A Bride’s Notebook: Bridal Shows
Now that the holidays are over, as a planning bride you are probably getting a lot of invitations to go to bridal fairs as vendors are in their “off season” and they are planning their 2014 and even 2015 weddings. Depending on the size of the show, there are raffles, free food & music playing along with many vendors who can’t wait to meet you. Sounds like a lot of fun, right? As a planning bride, I couldn’t WAIT to go to these shows with my fiancé – but they very quickly got overwhelming and tiring! As a vendor, I’m now on the other side of the table, and I can tell you that the word I hear most from brides at these shows is “overwhelmed”. I think bridal shows are wonderful and so helpful, if they are used the right way. So, here are some tips to make the most of your visit to a bridal show!
- Keep your eyes open. If you are in the beginning of your planning, go with an open mind, heart & ears. Meet every vendor, and have a conversation with them about what your vision might be for your day. Maybe chat with them about some venues you’ve been looking at; see if they’ve worked those places before. If you’re in the middle of the process or towards the end and just have a few more things left to do, look for those vendors specifically so to ease confusion and that overwhelmed feeling. Talk to vendors about whom else you’re working with. As I’ve said in a previous post – making relationships with your vendors will ensure an even more special wedding day!
- Write it down, but only once. One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen is how brides are now dispensing their information to vendors. If you don’t want to write your name, e-mail address and phone number numerous times in one day to be included on a mailing list or raffle at each table, try this out instead: make a business card or a mailing label with all your information on it! Include your wedding date too, since vendors work off of wedding dates and will always ask what your date is immediately after saying, “Congrats!” Easy, saves time & it’s legible so the vendors can read it. Win-win!
- Bring your team. Use the few hours you’ll spend at these events as a girl’s day out – bring your bridal party and have a fun day together checking everything out and meeting new people. I also think it makes a great day to have with your mom, grandmother, sister, or aunt – someone you are related to that you trust and would have fun with. Even if your team consists of your fiancé only, then treat the outing like a “day date,” and go meet these vendors together!
- Get inspired. The vendors will all have such beautiful tables, featuring their best work. If you’re unsure of floral design, colors, or what style photographs you want for your big day, use a bridal fair as inspiration. Take pictures of things you like, and talk to the vendors about what appeals to you.
- Have fun! Bridal fairs are all about making the bride feel special – there will be chances to win products or services, free giveaways, and probably a lot of food with maybe even a little champagne! Vendors come together to meet new prospective brides & clients, and they want to celebrate you and your fiancé for helping grow their business and keep them doing what they love to do. Enjoy every second!