Congratulations on your engagement! This is such an exciting time! You get to pick out a dress, a gorgeous venue, select your flowers, find a DJ, oh and an officiant, how will you get to the venue? What kind of food should you have? Do you want a 7 tier wedding cake or dessert table?
Wait. This is overwhelming. Where to begin?
Bridal Shows & Expos are a great way to meet top vendors in your area that specialize in weddings! The size of the show can vary greatly from a boutique show offered by a venue to highlight their preferred partners to a mega expo with 80-100+ vendors in a convention center.
Here are my top 8 tips to help you prepare for your next bridal show:
Have a list of the “to-do” items you still need to plan for your wedding. Still need DJ? Great! Make it a point to stop by every entertainment booth to see what they have to offer. Haven’t planned your honeymoon yet? Come see me! If you create a short-list it will help you focus on the areas you need the most.
Look for clues
When you approach a booth is that vendor sitting in a chair and making no attempt to connect with you? Chances are if they can’t get it together for a bridal show they won’t bring their A-Game to your wedding. Move on. On the other hand if the booth is overflowing with people, make it a point to swing back by a little bit later. These events can be chaotic for vendors too. We try hard to make eye contact and greet everyone with a smile, making sure you leave with our literature in-hand and a good impression of our business. But sometimes its just not possible to meet everyone. Don’t take it personally especially if they seem earnest about greeting everyone.
Labels printed with your names, wedding date, phone and email address will make filling out interest forms and prize drawings quick and painless.
Don’t be afraid
No one expects you to sign up or buy anything the day of the event. It’s a day to make connections, for us to learn about you as a couple and what your expectations are. It’s a chance for you to meet vendors you may want to work with and come away with some amazing ideas for your wedding. Make eye contact, it’s OKAY. We don’t bite 😉
Stop at every booth
You may pass a booth thinking “oh, I already have one of those” but you never know what other ideas that vendor might have or they might offer a service you like even better. For instance you might already have a photographer but then you see an amazing photo booth vendor at the show. Why not have both? Renting a table or booth at a bridal show isn’t cheap. These vendors are investing time and money to connect with you. Give them the opportunity to show you how they can enhance your special day.
Bring a tote
There will be tons of material available and some will come in tiny little bags. Instead of holding on to 50 bags, bring one giant tote you can put everything in and sort through later.
Hydrate and bring snacks
There is nothing worse than a cranky bride. There will likely be samples at various booths but bring a bottle of water and a snack especially for the longer events so you don’t have to leave early or start morphing into bridezilla. Many shows that have prizes require you to stay until the end of the event to qualify.
Come with the right attitude
You’re getting married! This is super exciting and planning your wedding is supposed to be fun!! Try to keep an open mind and stay relaxed especially at the big shows where it’s not unusual to have 500+ people in attendance. Need to take a break? Totally fine. Don’t feel like you have to run through the entire event in an hour. Make it a day to spend with your partner, parents and/or bridal party. Smile, be friendly and ready to mingle.
So go ahead and wear that tiara or bridal sash. Every single person you meet today is THRILLED for you. We want you to have the best wedding ever!
Check out my list of events to see where I’ll be. I’d love to meet you face to face and talk about your upcoming honeymoon or destination wedding!