Bridal Expo 101

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Bridal Expo 101

Whew! I made it! The Premiere Bridal Expo in Jacksonville, Florida was this past Sunday, June 4 at the Prime Osborne Convention Center and IT. WAS. AWESOME! If you are a bride to be, the next one is on January 14, 2018 and it's a must! There are so many amazing vendors and almost every booth was giving away something, whether it was a yummy treat, an adorable prize, or an awesome honeymoon vacation {I don't know about you, but that's more than enough to entice me to go}! The theme for this show was "Glamping". I wanted to utilize the theme, while still making my style apparent. I made a shiplap wall {that I did a tutorial on here} as the backdrop for my main booth to pull in some kind of rustic feel. I LOVE how it turned out.

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Since this was my first expo I decided to go with a 5x5 booth, and I'm so glad I did. That ended up being the perfect amount of space for me!

DETAILS ON MY BOOTH:

BENCH: The bench we actually already had in our master bedroom, and it was the perfect color to go in my booth. It was even more perfect because it's a storage bench, so I was able to put my purse, extra business cards, and other items in it during the show so they weren't cluttering my booth! You can buy it here.
PILLOWS: I thought these little lovelies were so romantic...I had to. Sadly, they were a seasonal buy from Michaels, but there's some similar ones here.
RUG: The rug is from Ross, so I can't link it for you, but I highly recommend Ross/Marshalls/TJ Maxx for rugs. This one was $17 and just added another homey element to my booth. There's a similar one at Walmart here.
CHALKBOARD: I love this thing!! It's battery operated, lightweight, and the chalkboard material is very high quality, making it easy to clean. GOTTA LOVE HOBBY LOBBY! You can buy it here and make sure to use this 40% off coupon when you buy it!

And now for the table items!
 

I wanted to have everything I needed, but didn't want it to look cluttered. 

FRAMES: Again, Ross/Marshalls/TJ Maxx are your best friends for frames! I have a whole collection of beautiful antique gold frames {that you'll see more of in my decor booth below} from Marshalls that are to die for!
CARD BOX: I have so many different styles of card boxes that I lend to my brides {bird cage, antique white, square, etc}, and yes, you need one at your wedding! It's a safe place to store all the cards full of generous monetary gifts from your friends and family and it keeps your gift table from looking cluttered in photos! I used it in my booth for all my AMAzing Brides to enter to win my raffle! This one is sold here.
HELLO SIGN: I just thought this was a cute, welcoming addition. Again, this was a seasonal item at Michael's, but here's a similar one!

My business cards I ordered through vistaprint and the contact cards I had the brides fill out to enter the raffle I printed and cut myself.

NOW FOR THOSE GORGEOUS FLOWERS!!!
If you haven't followed @littleflowerbunch on instagram RUN DON'T WALK to do it now! Ashlea is the sweetest person alive and her creations are incredible! Not only does she do event flowers, but she also does a "bunch of the day" and hand delivers them in Jacksonville FOR ONLY $28!!! Sorry for all the caps, but goodness I love her florals! Ashlea made these 2 adorable arrangements for my main booth, and then some additional ones for my decor booth. The Garland in the middle of the table in my decor booth? SWOON!!! You can also go to her website for more info! I am so excited to work with Ashlea on future events, but I also just love sending her bunches to my family and friends in Jax!

THE DECOR SHOWCASE:
I immediately jumped at the chance to have this free 10x10 space to showcase my talents. Then it was 2 weeks before the show, and suddenly I was in a panic of what exactly I wanted to do with that space. This was an "unmanned" booth that was in the holding area for the brides. It was an incredible way to get additional exposure, and can I just tell you that almost every bride I talked to brought up that they saw my booth at the front and loved it!

It looks rather simple, but it definitely had an impact on the brides who came through, so I'm so glad I participated! I wanted to keep with the glamping theme in this area, while also showcasing some of the decor I own in-house. The tables and chairs I used are all folding items that could be used in a camping/outdoor setting!

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I decided to make a sweetheart table, because I was traveling for this expo and needed to be realistic about the amount of "stuff" I brought. I own this gorgeous sequin linen and knew it had to be showcased because, not only are beautiful cake table linens a trend right now, but champagne is all the rage as well! From there, I decided the garnet colored napkins would be such a pretty contrast. I sent Ashlea a picture of my table with no florals, as well as a few photos of garland I liked on pinterest. And then....Ashlea blew my mind with this gorgeousness! She completely blew my garland dreams out of the water! Like I said...You need her flowers in your life immediately!

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I sell custom menus and place cards through my instagram shop, and decided to showcase those a little as well. I LOVE how these place cards turned out. I used a really thick champagne colored glitter card stock. Not only do they look great, but they are inexpensive! It's difficult to tell in the pictures, but the champagne flutes have Mr and Mrs on them as well! Something you can also by through my shop! 

Sorry the quality on this one isn't as great (I forgot to take a photo of just this area, but wanted to provide you with some details)!

Sorry the quality on this one isn't as great (I forgot to take a photo of just this area, but wanted to provide you with some details)!

I'm constantly adding to my in-house decor supply (Sorry hubby!!), and wanted to show some of the items in person, rather than just having photos of them for my brides!
FRAMES: Duh. Marshalls. If you need frames for your house, or for events, go to {say it with me!} Ross/Marshalls/TJ Maxx!
LOVE IS SWEET SIGN: Sweets are such an easy giveaway or favor that everyone loves. I had a little container full of kisses for the waiting brides to snack on! The sign can be purchased from Hobby Lobby, and the cute gold top jar is from Target!
LANTERNS: The lanterns were another addition to try to keep with the Glamping theme! They're at,  you guessed it, Hobby Lobby {Gosh I should own stock in that place}!

I wanted to do a close up of this part of the table because I LOVE these table numbers!! I bought them originally for my own wedding, and have used them at every wedding I've worked since then. They're pretty, and they don't take up any precious space on the dining table!
TABLE NUMBERS: They're from Charlie Chalk Designs on Etsy. They're high quality wood, so they don't snap like the plastic versions do, and you can buy the exact number you need. I also follow them on instagram because they have tons of other items I love as well!
MR & MRS SIGN: I own a distressed white {pictured} version of these, as well as an antique gold. They're a simple addition to a sweetheart table and look so cute! The white set are from Hobby Lobby.
And of course... THOSE FLOWERS! I love flowers, but I also love when arrangements have awesome greenery as well, and boy do these fit that description!

At my booth, brides could fill out a contact card to be entered to win my Swag Bag of bridal goodies! I handmade all of the items I was giving away, and they can also be purchased through my Instagram shop if you weren't the winner!

CONGRATS EMILY! Emily won a custom Mrs. Tote Bag, 2 Wifey tshirts, and custom sunglasses, koozies, and stemless wine glasses for her and her hubby!

CONGRATS EMILY! Emily won a custom Mrs. Tote Bag, 2 Wifey tshirts, and custom sunglasses, koozies, and stemless wine glasses for her and her hubby!

I hope this post helps any future expo vendors or brides to be! Be sure to leave your comments/questions below!

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Bridal Expo Wall Tutorial

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Bridal Expo Wall Tutorial

BRIDAL EXPO WALL TUTORIAL

So, I'm a vendor in my first bridal expo next weekend! A scary, but necessary, step in getting this business off the ground running. The theme for the expo is "Glamping", so I started by scouring pinterest for ideas for my booth. Since it's my first expo, I opted for the smaller 5ft x 5ft booth to get my feet wet. I came across a tutorial on how to build a wood wall backdrop for my booth, and I knew this is what I wanted to make. Some things I was looking for when deciding what I wanted to make:

  1. It had to look great!
  2. It had to be relatively inexpensive, since I've just put a lot of money into my LLC, insurance, my website launch, and joining the expo in the first place.
  3. It had to be EASY to make (because I'm insanely crafty, but don't necessarily consider myself handy).
  4. It had to be easy to transport.

I found this post on pinterest, which is where I drew my inspiration from (thanks Amanda!), but it lacked some of the details us unhandy people, like myself, would need to create this lovely backdrop without frustration, so I decided to break it down for you!

Supplies you'll need:

  • (4) Metal Decking L Brackets
  • (4) 1" x 4" x 10 ft Whitewood planks (I used whitewood because it was the cheapest, and it was easy to use!)
  • (5) 1" x 10" x 10 ft Whitewood planks
  • (1) 1" x 5.5" x 10 ft Whitewood plank (This piece is dependent upon how high your wall is going to be- see below)
  • #12 x 1 in Flat Phillips Wood Screws
  • #12 x 1 1/2 in Flat Phillips Wood Screws
  • Wood Glue
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Steps:

  1. Cut the 1" x 4" x 10 ft planks to the desired height of your wall. I did mine at 80". Since this wall isn't going to be as wide as most because I only have a 5ft x 5ft booth for this expo, I didn't want it to look too tall and skinny. 
  2. Cut the remnants from those planks to (2) 18" long pieces and (4) 10" long pieces for the bases and (2) 2 1/2" pieces for the tops of the pillars.
  3. Cut all of the 1" x 10" x 10 ft planks and the 1" x 5.5" x 10 ft plank to the desired width of your wall. For this expo, my booth is only 5 ft wide, so I had all mine cut in half. 
    TIP: You can have the employees at the hardware store you buy from cut the pieces for you for free if you don't have a saw!
  4. Use (2) of the 1" x 4" x 10" remnant pieces you had cut, and (1) of the 1" x 4" x 18" remnant pieces to make 1 of the bases. You will need to use the 1 1/2 " inch screws to secure them.
     
Make sure the 10" pieces are lined up properly. Don't screw it in right at the edge or the wood will split (I might know this from experience...)

Make sure the 10" pieces are lined up properly. Don't screw it in right at the edge or the wood will split (I might know this from experience...)

5. Next, add the L brackets to the bases. I had my husband hold 3 pieces of the 1" wood (it's misleading because they're labeled 1" thick in stores, but if you actually measure them, they're less than that) in between the 2 brackets, so I could mark exactly where they should go, and so I knew that the pillars, and the horizontal slats would fit perfectly in between. Use the 1" screws for this.

6. Add your 1" x 4" x 80" beams to the bases. Make sure you have it held flush against the bracket and that the edges are lined up. Use the 1 inch screws for this, because you don't want the screw to go all the way through the wood or your horizontal slats won't slide in easily.
7. Add your 2 1/2" pieces to the tops of the pillars to keep the 80" pieces held together. I tried doing this with a screw and ending up splitting the wood, so I resorted to hot glue because I was under a time crunch. I'll probably go back and use wood glue after this expo to make sure it permanently holds together, but the hot glue works fine for now. Make sure you glue the pillars to the top piece at the exact width you need the opening. With the 3 pieces of wood together (the 2 pillar pieces and the horizontal slat slid into the middle), mine measured 2 1/4", so that's the measurement I glued my 2 pillars at.

This is a side view of one of the pillars with the top piece added. You can see at the top that the sides are open so the horizontal slats can slide in easily from the side!

This is a side view of one of the pillars with the top piece added. You can see at the top that the sides are open so the horizontal slats can slide in easily from the side!

8. Your wall is officially built!

As you can see, there was an open space at the top, which is why I added the 1" x 5.5" x 10 ft piece and had it cut to the 5 ft length like the others. That filled in the rest of the space that was left.

As you can see, there was an open space at the top, which is why I added the 1" x 5.5" x 10 ft piece and had it cut to the 5 ft length like the others. That filled in the rest of the space that was left.

Although I love how the raw wood looks in the above picture, I really wanted mine to have a white wash look. So, I got White Wash Stain from Lowe's.

DON'T DO IT! I started to stain the wood and it did absolutely nothing. Luckily, we had repainted our house and used white on all the doors, so I happened to have a ton of white interior paint leftover. I decided to give that a try.

I applied it like I would a stain. I bought some of the cheap rags you can buy at Lowe's (they're usually in the aisle with the stains) and dipped the rag into the paint, then I just rubbed it across the boards and on the sides lightly until it had a light white color. I didn't do the backs of the board because no one will see that side (and I'm thinking I might do a different color stain on the opposite side to use for different events.

Here is my finished wall:

I have a large poster size print of my logo with a white frame that will go in the middle of the wall, and I'm toying with some options for what to put in my booth. So far this is what I've started with (the linen on the table will be lavendar!).

Sorry you can see the edge of my couch :)

Sorry you can see the edge of my couch :)

What ideas do you have for what should be in a Vendor Booth? Comment below!

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