How to Get the Most Out of a Bridal Show
words by | Eve Green
photo by | Swatch Studios 2016 Anchored
It’s the time of the year for bridal shows and wedding expos. These events are a great way to explore and narrow down your list of potential vendors. In order to get the most out of your experience, consider the following tips for successfully navigating bridal shows and wedding events.
Determine Which Events to Attend
With so many bridal shows available, how do you choose which events to attend? Before you start researching which events are right for your wedding, it’s important to understand the difference between a Bridal Expo and a Boutique Bridal Show.
Bridal expos typically host 100 or more vendors with a trade-show like format. These expos often take place in large facilities or convention centers and provide brides with access to a large number of vendors who offer samples, great deals, and prizes.
Boutique Bridal Shows:
Boutique Bridal Shows are more carefully curated events with a smaller number of hand-selected vendors. These bridals shows are more intimate and may allow for more one-on-one time between vendors and brides.
We recommend attending each type of show to get the best of both worlds. Bridal Expos and Boutique Bridal Shows each offer their own diverse appeal and resources for brides. You should take this opportunity to expose yourself to as many professionals as possible in various settings.
What to Bring
Efficiently navigating a bridal show can be difficult if you don’t have the proper supplies. TWG recommends making labels with your name, your fiancé’s name, address, phone number, email address, and your wedding date. These labels will be used for registration, vendors, and for the plethora of prizes and drawings available at bridal shows. It may feel a little impersonal to utilize labels but those who come unprepared will likely spend more time writing down their information, rather than focusing on and getting to know the vendors who will be the right fit for their wedding. As you may be wary of giving out your information to so many people, we recommend setting up a special email address just for your wedding. Keep in mind that by giving vendors your contact information you are giving them permission to contact you. Try to only give your information to vendors that offer the products or services in which you have a genuine interest.
Who to Bring
When determining who to bring to a bridal show, remember that less is more. You might get overwhelmed and easily distracted if your entourage consists of you entire bridal party. Instead opt for your fiancé and one friend. You may also want to consider bringing along anyone else who is making the financial decisions. Some vendors offer deals and specials that are only available to those that book on the day of the bridal show. Therefore, if mom and dad are footing the bill you may want to bring them along.
Research: Before, During, and After
It’s impossible to talk to 100 vendors in one day, so it’s important to do your homework before you wade into the show. Before attending a bridal show, find the list of vendors that will be in attendance. Check out the vendors websites and make a note of those that appeal to you. When you are at the bridal show you will be able to connect with the vendors face-to-face and see if you would work well together. Glance at vendor websites from your phone at the show as well if you want to see more of their work. If you don’t feel ready to commit to booking a vendor at the show, don’t let the pressure get to you. Take home the brochures and pamphlets you collected at the show and give yourself time to clear your head before reviewing everything again.
Visit our Events page to see upcoming bridal shows and wedding events recommended by the Toledo Wedding Guide.