Are you planning on attending a bridal show? If you’re newly engaged and planning your wedding you’ve probably bought some magazines. You’ve probably checked out some websites and done some online searching. And you may have heard about or signed up for a local bridal show, bridal fair or bridal expo (don’t worry they’re all the same thing).
But, if you’ve never been to a bridal show, you’re in for an experience. And not necessarily a good one.
In theory, bridal shows are awesome. Lots of vendors coming to you all in one room so you can get a ton done in just a few hours. But, some bridal shows are pretty horrible. Others have a more enticing experience. But, no matter what type of bridal show you go to, you’re going to be bombarded with people, with vendors trying to get your attention and just sheer information overload. And just that alone can make for a bad experience.
If you’ve ever been to a convention of any sort, a bridal show is a similar experience. There will be lots of booths and vendors. You’ll see all kinds of marketing material and displays. And there will be tons of people. Not just other couples, but vendors as well.
What this all means is that it can be really overwhelming. And what should be a helpful experience, can many times just be too much. And can leave you feeling like you didn’t learn or achieve much.
But, your bridal show experience doesn’t have to be that way. Follow these 5 bridal show tips and you’ll have a much more productive and happy experience.
5 Helpful Bridal Show Tips for a Happy Experience
(Photo credit: Day 7 Photography)
Tip #1 – Pick the right bridal show for you
No matter where you live, there is likely at least a couple of bridal shows in your area. And if you’re in a big city, there may be 10-20 or more. So, the key is to choose the bridal show you want to go to with intention. What I mean is don’t go to them all and don’t just sign up for the first one that comes to your attention.
Instead, pick the bridal show that best fits your needs. For example, there are luxury bridal shows for those who are looking to create a high-end, more over the top wedding. There are rustic or offbeat bridal shows for couples who fit those types of styles. There are bridal shows that specialize in a particular area. And then, of course, there are the biggie bridal shows thrown by a magazine or a bridal show company.
There are many different types of bridal shows, so pick the one (or two at the most) that best fits you and the wedding you want. When you do this, it will be a better fit which means it will be more helpful for you and not waste your time.
If you want to go one step further, check out which actual vendors will be there and see if they interest you. If not, it’s probably not a good bridal show fit.
And by the way, on a side note, if you don’t have a bridal show you’re interested in, you don’t have to go to one. It’s not mandatory.
Tip #2 – Plan for emails and info requests
You’re going to get requests for information at every booth and vendor you speak with. And after the bridal show, you’re going to get emails from those vendors. So, it’s important to plan ahead so this isn’t stressful or hard for you.
If you haven’t yet figured out how you’re handling your email, do so now. Then create simple mailing labels with your email address, names, and wedding date (or estimated wedding date). This will make it both easy and fast to share the information when you’re at a booth, so you can focus on talking with the vendor instead of filling out a form.
Tip #3 – Keep your group small
Bridal shows are not the time to bring an entourage with you. It’s loud, chaotic and with so much to see you don’t want to have to worry about keeping track of multiple people.
Instead, bring just your fiancé or just your mom or just your best friend. Pick the person who will help you and support you. Don’t pick the person who will get side tracked or want to look at things you don’t care about. It’s similar to choosing the people who come with you wedding dress shopping. You want people who know you, your style and will be there to support you.
Tip #4 – Come prepared
To make your time at a bridal show the most productive and effective, make sure you come prepared. First off, prepare for your physical needs. Bridal shows can take a few hours or more just depending on the agenda and size of the fair. So, wear comfy shoes and clothes, bring some water and some snacks just in case.
And then secondly, come prepared with a game plan of what you want to accomplish and what you want to see. For example, perhaps you want to check out photographers and cake bakers. Or wedding dresses and DJs. Make sure you know what the purpose of your visit is. You don’t want to go and just wander.
Having a plan means you’ll have a focus and a higher likelihood of getting what you really need. Now you don’t have to research every vendor on the list ahead of time (although you can if you want), but knowing generally what you’d like to focus on will help direct you once you get inside. You can and will, of course, check out other vendors or items as well. But, with a game plan, you’ll know what to spend your time on so you’ll maximize the value.
Tip #5 – Make note of who you liked
You’ll most likely get a free bag with a whole bunch of marketing pamphlets and business cards. And then as you talk to vendors, you’ll get more information and cards. Make sure you take notes on your phone or in a notebook of who you liked and are interested in. Or make a note on their business card or pamphlet before you throw it in the bag.
It’s really easy to forget the names of companies and people when you’re talking to so many. So, make a note somewhere so that after the bridal show you can follow up with the ones you want more info from. And then you don’t have to worry about who that one photographer was amongst the big pile of business cards.
Now you’re bridal show ready! Armed with these 5 bridal show tips, you’ll not only have a happy experience but one that is also super productive and helpful for you and your wedding. Because let’s face it, you’re busy! You don’t want to waste your time. And you shouldn’t. Use these tips, be smart about how you plan your wedding and you’ll get much better results.
(Photo credit: Day 7 Photography)
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