Bridal Shows can be a treasure trove of information for newly engaged couples. The nice part about them is you don’t need to drive all over town to meet with wedding professionals, it can be a, “one stop shopping” experience if you want. That said, they can sometimes be overwhelming for the uninitiated. Here are a few tips to help make your next bridal show a little easier.
- Bring adhesive address labels, if you have them, or print some up on your computer. This will save you a lot of time when you register for prizes at individual booths. Most exhibitors will want to know your wedding date, fiance’s name and a way to contact you if you’ve won, so add those things to the label as well.
- Have a calendar handy to schedule follow up appointments with vendors you’d like to talk with in more depth.
- Eat before you go – some shows feature light snacks but don’t count on having a lot to eat while you’re at the show. Eating before you go helps you concentrate on your wedding rather than your stomach.
- Bring a small bottle of water – gathering info and talking with wedding pros all afternoon can make you thirsty. Most places have a drinking fountain (or sometimes a bar to grab a beverage) but if you bring a little water you won’t have to hunt those things down.
- Colored Stickers – we’ve seen several brides do this and we think it helps save a little time. Grab some inexpensive dot or star stickers at an office supply store and put the stickers on brochures or flyers you get of things you like. Realistically, after you’ve spoken with 50 vendors some things start to run together in your mind. A sticker on the brochure helps you flag it for later when you want to investigate your options after the show.
- Notebook & Pen – Okay, you don’t have to be a court stenographer at the show, but if you want to jot some notes down or capture that great idea you saw, this is an easy way to do it. The camera on your phone is a good way to visually capture things you want to remember too.
- Wear comfortable shoes – it’s easy to spend a two to four hours visiting with vendors, watching the fashion show, etc. Sore feet make most people cranky, so do yourself a favor and wear sensible shoes.
- Bring your finace (at least once) – We know it can be hard to convince a lot of guys to come to a bridal show on a Sunday (especially if there’s a game on), but having him there will help keep both of you on the same page as you move through the planning process, even if you have different ideas about various aspects of planning your big day.
- Create a temporary e-mail to be used while you are planning your wedding. That way you can delete it when you no longer are interested in receiving special offers or hearing from vendors. The amount of offers you receive at first may seem overwhelming, but take the time to read them or you may miss out on some very good deals.
- Walk down every aisle and collect any information you are interested in and take it home to look over again at your leisure. Most large bridal shows will provide you with a large shopping bag as long as you register when you enter.
- Ask lots of questions, that’s what the vendors are there for. They want to help you, so find out everything you need to know.
Finally, have fun and take advantage of all the knowledge in the room. Even if you think you know what direction you want to go, most vendors have a good sense of what works and what doesn’t since they help couples with weddings most weekends of the year. Tap into that knowledge and you’ll make your big day more fun with less stress.