Spokane Bridal Festival

My First Booth at the Spokane Bridal Festival

I have been attending the Spokane Bridal Festival almost every year since 2000, first as a bridesmaid, then as an undercover photographer spy. I have shamelessly registered as a bride just because I could be someday (that was many, many years ago now). I have also attended as a stand-in bride for friends that could not attend for themselves. My purpose was always to see what it takes to make a statement in the wedding industry. Many vendors have caught my attention over the years… some have kept it, some have disappeared.

Over the past few years I’ve wrestled with the idea of competing with my Spokane photographer friends for a bigger share of the market. I am, after all, a small town Sandpoint girl with a passive “best supporting actress” type role. I have said four or five times, “Next year, I will be ready to display my business.” Well, I don’t know if I was really ready this year or not, but I jumped in and did it anyway.

I had a grandiose booth design complete with larger than life prints, high-end albums, raffles, slideshows, etc. You name it. It was all drafted out on paper. Then I pulled out the calculator and the calendar, and I swallowed hard. Not happening. At least not this year. I suddenly remembered what my husband had requested before we married – before he had heard my wild plans for the wedding of my dreams – to keep our wedding budget “as close to zero as possible.” Ha ha! Well that changes things!

I’ll have to share more about our intimate Braveheart style wedding in a future post 🙂

Lessons Learned

The next step here was obvious. My booth had to be redesigned based on new priorities: sending the right message while saving time and money. My goals were to make a few connections and to learn more for next year’s booth. I accomplished both. Here is my take on what I learned from my first year at the Spokane Bridal Festival:

  1. Just being present at the bridal fair made it easier for people to find me. I talked to several people who were specifically hoping for a local Sandpoint photographer that could handle a large destination wedding. Yep, that’s me. We want the same things. I also talked to a few people that were familiar with my work OR familiar with my name, and they were happy to finally meet me. Brand recognition is important to me and something I have been working on. This was just one more point of contact.
  2. Going through the process of having a booth and representing my business made me step up and work it. I perform best under pressure, so when details came together at the last minute it really boosted my confidence. Of course, there will always be a desire for bigger and better displays. By the time the show started, however, I was content that I was enough. I was ready. I am providing a service that has value, and I know what I am doing.
  3. I really put myself out there for all to see, and I am so encouraged by the support I have received from my local network. Words of Affirmation is definitely my love language. Sometimes I hold myself back for fear of rejection. It’s completely unnecessary. LOL. The bridal fair gave me an extra dose of validation.

Tie it all Together

My booth would not have been complete without the gorgeous floral centerpiece from Petal Talk. I knew I needed an extra touch of polish to all my rough edges, so I shared my vision with Nicole and asked her to design something to tie it all together. Past brides have been so happy with her service and ability to listen. She took care of me just the same. I brought the arrangement home for a couple days and then to the dance studio for at least another week. I wish flowers lived forever, but at least I have great pictures 😉  Thanks, Nicole!

I still have some availability this summer for weddings. If you are looking for your wedding photographer and like my style of work, please give me a call or email me directly { amy@amyhendersonphotography.com }. Or your can get started HERE.

Cheers!

Spokane Bridal Festival Photography Booth for Amy Henderson PhotographySpokane Bridal Festival Photography Booth for Amy Henderson PhotographySpokane Bridal Festival Photography Booth for Amy Henderson Photography

For more information about the winter bridal show, visit bridalfest.com

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    ALL-STAR PHOTO by Amy Henderson
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    102 Euclid Ave, Suite 200, Sandpoint, Idaho