Once you get engaged (or you know that question is just around the corner) you must go to a bridal show. At least one. Not only is a bridal show an excellent source of wedding professionals in your area, but it is a melting pot of styles sure to help you get your creative juices flowing. And the prizes are well worth the price of admission.
But bridal shows can be intimidating so here are a few helpful hints to make the most of your time.
- Think comfort! This is not the time to be stylish. Wear comfortable shoes! Leave dangly earrings and long necklaces at home. If the weather is cold outside, layer layer layer – because it will be stifling inside. I would avoid big, bulky coats if at all possible. Leave your purse at home – take just the essentials.
- Don’t go it alone! I don’t recommend forcing your fiance to attend but ask bridesmaids, mom, sis, or any other friends. If you have enough, split up into pairs and go down each aisle separately. Then switch – so you can catch what the others missed.
- Have you already hired your Day of Coordinator? See if he or she can attend with you (at an additional fee). This would be a perfect opportunity for your DoC to give you tips on the different wedding professionals they have personally had experience with – and to introduce you to them as well.
- Bring your appointment book/calendar. Be prepared to schedule meetings. Most wedding professionals will be offering show specials and the sooner you schedule your meeting, the better chance you have of your date still being available. If you make an appointment with someone, please be sure to keep it. Or at least cancel it ahead of time. It is not cool to just not show up. Ever.
- Don’t grab everything in sight. The temptation will be great – so many samples and handouts – how can you say no? Trust me when I say only take the items that really interest you. Otherwise you will never be able to remember that XYZ Bakery had the most delicious cake of the day or which stationer had the invitations you have to have.
- Have a notepad. Something easy to carry with a stiff back to make writing notes easier. Each pair should have something to take notes in so when you meet up later they can tell you which booth you have to see.
- Create a wedding email account right now, if you haven’t already. Then use this email when signing up on various websites. This way all of your wedding information will be in one location and it won’t clog up your personal email account. And don’t forget to occasionally check it after your wedding day – that may be the only way some of your wedding professionals have of reaching you.
- Create labels. Most bridal shows have a central check in location where you input all of your information – which is later shared with all of the wedding professionals at the show. But sometimes there will be drawings at individual booths and having the information on hand is much simpler than having to write it out. Be sure to include your name, your groom’s name, your wedding date, email address – add phone and mailing address if you don’t mind phone calls and snail mail as well.
- Bring a camera. Be sure to ask permission before taking photos because some wedding professionals will not like that. However a show is a great way to get additional ideas for your ceremony and reception and if you can capture it on film, all the better.
- Whenever possible, go on a Sunday – the earlier the better. This is the slowest time for the show and will ensure a much more pleasurable experience for you.
Have fun! Relax. Enjoy yourself.