Going to a bridal show can be extremely helpful in your wedding planning because it gives you the opportunity to meet many wedding professionals. You can gather information, compare services and prices, register for prizes, see the latest fashions and get ideas for your big day.
Here are 15 tips to inspire you to make the most of your bridal show visit.
Before The Show
1 – Research
Visit the bridal fair websites for your area before your visit to find a list of vendors, event schedule, pre-registration information and admission coupons. Some companies organize regional events, so if you missed a major vendor in one city, you can go online and find out if they will be at the next scheduled bridal show. This way, if you plan on visiting more than one show (recommended), you can plan your visits accordingly.
2 – Register in Advance
Visit the bridal show’s website and register online. This will save you time waiting in line to register on the day of the event. Advance registration can provide money-saving offers, free gifts, and opportunities to win giveaways. The bridal show website will also have details on the giveaways. Prize winners are often chosen at random from the registration form, so make sure your contact information is legible (see tip #5).
3 – Have A Plan
Now that you know which vendors will be attending, you can put together your plan of attack. Make a list of vendors you need for your wedding. There are plenty of vendors at bridal shows – wedding apparel, photographers, photo booths, videographers, entertainment, travel agents, wedding venues, etc. – which can become overwhelming. By following your list, you’ll save time and stress.
4 – Create A Bridal Show E-Mail Account
Creating an e-mail account that’s wedding specific will ensure that you don’t get a lot of unwanted e-mails in your main account. Vendors pay a lot of money to get e-mail lists from bridal shows. If every vendor at a show contacts you once, that may lead to 100 e-mails in your inbox.
5 – Make Contact Labels
Many bridal show vendors request your e-mail address, wedding location, and date, etc. Print adhesive labels in advance so you don’t have to keep writing that information. Just peel off a label and stick.
On The Day
6 – Questions, Questions, Questions
Ask lots of questions about what’s included in the service a vendor is offering. If you book a vendor at the show, many of them give discounts so you may want to bring your credit card, checkbook or cash. These may be big purchases, so make sure you really want to spend a lot of time with this person on one of the most important days of your life.
7 – Bring Your Own Bags
Not all bridal shows or vendors give out free bags to store your goodies in, so bring your own to gather information, brochures and business cards from vendors who caught your eye. You could always bring a small bag with wheels to carry around information, magazines, and other items.
8 – It’s A Date
Don’t forget to bring a notepad and pen to take notes along with a diary, calendar or digital calendar. You’ll need these to schedule meetings, tastings, fittings, etc.
9 – Bring Color Swatches
If you’ve already purchased your bridal gown, a color swatch will help coordinate with purchasing accessories. These swatches will also help with coordinating the bridal party attire.
10 – Bring The Family
Bring the groom, your mom, your future mother in law, bridesmaids and/or friends with you. It helps to have more than one opinion at the tasting tables and fashion shows. Why bring the groom? He can visit the tuxedo rental vendors as well as help with tastings.
11 – Take Photos
Use your cell phone or bring a digital camera to photograph an eye-catching floral centerpiece, wedding cake or bridesmaid gown for future reference.
12 – Wear Comfortable Shoes
You’ll walk many aisles at a large extravaganza as you check out the ideas, people, products, and services. You want to concentrate on the vendors, not your aching feet.
13 – Take Only What You Need
Try to stop at only the booths that you’re interested in. Most vendors give out fliers, brochures or business cards, so your bags can get heavy quickly.
14 – Keep Your Options Open
Planning a wedding requires a lot of organization and flexibility. If the deejay or photographer you had in mind is booked on your date, don’t fret, there’s always another in the next aisle.
15 – Have Fun
Attending a bridal show can help you enjoy planning your wedding and to share this exciting time with others.
Follow these tips and you’ll get the most out of the bridal shows you visit and be well on your way to planning your dream wedding.
Do you have any tips to share on attending bridal shows?
Drop me a line in the comments below.
I’d love to hear about your bridal show visits.