Every bride-to-be should attend at least one bridal show. They are a great source for inspiration and vendors. But from a vendor standpoint, they can be very expensive – which is why I have not done many shows. However I was recently approached to be a part of a show that will not only be a great resource for couples in Central Texas but is also raising money for a worthy cause.
The Passionately Pink for the Cure Bridal Show and Workshop will be held on July 14th and 15th in San Marcos at the LBJ Ballroom and Event Center at Texas State University. In addition to the usual vendors and fashion shows there will be breakout sessions on a wide range of topics to help you plan your dream wedding.
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. Carry an empty backpack to put all the literature and samples in…sure you’ll get bags at the show but they won’t hold nearly enough.
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. If you have a hard time saying no, work out a system in advance: Bridesmaid A gets things you love and really want to investigate further. Bridesmaid B gets the no thank you’s. This system works really well!
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. And be sure to stop by and say hi!