At some point, every little girl dreams of the day she gets married. Whether it be the venue, the wedding gown, or her future prince charming, it’s fun to think about all the exciting and gorgeous aspects of your big day. But once you’re engaged, where do you even begin with the planning process? It can be overwhelming trying to do research online, or ask around for recommendations, or sifting through lists of vendors. One of the most efficient and simple ways of planning your wedding is to go to a bridal show expo. Not only are all the different types of vendors all in one place, but you actually get to meet the companies in person instead of researching them all on a screen. We’ve come up with a list of 15 quick tips for attending bridal shows!
It will save you time, and you’ll be guaranteed a grab bag if the bridal show has them!
You’ll be on your feet walking around and standing while talking to vendors, and you’ll most likely be covering a lot of ground-especially at the larger expos! You don’t want to have to deal with aching feet or blisters.
Although there are sometimes food samples or free chocolates at the booths, these aren’t going to fill you up, and you don’t want a hungry belly to keep you from enjoying and taking your time! We also suggest bringing a water bottle and snacks just in case! The concession stands can be pricey, and waiting in long lines for food just takes away time that you could be checking out the vendors.
Most of the time the vendors at the shows are local to that area. You can often avoid travel fees from vendors if you choose a bridal expo close to you or your venue.
It’s so much easier to make decisions when you are both there! And there are often booths at the shows that the guys enjoy too such as suits, DJs, catering or bakeries with food samples, honeymoon destination services, and more.
Many bridal shows hand out stickers that say “Bride”, “Groom”, “Mother of the Bride”, etc. We highly suggest actually wearing them! It helps the vendors identify who’s who in your party of people, and helps you avoid the awkwardness of a vendor asking if your brother is your groom!
Before the show, create an email address that’s just for wedding planning! This way you can make sure emails between you and vendors don’t get lost in your inbox, and it will keep all of your wedding planning information and contacts together in one account.
Go into the show being open to booking that day. There are some vendors that offer deals for just that day because of the show! You can also ask if the vendor will honor the specials for any length of time after that day. Never hurts to ask!
If you think you’d be interested in using that vendor’s services, ask to meet the owner of the company or the person you would be directly working with. One of the best things about bridal shows is getting to meet the people face to face. Some vendor’s work is amazing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re a great fit for you, and sometimes it takes a meeting in person to find that out. Also, don’t be afraid to schedule an appointment with a vendor to learn more about them and see more of their work! It doesn’t mean that you have to be all in right away, but it does help you ask questions in a more relaxed environment.
Feel free to ask as many questions as your heart desires- and more! No question is a bad question! And the bridal expo is the perfect place to ask! You can even write out a list ahead of time.
11. Ask for a referral.
If you really vibe with a certain vendor, ask if they have recommendations for other types of vendors! Many vendors have worked together for years and know who is professional, put-together, and friendly!
Feel free to take photos of the people/vendors/booths that you talked to and liked! And don’t forget to grab any brochures or business cards that they have! If you bring a pen, you can write down any notes from conversations with them or something that stood out to you about the company so you can remember and discuss later with family or your fiance! (and for your own memory! You may end up waiting to reach out for 6 months, and by that point, you may have forgotten about the conversation you had. Notes will help refresh your memory.
Most raffles are legit! The worst that happens is that you don’t win. The best thing that happens is that you do win! What have you got to lose?!
Many shows will give you a sheet of stickers with your contact info on it. Use them! If the show you’re going to doesn’t provide them, make your own! They make it easy to give out your information without you having to write it over and over again!
Feel free to bring your bride tribe or family along with you! And don’t reject the idea of wearing a sash or crown to the show! It’s YOUR day! You can even wear shirts that say “Bride” or have your girls wear matching shirts that say “Bridesmaid” or “#Bridetribe”. Get creative! Be sure to try out all of the photo booths and get free photo strips with your fiance, family, or your girls! You can even make a day out of it all and go out to brunch and mimosas beforehand!
We hope this list of quick tips helps you feel more prepared for attending a bridal show. If you’re curious about bridal show expos close to you, search online for one in your city! If you have questions specific to the show your attending, don’t hesitate to shoot an email to the show coordinators!