When I first started planning my wedding I was all about finding the best vendors for my wedding in the most efficient way possible, so naturally I attended a few bridal shows. Bridal shows are a great resource for brides that want to physically meet a ton of vendors in a short period of time. Vendors usually go all out to showcase their products/services, so you can see if they are a great fit for your wedding. Most bridal shows are fun and interactive and really help you see the variety of vendor options in your area. Here’s 5 tips that can help you make the most out of your bridal show experience.
CREATE YOUR OWN AGENDA
Bridal shows host anywhere from 30 to 300 vendors. Instead of visiting every single booth, do a little homework before the show. Most bridal shows have a website that list participating vendors. Start by prioritizing what type of vendors you need to hire and a budget for each category. Next, do a little research on the participating vendors in those categories. Create a list of vendors you want to meet, so you can maximize your time at the bridal show. Some bridal shows have a fashion show. If you already have your wedding dress, use the time scheduled for the fashion show to meet with the vendors on your list. Most brides will be watching the fashion show, which gives you more one on one time to chat with a vendor that you’re interested in hiring.
WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES
Bridal shows are designed to help brides meet a variety of vendors in one day. Typically, these shows are hosted at large event spaces, which means you spend all day walking to meet potential vendors to hire. On top of walking – you’re collecting tons of wedding swag, which could quickly weigh you down if you’re rocking 4 inch stilettos. Dress up your favorite pair of flats with a sparkly statement necklace and ditch your oversize tote for a smart cross-body to navigate the bridal show in style.
START WITH CATERING
If hiring a caterer is one of your top priorities – get to the show early. That way you can properly sample all the goodies and quickly decide which caterer you want to schedule a follow up consultation with based on taste. Don’t overload on samples. Caterers try their best to accommodate for the expected number of attendees, but when the food runs out they usually don’t have a way to replenish their supply. Try and share samples with your fiancé when the portions are generous, so you can give other brides a chance to taste the yummy and save some calories too!
BRING LABELS WITH YOUR CONTACT INFO
Vendors will ask you for your contact information, so they can follow up with you after the show. Instead of manually writing down your name, phone number, and email address – create quick contact information labels to add to each vendor’s bridal roster. This will help make signing up for those vendor prizes less annoying and help you navigate through the bridal show more quickly.
The vendors are there to meet you, so take advantage of meeting them in person. Ask good questions, so you can feel confident that they can meet YOUR expectations of delivering a quality product/service. If you’re looking for a custom service or product, don’t be afraid to ask the vendor if they can accommodate your requests. Don’t be shy about asking for their prices if they don’t already have them on display. Bridal shows are a great way to find vendors that match your price points, since most vendors don’t post their prices online.