Bridal Show 101!
Bridal shows are the mecca for newly engaged couples....I've seen my share of girls going all out with “bride-to-be” sashes with a matching bag and entourage shirts for all 7 of her bridesmaid that “had” to come to help her select vendors and then there's those girls that look WAY too young to even be getting married. Non-the-less here are a few tips if your planning on attending a bridal show.
#1 There will be other “bride's” there, so it's not just about your day. Be patient when meeting with potential vendors. If you have to wait your turn to ask questions or to get the attention of a potential vendor look at it as a good thing, that probably means that vendor has something that others like too and they may be someone worth the wait.
#2 Do your research. Look up vendors that showcased last year or if you're lucky are going to be in attendance this year. It gives you a sneak peek to see if the show is worth going to. If there are only two photographers and you weren't impressed by their websites than maybe save your time and money and go to the show next week or try a larger show with more variety and selections.
#3 Create a custom e-mail address. This allows your personal or work email to stay just that personal/work. It also allows for all wedding related business to be in one central location. Don't forget to check it though, besides bridal shows that's the best place to get deals is through those follow up emails vendors send.
#4 Check the website for a coupon or pre-register. It will save you money and sometimes it's even FREE!!
#5 Make pre-printed labels of your information. It's inevitable that you will be asked the key questions about your wedding. It saves you from getting writer's cramp and from repeating yourself 100 times throughout the day. This will also help the vendors know who is serious and who is not about attaining their information if you register with them. (If you're not interested it's better to just tell them upfront that way you don't have to dodge their calls later). Make sure to have: your names, wedding date, phone number, email address, and wedding location.
#6 Bring a pen and paper. Take good notes, be specific, cause there is no way you can remember it all. (personality, albums, display, prices, etc.) or even better bring a camera and capture what you liked, as long as it's know copyrighted by the vendor.
#7 Eat well and pack a snack and water. No one said finding a good vendor was easy so it's better to be prepared with a full stomach and water to stay hydrated, after all it usually takes at least an hour to weed your way through the crowd. We won't tell that you have your emergency Snicker's in your purse, just in case.
#8 Save your self time and energy. Know which vendors you need and which you do not. It's better to stay focused on the prize that to look at all the shiny things along the way.
#9 Wear comfy shoes and layer. You will be walking and on your feet for a length of time. No need to bring out the winter coat, after all you have to carry what you take off.
#10 Bring an entourage. If it's a large show and you get overwhelmed you can have them talk to vendors while you grab a snack and some water to recuperate. You may also need help holding “the bag” of goodies you'll receive of vendor information.