When bridal show descends, it’s time to bridal show like a pro! Are you ready to tackle the masses to one-stop-shop vendors to compare in one place, price shop, and possibly even score some good deals and prices that aren’t always offered year round!
So where do you even begin?
1. Have a plan. Do your homework before you go. Make a list of the vendor types you need (e.g. cake, hair, make up, and dress), and find out from the show’s marketing material and/or website which of those types of vendors will be there. Then plan to spend the most time at those booths asking questions, checking dates, and seeing if you like their stuff/your styles mesh, etc!
2. Don’t miss out on the deals… A lot of vendors offer show exclusives during bridal shows. So don’t be shy about inquiring if there are any “show specials” if they are not clearly posted or shared on show hand outs. This could be a set dollar amount or percentage off or an added value item added if you book by a certain date. You will likely score the best deals of the years by connecting with these vendors at the shows.
3. Sign up for drawings. Vendors give away a lot of stuff and bridal shows. Don’t miss out on your chance to win… and want to know another great insider tip? Save your hands! Bring pre-printed labels for easy peeling and sticking! You’ll save time and won’t wear yourself out!
4. When discussing services such as photography, videography, hair, and makeup, etc. that are very personal, make sure that the individual that you are talking to and more or less interviewing is the person that will be providing the service not just someone filling in to help with the booth. It always helps to talk to the head person doing the service, even if that means setting up a follow up appointment for later (as these events can super packed and you may only get a few moments with people).
5. Be patient with us as vendors. We are in for a super long day, and while we want to give each and every one of you our full and undivided attention, we are human. We get hungry. We have to pee. So bear with us as we do booth shift changes, and maybe even sneak in a little yawn every once in a while as generally we’ve spent all week prepping for the event, the whole day before setting up a booth, and we’ve been there since the crack of dawn just waiting for our one shot to talk to YOU!!!!
6. Set-up a pattern of how you plan to tackle the aisles and use your map- that way if you have to skip a booth because it’s too packed at the time you swing by it the first time, you can easily head back after bit and hit it when things slow down.
7. Want more time to talk to vendors? The booths will be less crowded during the style shows.
8. Dress comfortably. You will likely be there for a while, especially if you plan to stick around for style shows and/or prize drawings.
9. Bring friends. Bridal shows are always more fun when you can share them with your bridesmaids, your fiance, or your mom (or even your dad!).
10. Take notes, and don’t make rash decisions. You don’t have to be rushed into a decision at the event!!!! Write down everything that you loved and if a vendor is available on your date, but do go home and do your homework! Don’t feel like you have to be pressured to book there even if the deal is great!!! Most vendors will extend their show specials for a few days or weeks past the show. Set appointments, not contracts at shows!
11. Lastly, not every show is created equal. Different shows bring in different vendors. So GO TO THEM ALL!!! While you will see some of the same faces, you will see different businesses at each!
Engaged River Valley, Managing Editor
Contemporary Bride Expo, Producer