Planning a Wedding? A Bridal Show Should Be Your First Step!
If you just got engaged, you are about to begin on a journey that can be the most exciting and adventurous time of your life, but it can also be stressful if you don’t know anything about planning a wedding. You are more than likely wondering “where in the world do I start?” or “what should I do first?”
Attend a Quality Bridal Show!
One of the best tools you can begin with is to attend a quality bridal show! Imagine a room full of everything you need for your wedding and several varieties to choose from in each category.
There are hundreds of wedding professionals all ready and willing to answer the myriad of questions you have. It’s so much better than researching the internet because you actually get to meet the people who will be with you on your wedding day face to face and compare pricing and services.
How do I prepare for the show?
Wear comfortable shoes and plan to stay at least 4 hours. Most shows will provide you with a shopping bag to carry around and pick up information. Bring labels with your names (Bride and Groom), address and wedding date.
It will save you a lot of time filling out forms for opportunities to win prizes. Create an e-mail address you want to use while planning your wedding and put it on the label also.
How do I get tickets?
Most shows will allow pre-registration online where you can purchase your tickets. The tickets will be e-mailed to you. Doing this before you arrive at the show will save you time waiting in line.
There are a few free bridal shows out there, but they are not usually the larger shows and will not have as many professionals for you to meet.
Should I be afraid to give out my e-mail or phone number?
No. You want the vendors to be able to reach you, they want your business and many will send out special offers that can save you money. You can opt out from an individual vendors email list at any time.
What do I do when I arrive at the show?
Check in at registration, pick up your shopping bag, wear your Bride and Groom stickers proudly. The vendors want to give you the special attention you deserve.
Pick up a show program so you know who will be at the show and what time fashion shows start. Then plan your route! If the first aisles are too crowded when you arrive, skip them and plan to catch them on the way out.
Take your time and relax and enjoy! You are planning the biggest event of your life. Take time to interview the vendors whose products you are interested in and make appointments with them to find out more.
What kind of wedding products and services can I expect to find at a bridal show?
Wedding apparel, invitations and paper products, reception sites and venues, restaurants for rehearsal dinners, caterers, wedding cakes, candy, ice cream and popcorn stations, photographers, videographers, florists, rental and décor companies, bachelor and bachelorette party info, wedding favors and accessories, bridal registries, formalwear and tuxedos, disc jocky’s and entertainment for your wedding and so much more!
Will I be able to see decorating ideas and current trends at a bridal show?
In addition to meeting the wedding professionals, many of them will show décor ideas in their booths and larger bridal shows also feature areas where local designers will show off all the latest “cutting edge wedding trends”.
Are there usually fashion shows at a bridal show?
Most bridal shows will have at least one fashion show featuring the latest bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses and tuxedos.
What should I do with all the information I collect?
If possible, as you are walking through the hall and meeting vendors, mark the flyers for the ones you were most impressed by with a star or something that will remind you later what you liked about them. When you get home, empty the bag and separate all the information by category.
Make a file folder for each category or hole punch them and put them in a binder. If there are some you can eliminate immediately go ahead and throw them away. Then take each category and organize them by your level of interest. Make appointments to meet with them and find out more!
How do I know which bridal shows to attend?
There are big shows and boutique bridal shows and then there are open houses. At a large show you will generally find over 150 wedding professionals and it will be held in a convention facility. A boutique bridal show is usually less than 80 vendors and is held in a hotel creating a more intimate environment.
Open houses are opportunities to check out wedding venues and meet with their preferred vendors and are typically held following the large bridal show each season. This is the best way to see what different venues actually have to offer you in both service and to see the ambiance of the location.