How to Attend a Bridal Show and Leave Feeling Accomplished
Once you’ve found “the one” and they pop the question, it can seem like you’re riding a wave of euphoria until the planning gets real. I mean, really real. You know, to the point where you feel like you need a big glass of wine more often in the evenings to get all your to-dos checked off before the big day finally arrives.
Who knew you needed to scout out that many vendors to make your wedding as seamless as possible? Luckily, however, there’s an all-in-one solution you might not have thought about before to help you find the perfect crew to make your dreams a reality. All so you can sit back and be the chill bride that you are (or aspire to be!).
And, that solution is attending a bridal show. It’s a great opportunity to meet and greet with many different vendors all under one roof. Talk about a serious stress reliever. So, how can you ensure you make the most out of your visit? Check out my five tips so you can not only show up ready for success, but also leave feeling accomplished!
1. Pre-register or ask for discounted tickets.
Even if you’re a 100% spontaneous person, the last thing you want to do after deciding on which show to attend is arrive without a ticket in hand. These types of events often get jam-packed with brides-to-be who decide at the very last minute to make the journey to the event space to see what all the bridal show rage is about. This leads to walking through the doors ready to slay it, only to be greeted by a massive crowd waiting, waiting, and waiting some more to get creative ideas for their wedding, and meet vendors.
That said, if you have the opportunity, pre-register for the event online! Doing so will not only save you time at the door, but also give you the chance to receive exclusive money-saving offers and even gifts. Hey, the hosts of the bridal show love to get an approximate headcount in advance, so they’ll naturally reward those who will help them out!
Also, don’t hesitate to ask some of the wedding professionals attending (or even a wedding vendor you might’ve already booked!) if they have discounted tickets. This is a GREAT way to get into the show and talk with them, without being forced to spend too much of your hard-earned money.
2. Invite some trusted members of your wedding tribe.
Let’s get real serious here. As Booker T. Washington once said, “Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.” What I’m getting at is, invite some trusted members of your wedding tribe so you can get the most of out of the experience. And, leave the naysayers and opinionators at home.
When you have quality people alongside you—from your mother to your mother-in-law, sister, maid of honor, sister-in-law, and/or even your hubby-to-be—to either share ideas or help collect information, you’ll find the bridal show will be so much more fun for you!
3. Bring your A-game on the day-of.
Your A-game should only consist of the following: Avery labels. Comfortable shoes. An empty stomach. A small purse (trust me, you’ll get some type of bag to lug all those vendor items around in.). And, even a priority list of the vendors you’d like to meet with, whether that includes a caterer, florist, bridal shop, and plenty more.
Out of that short list, you probably kept going back to Avery labels. While it might sound strange, when you show up with those, you’re going to save yourself so much time. It’s true. And, why you ask? Because many people will be asking you to jot down your information left and right. That gets exhausting. So, hit up your local office supplies store, pick up a box of basic Avery labels, and add the following details to them to get ready to print before the day of the bridal show:
Contact information (most likely your email address)
4. Take plenty of notes, pictures, and book your appointments.
I’ll be honest. Bridal shows can be super overwhelming and leave you feeling in need of a nap. That said, you can easily get back home and forget who you spoke with and all the helpful information they shared. So, take plenty of notes—documenting specific vendors who impressed you and whom you want to follow up with.
Additionally, don’t forget to ask them if you can take pictures of their booth—especially if they’re a florist or event rentals company! That way, you can have a visual on file of a specific setup or design you loved to share with them the look you want to replicate for your big day.
And, ultimately, just be sure you hold back from walking away with contracts. You don’t want to get locked into something without having time to think about it or gather more information. Instead, book an appointment with specific vendors you absolutely love to allow you more time to get to know them better, share more details about your vision, and gather their advice to bring your vision to life.
5. Don’t be shy & have fun!
If you have the opportunity to participate in a giveaway, game, or any fun the bridal show vendors have to offer, take it! I say that because some booths get pretty creative in their efforts and you can win big. I’m talking a free photography session, day-of coordination, and so much more depending on the vendor. That’s more money in your pocket for the honeymoon of your dreams or even those pricey gifts on your registry that got passed up.
And, remember the ultimate goal: to have fun when visiting the booths and conversate with the people working them. Not only will they love that, but you’ll also get a better feel for them and their business to help you decide whether or not they’re a perfect match for your special day.
If you follow these simple tips shared here today, attending a bridal show can be an amazing time-saving asset to your planning process. Here’s to making the most of your experience!
What’s your favorite tip, or what would you suggest to someone who’s going to bridal shows this season? Leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!