After recently attending my first bridal show, I realized I was completely unprepared for what lied ahead. Bridal shows are amazing and fun, but also overwhelming and crazy. So, to make it easier for all the brides to be after me below are a few steps to help you prepare for, survive, and most of all, enjoy a bridal show.
1) Do your research:
I was stupid. The only research I did before the show was find an address to plug into my Waze GPS App. There are so many vendors at these events. This is a big opportunity for you to save a lot of time. Normally to see three different florists you would need to devote three different Saturdays for flower shopping, or drive around town like a mad woman. These shows bring everyone together for you. So do research beforehand so you know who will be there and a bit about them. Have they done a wedding before in your area? Do they fit your taste? How are their reviews?
2) Make a list of who you want to see:
Once you have done your research make a list of the vendors you would like to see and bring that list with you. When you walk into the show and see how many different vendors there are showing you their photography options, their flowers, dresses, etc, they all start looking the same! Having a list with a few notes about the vendors you want to see and questions you want to ask can be a big help.
2) Bring a small purse:
Once you get to the show they immediately hand you a tote bag to fill with people’s cards and free giveaways. By the end you are carrying so much you are basically lifting weights. Don’t bring an oversized pocketbook to add to the madness. Grab your small bag and get ready for some exercise!
3) Print your information on cards:
I don’t think I have ever written the same information over and over again so much. Name, address, date of wedding, email, phone number. Every booth has some type of contest that all require you to provide the same information. You can win a free engagement photoshoot, free bridal gown, or four free bridesmaid dresses! We all love free stuff. I made sure I put my name in every contest, because let’s be honest, anything can help when
spending your life savings planning a wedding. After filling three or four of these out a girl came by and just dropped a printed copy of her info in the bucket and moved on. Genius. So, type that info out before hand ONCE, print a bunch out, drop them in those bins, smile and cross your fingers. You will then be the bride that has it all together and not the one people are looking at with pity, sighhh.
5) Create a wedding email address:
As you drop your information in every giveaway container, you start thinking about how many emails you will be receiving in the next few days. When I first got engaged I read a tip to make a wedding email address to hand out to all the vendors you are in contact with. This way you can get all the information you need without clogging your personal email with spam mail. I wish I listened. Word of advice, before heading to a bridal show, make that email address. My inbox is now overflowing with emails from vendors that I don’t even remember meeting.
6) Don’t get distracted by wine:
Free wine! We all love it. But don’t let it distract you from the mission at hand. Halfway through the night I realized I had only seen 1/4 of the vendors and the wine booth half a dozen times. Like I said before, this is going to save you a lot of time and headaches later – stay focused!
7) Bring family and friends:
There is a lot of ground to cover at one of these events. Having your friends, mom, aunts can be a big help. It’s always great to get someone else’s opinion on the dress you are looking at, or the photo album a photographer is showing you. This can also solve the wine issue. Send someone to retrieve the drinks for you both as you continue on to the next booth. This is what bridesmaids are for anyway, right? (Just kidding!)