8 Bridal Show Tips For Brides
How was the holiday season?! If your reading this you are probably one of the lucky ones who got engaged over the holidays. The wrapped square ornament turned out to be a ring or the secret trip to an unknown location ended with a “will you marry me?”. This will probably, no doubt, be one of the most exciting times of your life. It may also be one of the most overwhelming and stressful times of your life as the euphoria subsides and the planning begins. We know because we have been there and hear it from our Bride and Grooms time and again! The instant you post your first engagement photograph the questions from family and friends pour in like a tidal wave. What are your colors? What dress are you thinking of? Where do you want to get married? What style of cake do you like? What about flowers? Am I invited?
Yea, and thats just the beginning.
So while the start of your planning process may seem like the beginning of your hike up Mount Everest its ok. Because you got this, and you will do it one step at a time and of the best first steps that you can take is to attend a Wedding Expo aka Bridal Show/ Wedding Show/ Wedding Convention. There are several reasons for this. First, you will have access to multiple vendors of all types in one location which would take days to visit or set up a meeting time. Can you say time saver? Second, it will get your inspiration flowing and help you to start piecing together what your wedding day may look like. Huge plus! Lastly, you will be able to walk away with knowledge. Knowledge on what to ask, what vendors you want to research more, and what your must have’s and have not’s are.
Already a wedding expo Veteran?! Perfect drop some comments below as we would love to hear some of your top tips for attending a wedding show.
For our first timers no need to panic. Just realize it may be overwhelming at first but we have some tips that should help make the wedding show seem like a walk in the park. Lets jump into our 8 bridal show tips for brides!
1. Bring Company
Maybe thats a close friend, parent, or sibling. Regardless of who it is, having a second person or in some cases army of close companions with you is very important. Here’s why, you will be inundated with offers, hand outs, and decisions. When you have an extra set of eyes, ears, and hands you can rest assured nothing is missed and you can bounce ideas and thoughts off each other. BONUS POINTS: Fiance comes with. The men are a rare sighting at these bridal shows but we believe it’s important for them to be there.
2. Take Notes & A Selfie
Remember #1? With more people comes more note taking which will help when you go home at the end of the day and try to recall everyone you chatted with. Something you can do the night prior is to jot down categories. example: wedding planner, DJ, photographer, videographer, venues, etc. As you visit a vendor that fits into that category you can list them under it and write notes. Likes, dislikes, follow up questions, promotions, etc. Also, we’re all on social media, whip that phone out and selfie it up with the vendors that blow you away! Find them on social media, tag them.. trust me when you get home and rummage through the bridal bag of goodies, and 5 million cards you will remember who you truly LOVED.
3. Create Info Stickers
Something we have seen frequently is Brides who come with address label stickers they printed out prior to the event which listed their email address, phone number, names, and wedding date (if known). What you will find is almost every vendor has some kind of drawing which will require this information. Yes these drawings are legit. We have never heard of any that weren’t and is a huge added benefit of attending the show. These stickers will be sure to save yourself from the onset of carpel tunnel syndrome by the end of the day.
4. Create A Separate Email
Something that can keep you organized and save your personal email from being destroyed is establishing a separate email. Using a service provider of your choice and creating an email address that is used exclusively for wedding planning will allow you to keep all of your wedding communication in one place. Also, remember that you will be putting your information in for drawings. You will no doubt receive emails from those vendors. Your newly established email will ensure those emails aren’t lost or placed in spam upping your chances of seeing any emails that may have been otherwise lost if they were sent to your personal email.
5. Bring Food & Drinks
I don’t know about you but I don’t make smart decisions when I am hangry! Fortunately most bridal shows, if not all, offer food. However it can be costly and at times overflowing with a long line which takes away time you could be using to talk to vendors. Keeping a snack of choice on hand will help stave the hunger while you finish up your rounds.
Yes I said stalk. No, not the creepy kind of stalk. What I mean by this is typically a Bridal show will have all of the vendors that will be present at the show either on the website, ad, or handout. Whats great about this especially the larger shows is you have the opportunity to do some pre-gaming before you go. You are able to glance quickly to see if there are vendors you REALLY must have or want to know more about. That way when you arrive you can prioritize your time by visiting the vendors you want to see the most. There are some vendors that you will benefit from meeting in person. For instance wedding planner, photographer, videographer etc. are usually the ones you interact with almost the entire wedding day and the time leading up to it. If you love their work but don’t jive with them in person then it will most likely not be a good idea to hire that individual. It’s important to have a connection with the people who you interact with the most otherwise your dream day becomes a nightmare.
If you did your vendor research, you love the vendor in person, and want to take advantage of a Bridal Show offer they may have then its important to know what you are wanting to invest. It would be heartbreaking to book a venue of your dreams only to realize you may not have enough room in your budget to get the wedding dress you always wanted. If you come prepared with a general number in mind you may be able to take advantage of the show offers. However, don’t feel like you need to sign a contract that day. A lot of vendors will extend the offer out for a certain period especially if you entered their drawing. This will allow you time to settle down after the show and get your notes together. Then the best thing you can do is follow up with an appointment to talk more specifics in person.
8. Relax, Have Fun
This is probably the most important tip. After all this is going to be one of it not THE most important days of your life. Yes planning may seem overwhelming but its a process that is not to be rushed. At the end of the day it’s all about saying “I DO”! So while getting ahead of planning is important remind yourself to also sit back and enjoy the ride.
You will often find Buchanan Photography at one of the local wedding shows located in Phoenix or Tucson Arizona. Should you happen to see us dont be shy and drop in and say hi!
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