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Takeaways from 2024 Bridal Showcase in Rapid City, SD

Updated: Jan 8

Hopefully you were fortunate enough to spend time at the showcase yesterday as there is always something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a venue and in the early planning stages of your wedding? Maybe you need a caterer? A photographers? A DJ or band? Or maybe you said yes and are still looking for the perfect dress.....there is a lot to choose from at the showcase. Black Hills Bride offers a great planning tool in their magazine with some of the things you "may" not think about when you first start planning your big day. It is definitely a good resource with a lot of great information.

It seemed to be much better attended this year vs last year....was it due to the weather and no being cold and windy? Are there more weddings being planned again post Covid? Were people just looking for some entertainment on a Saturday afternoon after the holidays? Whatever the reason the foot traffic and turn out were incredible, there really wasn't any down time which as a vendor is much appreciated! We personally had the chance to meet SO many wonderful couples and some were in the early planning stages, some appeared very overwhelmed and some knew exactly what they were looking for!

Looking for DJ's in the Black Hills - DJ Marek, Colt 45 Entertainment, DJ Jay Williams & Complete Events are some of our "go to" people when a couple asks if we can recommend a good DJ service in the hills. There are many to choose from but our experience with these specific businesses has been wonderful and they are always willing to please, go above in beyond in making sure everyone at the reception has a great time!

There were plenty of vendors there that had food samples and were offering wedding catering. Some of our favorites over the years have been:

Angel's Catering and Receptions

Anything's Possible Catering

Cheyenne Crossing

Spearfish Canyon Lodge

Smokin' Hot Catering

They offer a wide variety of menus and great food. All of them seem to have something for everyone and try to accommodate any budget. If you want to learn more about them go to the Black Hills Bride on line version and search for vendors.

Bridal gowns, bridesmaids dresses and attire for the groom and groomsmen were also shown yesterday at the two fashion shows. They also offered a black wedding dress which didn't suit my tastes, but it was elegant just not what I would want at a wedding, but to each their own!! There truly is something for everyone and they have a lot of good info posted on Black hills bride as well.

If you are in the very early stages of planning you may have been overwhelmed with all of the VENUES that the hills provide. I get overwhelmed and I'm not planning a wedding lol!!! We met one of the owners, Ashley who purchased Silver Spur Ranch in Belle Fourche, SD along with her husband. It was formerly known as the Barn out West. They are working to add vendors to their list and promote their venue. If you haven't seen it then you should take a drive and check it out, they have a lot to offer. Historic Ranch A in Beulah, WY is also a wonderful venue and has an absolutely gorgeous back drop for weddings plus the big lodge and the cabin that can be rented. Some of our other favorite locations are Sylvan Lake, Elkhorn Ridge, Black Hills Receptions, The Barn at Aspen Acres, The Woodlands, Ruby's Garden, Rock Valley Gardens & Spearfish Canyon Lodge. They all have something unique to offer and you won't be disappointed.

Now onto the photography piece of things, It's been said that you need to get the venue and photographer right away as we tend to book 9-18 months in advance and some of the venues are further out than that so you don't want to delay once you have a date. When you are looking for a photographer you have a lot to choose from and there were MANY photographers at the showcase yesterday, each having something unique to offer and A LOT of varying price tags for relatively the same package. We were probably the most affordable photographer there and have been for several years, but does that mean we are CHEAP or we don't edit our images, you don't receive all of the edited images, it takes forever to get them back??? ABSOLUTELY NOT, it means that we love what we do and we believe that everyone should be able to have some amazing wedding images no matter what their price range. I still work a FT job and photograph weddings on available weekends. I don't believe that ANYONE should have to take a loan out to hire their wedding photographer and that's why we will always offer affordable photography & videography options. Some offer ALL DAY packages which YES you will pay more for, but it is ALL DAY and that makes for a very busy, full day! I believe that engagement sessions should be included with any complete wedding package as well and you shouldn't need to sell a kidney to get the photographer you want. We also keep our deposit reasonable and for that reason it is non-refundable. If you choose to you pick a different day and we have that day available we will transfer the deposit to a new day. If for some reason you choose not to get married the deposit is still non-refundable. By offering the complimentary engagement photography that is a perfect opportunity for you to get to know us and feel comfortable interacting with us as you will be spending a lot of time with us in your personal space on your wedding day! We are very easy going and love to have a good time!

Take time to research your vendors or talk to some of their previous couples. If they don't want to give you any names or phone numbers maybe you should move on because it probably won't be a good fit. Those of us that are comfortable in what we do would love nothing more than to have you speak to former couples and look at their images on line! Word of mouth is sometimes the best form of advertising!!! MAKE SURE YOU LIKE THEIR STYLE before you hire them!! Happy Planning!!

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