Bridal shows are an important, integral part of the wedding planning process. They are a fun event for your favorite wedding planning helpers to get together for an entertaining, informative day of all things wedding! It's a bonding time to plan and dream for the big day. But bridal shows can also be stressful and overwhelming. Here, we've outlined some advice to make sure your experience will be more informative and productive! Good luck and enjoy the show!
1. Pre-register or buy tickets in advance
This will save you time since you won't have to wait in line to purchase tickets at the door; but most shows sell tickets at a discount price ahead of time. You might also be able to score free show admission tickets if you start your search early! Are there vendors that are going to be at the show that you are interested in speaking with? Approach them before the show and ask if they have a stash of free tickets.
2. Form a Plan!
Limit the number of categories you are wanting to visit/research at the show. Large bridal shows can have at least 100 vendors, and going into it without a plan can lead to a completely overwhelming, stressful day. And take it from us, the blank, glassy-eyed gaze tells us you are on the verge of information overload. Are you newly engaged and looking for a venue? Stick to only checking out the venues participating in the show. However, sampling cake along the way is a completely acceptable distraction!
Bridal Show BoothMolly Grosse Photography's booth at Bridalrama, Feb. 2014
3. Do Your Homework
This goes hand-in-hand with forming a plan for the show. Take some time to research the show and which vendors will be present. Think about the vendors you are going to visit, and come up with a list of questions to ask. Is your wedding in 6-9 months? Perfect time to be booking your photographer and DJ, and every bridal show has several to choose from! Approaching each vendor with a list of specific questions, or what you are wanting included with your contract, or any special requests you may have, tells vendors you are serious about booking. I guarantee vendors will appreciate that you have taken the time to research, giving them the ability to offer a more in-depth consultation and explanation of how they can offer the package you want.
4. Come Prepared!
One of our most useful pieces of advice? Print your own address label sheet and bring it with you. Make sure to include your name, your fiancee's name, your wedding date, phone number and email address. That way, if you want a vendor to send you more information, or you want to register for a give-away, you're not wasting time filling in the blanks on their sign up sheet. Don't forget your checkbook or credit card just in case you end up putting down a deposit. And our second most important piece of advice? Wear comfortable shoes! You're going to be strolling through a show for a couple of hours, so comfy feet are a must!
Fashion ShowModels show off wedding dress options at a recent bridal show.
5. Ask to schedule a Meeting
Say you meet a photographer at the show, and you really like their style and pictures. It's okay if you're not prepared to book them at the show. Ask if you book a meeting in the week after the show.
6. Buyer Beware!
As much are you are hiring wedding professionals for a good price, make sure you are also comfortable speaking with them. If you find a professional is being 'too pushy' or you feel intimidated to disagree with their suggestions, consider booking someone else. Their personality is not likely to change before your wedding comes around. Believe me, you don't want the added stress of dealing with someone you aren't comfortable with, or experiencing regret when something doesn't turn out exactly as you wanted. Wedding professionals are in the business to form a relationship with you and make your wedding everything you want it to be!
CrowdAt peak times bridal shows can be incredibly busy, making it difficult to see all of the vendors you are interested in speaking with.
7. Avoid the Crowd
Hate fighting the crowd or travelling with what seems like the same group of people throughout the entire show? We much prefer to have a few moments to chat with you and answer preliminary questions instead of handing you a postcard that you put in your bag to look at later. Beat the crowd by being one of the first guests at the doors as soon as they open. Or, are you not a fashion show person? Take that time to walk around the vendors. Chances are that the booths are nearly empty during this time, and you have a great opportunity to speak with vendors at length about your wedding plans!
8. Last, but certainly not least, HAVE FUN! You're planning a wedding--enjoy the moment!
Did we forget any additional pieces of advice you would add? When was the last time you went to a bridal show? What did you think?