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Photography/Bridal Shows Chattanooga Tennessee


Bridal shows in Chattanooga Tennessee are starting this month. I've already retained my wedding venue for a certain date. I have not retained any other wedding vendors or services. So my question to you is do you believe it would be worth my time and gas expense to make a special trip to attend bridal shows in Chattanooga?

Bridal portrait
Bridal portrait  
Hi Jill,

Thank you for your question about bridal shows in Chattanooga Tennessee.

Since you have already retained a wedding venue for a certain date, this will limit the availability of wedding vendors you would meet at a bridal show. It is anyone's guess which vendors would be available.  Also some wedding venues do not allow certain services from outside the venue's own or which are not on their "approved list" of outside vendors.  So you will need to make sure on this before retaining someone outside the venue who will not have permission to participate in your wedding at your chosen venue. Since the vast majority of wedding vendors retainer fees are non-refundable, that money would be lost.

Another thing to consider when meeting with wedding vendors at bridal shows is the atmosphere of the meeting. Nobody wants to feel rushed, pressured or be surrounded by distractions when speaking with a wedding vendor. Outside a bridal show, most wedding vendors know it is best to have a clean, peaceful and comfortable area to meet with prospective wedding clients.  YET, at a many bridal shows, there is often lots of distractions and noises created by the wandering crowds and other wedding vendors playing music, video presentations and talking. So if you were to go to a bridal show, I would highly recommend NOT sitting down and trying to retain or hire anyone there until sometime after. Some people would say that if you wait later, that wedding vendor could get hired by someone else first! That is true. However, it is NOT the end of the world. For all you know, it could be a blessing in disguise that you didn't hire that vendor.  Why?  If you had not even heard of that wedding vendor until you went to the bridal show, how much do you really know about that vendor?  Are they members of the Better Business Bureau? Do they present a list of customer testimonials from your local area?  Most brides today are taking time on the internet to research the vendors they are considering. They want to know who is trustworthy and who are highly recommended. Membership in professional associations mean little to nothing.  Why?  Because all they have to do is pay a membership fee.  I've also seen those who have attended all kinds of seminars, workshops, etc., of various industry associations - did them no good.  Their work is still nothing I would pay for. If you are looking to be impressed by something - that should first be the quality and style of work they do.  Do you really like it?  Then if so, go online seeking reviews past customers and the reviews they provide over the past year or longer.

Which brings me to another serious fact to consider.

If you want to attend a Chattanooga bridal show it could be worth it for no other reason than to get some ideas for your own wedding day. But as far as seeking wedding vendors and hiring them at the bridal show, I strongly advise that you do NOT do that. If you go to a bridal show with that intention you are already setting yourself up to RUSH through wedding vendors!

I recommend going to very popular wedding websites to check reviews of various vendors. All this kind of information and more is right at your fingertips and often not available even on the venues and vendors own websites.  Also make sure they are licensed and especially properly insured.  Some venues will NOT allow vendors into their venues without liability insurance.  I know several wedding planners who have found some vendors willing to fraudulently claim to have insurance and when checked, they did not have the insurance.  Also in some cases were also not even licensed to do business!

Wedding Photographer John Wilson
Wedding Photographics
Chattanooga, Tennessee


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I have over 30 years of experience. 12 years portrait studio experience. I can comprehensively answer questions relating directly to the art, science and business of photography and the portrait studio business. Photoshop and other photo editing software.


Over 30 years photography and about 4 years working as a portrait photographer for a studio in Chattanooga and eight years as a portrait studio owner.

I have attended numerous workshop, seminars and photography conventions over the years. I continually self-study from my library of over 100 photography, video, digital photography, photoshop and other books.

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