Attending a bridal show is a fantastic way to help plan some of the key details of your wedding. They are also a lot of fun to go to! This top ten list of tips will help you accomplish a lot, while also having fun.
1. Don’t get overwhelmed with planning
One of the biggest mistakes I see brides doing at wedding expos is quickly getting overwhelmed. These shows are about having fun and getting to meet many vendors. The shows are not about planning your entire wedding over the course of one afternoon.
I recommend that brides focus on one or two vendor types (i.e. Florist and Photographer) and only talk to those vendors.
2. Bring your wedding support network
Filling out raffle forms, sampling cake, and toasting champagne are all best enjoyed with mixed company. Bring your fiance along to get his input on which cake tastes best. Bring along your mom if she knows more about flowers than you do. It’s definitely a fun way to spend the day with those that are the most important to you.
Make sure to bring your support network though, those that are going to be there to help with your decisions. Bringing people who are constantly asking, “Are we done yet” or family members that may have a little too strong of an opinion can bring things down.
3. Eat cake
One of the best parts of a wedding show is the cake tasting. All of the local bakers bring samples of their cakes to try. I’ve even talked to bridal show attendees that go just for fun, and the free cake is one of the reasons.
4. Fill out the raffle forms
The Florida wedding expo has over 100 prizes drawn at the completion of the show. I can’t think of any show that has a higher chance of winning a raffle than at a bridal show. Many of the prizes are even valued at several hundred dollars.
The old adage is, you can’t win if you don’t try. So, fill out all of the raffle forms at booths and who knows what you might go home with.
5. Bring labels with your wedding information on it
If you are going to be entering the many contests, you’ll quickly find your hand cramping up due to filling out the many raffle forms. Before you go, print out several dozen prefilled out forms that include your: name, fiance’s name, wedding date, wedding location, e-mail address, mailing address, and telephone number. That way when you visit a booth, you just stick your label to the form and head on to the next booth. You may even get your support network to help with this.
6. Take all of the pamphlets, flyers, and ads offered to you
Most booths will have a takeaway that will talk about their offerings, pricing, and bridal show specials. If you are starting to feel overwhelmed and everything is running together, you can always sit down when you get home and slowly sift through all of the information you collected.
It also helps if you bring a pen with you to jot down some notes about the booth (i.e. I really liked their wedding photo albums). That will help differentiate one business from another.
7. Look for new wedding ideas
While most bridal shows have the conventional vendors (wedding photographers, djs, florists, caterers, etc.) there are also some other vendors offering some products that you may not have thought of. Even the more traditional vendors may offer a product that others may not be including with their packages. So, take advantage of the many innovative ideas at the show.
8. Enjoy the fashion show
The best seats at the runway show are quickly taken as people start lining up an hour in advance. The fashion show lasts about 45 minutes long and it shows off fashion for brides and grooms as well as bridesmaids and parents.
Not only are the runway shows a great way of seeing all sorts of bridal fashion, they are also very entertaining. A recent bridal show at the Rosen Plaza had a belly dancer and a saxophone artist performing between fashion sets.
9. Come prepared
Make sure you come to the show prepared. Definitely bring a calendar with you in case you need to set up a time to meet with a vendor after the show. Also, bring a form of payment (usually a credit card or checkbook) in case you are making a deposit with one of the vendors. It’s also a good idea to bring a bag to collect all of the material you gather and a binder or folder to file away any important documentation you leave the show with.
10. Research before hand
Most of the bridal show websites will list the vendors beforehand. Check out the websites for these companies before you attend the show. By doing this, you’ll narrow down the number of people you *must* meet with.