We’re kicking off the new year with a wedding open house on Sunday, January 26th from 1-4pm and we could not be more excited. We hope you already have it on your schedule and are as excited as we are, but if you’re questioning if an open house is for you, we have your answer. We’re talking all about the benefits of attending an open house, regardless of the planning stage you’re in or if you’re booked with us or not.
Spoiler alert: Everyone should go and it’s free to attend. So yes, you should come.
There are seriously so many benefits to open houses from a planning perspective, but depending on where you are in planning you might get something else out of it than someone else will. No matter where you are in your planning though, we know that there are some aspects of wedding planning that are straight up foreign. If you’ve never been to a wedding open house, you’re probably wondering what in the world they entail – lord knows I was, and my husband-to-be was definitely wondering what I was dragging him into when all I told him was “there will be cake.” I really didn’t know what it was, just that I thought it could be helpful.
And it was. But before we get into why it’s beneficial for you to attend a wedding open house, here’s how we do them.
In short, we have some of our favorite wedding vendors set up all through the hall and chapel at The Chandelier of Gruene. It’s a come and go event that is completely free for you to attend. You get to walk around, see the venue, and talk with different vendors that could potentially be a part of your day. Some vendors will also run specials specifically for people who attend the open house, so it’s an opportunity to save some money with wedding planning. Everyone is welcome – brides, grooms, families, friends, and even people who are not planning a wedding at the moment. You do not have to be a Chandelier Couple to attend and there is no pressure to sign any contracts on the spot. It’s a fun process, there are often a lot of free samples (did someone say cake and appetizers?), and last year we even had a few vendors do giveaways.
Wedding open houses allow you to meet with a ton of different vendors all in one place, which can streamline your planning process. But, if you’ve booked absolutely no one or almost all of your vendors, it can sometimes feel overwhelming because there is so much going on. Remember to take a breath and enjoy the moment. Just like you get to have fun with wedding planning with your shower(s) and bachelorette/bachelor party, we like to look at open houses as another one of those things that is enjoyable and part of the experience of being engaged. So, let’s talk about what benefits you can get out of attending, depending on where you are in your planning process.
At the Early Stages of Planning
You don’t have very many (or any) wedding vendors booked, you may or may not have a wedding venue booked yet, and you’re just getting started in planning your big day. If this is you, open houses are literally designed for you. If you don’t have a venue booked yet, an open house is a great way to be able to walk around the venue and get to experience it filled with people. If you’re considering The Chandelier as your wedding venue, it’s a chance to spend some extra time there while also meeting potential vendors that know our venue and have worked well here on numerous occasions. If you’re not considering The Chandelier or are already booked somewhere else, that’s okay. You still have the opportunity to meet vendors, and I don’t like saying this from a venue perspective, but from a bride’s perspective seeing somewhere else can help reaffirm your decision that you chose the right venue for you.
As far as meeting vendors go, you will be given so many options at one time. Unlike a going to a bridal show, though, all of these options are proven options with us. We only have our recommended vendors at our open houses so we know they will help create the best day possible for you. From photographers and florists to caterers and music, you’ll get the chance to talk to and get to know the vendors to not only get to see whose work you love, but also who you vibe with. We can’t say enough good things about building relationships with and getting to know your vendors, so meeting them in person lets you start off on a great foot.
Even if you just go just for the experience aspect, attending an open house at the beginning stages of planning really makes things so real and will give you a ton of ideas for what you want your day to be like. Most people don’t have a lot of knowledge about weddings when they get engaged and don’t know where to start with planning, so this is a great way to kick it off.
At the Middle Stages of Planning
You have some of your wedding vendors booked, and feel like you’re working on the last couple. Your venue is already booked. If this is you, I personally think this is the most fun stage to attend an open house in. You get everything that you get out of attending an open house at the beginning stages of planning, but you don’t have quite as many vendors to consider. You also have the added benefit of potentially seeing some of the vendors you’ve already booked, whether it’s our team if you’re booked at The Chandelier or maybe your photographer or coordinator has a table set up. Getting to talk to those vendors in person helps build a relationship with them, which will make you feel more comfortable once your actual wedding day rolls around.
If you’re in this stage of planning, you might also have a few different vendors you’re considering for one category (i.e. two different DJs and a band for music options). If one or more of those vendors are set up for the open house, it’s totally worth going to meet them in person no matter where you’re getting married. It can help give you clarity on your decision and save you time so you don’t have to set up individual meetings with them.
Finally, sometimes with wedding planning it’s easy to tick off the big categories of vendors that you know you need to book, while others may not have even crossed your mind yet. Attending an open house often lets you see vendors that you might not have thought of (like donkeys for your cocktail hour or transportation for your exit), which can help eliminate stress later down the line since you’ll have already thought about it, if not checked it off your list entirely.
At the End of Planning
You have all or almost all of your wedding vendors booked and you’re not really looking for anything in particular. If this is you, you might be surprised about how much you can still get out of attending.
First and foremost, if you’re booked at The Chandelier, COME. It’s so nice to be able to spend more time at your venue and continue to get a feel for the space. You might see a photo opportunity spot that you love, get an idea for a different cocktail hour setup, or realize that there’s a corner in the hall that’s the perfect place for your cake cutting. Whatever it is, you’ll be more confident on your wedding day because you’ll have spent more time at your venue. It also makes it more exciting because you get to think about the fact that you’ll be getting married here soon.
Beyond that though, attending an open house towards the end of your planning can be helpful to give you inspiration for your own wedding or help you think of something you might have missed. You might see a calligraphy sign and realize that you’d love one of those to welcome your guests or see flowers set up on an officiant’s table that would be the perfect addition to your own bouquet. It’s also an opportunity to say hey to vendors that you already have booked. I met my DJ in person for the first time by attending The Chandelier’s open house last year, 9 months after booking him. It was the first time I ever heard him in person, and I went home on cloud nine because I felt more confident after talking to him for literally two minutes. Those opportunities to connect with your vendors are ones you shouldn’t pass up.
Not Planning a Wedding (yet, or ever)
This category can cover a lot of different things, but we wanted to throw it in here because of how often people tell us they didn’t think they could come because they weren’t engaged. Our Wedding Open House is a vibrant atmosphere and we have a lot of fun with it. These are great people and they come out because they want to talk to you. Maybe you need a caterer for a upcoming party you’re throwing. Maybe you like checking out local vendors from New Braunfels. Maybe you follow us on Facebook and you’ve just been wanting to see what The Chandelier looks like in person. Maybe you aren’t engaged yet, but you think it’s coming soon so why not. Maybe your friend is getting married here in a few months and you want to see it in person. Whatever the reason, you are welcome.
There is a lot of crossover between the stages, so just because you identify more with one, doesn’t mean you can’t get the benefits of the other. And, as always, there may be additional benefits that we didn’t even think of because this is your wedding, your big day, and your personal experience. In short, though, open houses are great because they personalize your wedding planning experience. Instead of reading reviews on planning websites and searching through vendors websites and sending emails, you get to talk to them in person and build connections. You get to try tasty cakes and food samples. You get to listen to music. You get to make wedding planning an experience and have fun with it. So many people tell me that wedding planning is stressful, but I thrived in it because I tried to soak in every single moment of it. Venue open houses let you do just that.
I’ve attended an open house at every stage of the process. There is no wrong time to go to an open house and everyone gets something different out of each one that they attend. If your calendar is free on January 26th, I seriously can’t recommend it enough. I know we’ll be excited to see you, and all of the vendors we love will be ready and waiting to welcome you as well.
Speaking of vendors, here’s the current list of everyone that will be at the open house!
So, make a date of it, bring along a friend or family member, come by yourself if you want, but whatever you do, get ready to have fun and catch yourself smiling as much as Samantha and Alex on their wedding day. We’ll see you on January 26th!