the best booth there, and we had some people just stop and stare and take pictures of it to show other people, which was a huge compliment. Everyone loved being able to “come in,” sit down, and flip through albums. (Note to all the couples featured in those albums: I can’t tell you how many “oooohs” and “ahhhhhs” I heard while people were looking through them. You could tell they were getting some great ideas for their OWN weddings!) I got to talk to so many fantastic brides, and the whole afternoon was literally a complete whirlwind. I can’t wait to follow up with them and hopefully book some fabulous weddings this year!
So to my photographer friends, if you’re asking yourself if it’s worth it to do a show (because I know, it’s an ENORMOUS investment of energy, money, and time), I would say absolutely yes. But if you’re going to do, DO IT RIGHT. Go all out. Make your booth 100% a representation of YOU. I feel that one of the most successful parts of our booth was that it was almost as if we were inviting all these brides into our own house. It was a little peek into my world, and you could tell that it resonated with a lot of people who may not have the most traditional wedding style. If that’s you, then I’m your girl. ;)