April 15th,2018 in Northern Michigan will be a day I will remember for the rest of my life.
The weather was not like a normal day for the middle of April. It had been snowing for a couple days and the wind was rather nasty. It was being advised to stay off the road unless you needed to travel. It was my mothers 40th Birthday, once again, not sure how many 40th Birthdays she has had at this point.
It was also my first wedding expo. I was jumping in to the Wedding Photography Business with both feet. I was putting myself out there while making a fairly sizable financial investment into the business. It was also my first trade show, for my own business. I had ran several shows for the companies I have worked for. When you are doing it for yourself it is little more stressful. You are putting your product and yourself out there to be criticized.
The journey started for me on Saturday, the day before the show. The weather had turned from bad to worse. It had been snowing and blowing since Friday and the ground was still warm. My dirt driveway was still soft and as I pulled out of my garage heading for the venue, I got stuck. It happened as soon as I turned the wheel to get on the little "gravel" road I live on. After a little shoveling and some colorful langue and some creative driving I was able to drive another 50 feet before getting stuck. I repeated this including some dodging of some craters along the "Gravel" Road for the couple of blocks I had to travel. This short trip took me about and hour and probably helped me burn a weeks worth of calories.
I got to the Grand Traverse Resort, on the other side of Grand Traverse County and checked into my hotel room. Staying the night was a last minute decision given the rapidly deteriorating road conditions. It proved to be a great decision.
I went to the outdoor hot tub and relaxed a little. When my good friends Ken and Carol stopped by to help set up the booth we ventured over to see if we could get a head start on getting set up. We had the booth set up in about an hour.
After the quick trip to the store I headed up to my room and tried to unwind before crawling into bed and calling it a night. I spent what seemed like hours tossing and turning. I was wondering what I had forgot to pick up or bring with me. I was also wondering will anyone show up with the poor weather conditions.
To me it was worse than Christmas Eve. I was both wondering and worrying, what does tomorrow hold for me and my business?
I woke up before my alarm and jumped out of bed, Just like I did as a young boy Christmas morning. Instead of wondering what was under the tree it was the excitement of what the day held.
I went to the window and saw that the blanket of snow covering the ground had increased. My heart sank a little as what I feared the most happened, Mother Nature Struck. I feared that not as many would venture out in the weather for a wedding expo.
I ventured down to the exhibit hall and found out that the show was still a go. That gave me a little hope. I went and adjusted things at the booth one more time before heading back to the room to clean up and get ready for the big day.
When I got back to the hall, Ken had shown up, and was putting the finishing touches on the booth and we chatted about the weather, the other vendor booths, took it all in and made mental notes about what to do for the next Expo. The next thing I knew it was show time and the doors were open and even with the weather being what it was, people were lined up and walking in. It took some time for the first person to reach my booth. Once the first person stopped by it was a constant stream of people stopping saying hi and asking a few questions before heading on to the next booth. Before I knew it the show was coming to an end and we had talked to over 150 people about their big day and how I could help capture the memories of that day.
One take away for me was that each bride was in a different place as they walked through. Some were calm as can be and just gathering information for the future while others were in a little bit of a panic as they were getting closer to the day than there were ready for.
I want to thank each and every bride that stopped by and took a few minutes to talk with me about their special day. You all have so many big decisions to make and I am honored to have even been considered to capture the memories for you.