When I was planning my wedding back in 2013, I only attended 2 bridal shows. The first bridal show was so overwhelming - too many people in one location, pushing and shouting at each other. It was all I could do to keep calm and my support team for the day (my mom and sister) did the best they could to keep me sane. For anyone who doesn't know me personally, I can get claustrophobic in large crowds when it gets chaotic. The whole experience almost ended the wedding planning for me, and not because I found all my vendors. The second bridal show was very laid back; a smaller ballroom with maybe 15 different vendors total. My husband went with me to this show because I thought he should have to experience the craziness that I had dealt with earlier that month. However, because of the size and organization of that show, there was no drama or craziness. Since we had a good experience with the second show, we were actually able to tour the venue one-on-one with the owner and booked with them.
Why do I share my experience with you? I don't want you to feel overwhelmed like I did - so here are a few tips to make the most of your next bridal show. Use these tips when you join us on Sunday, January 27th at The 2019 Mansion Wedding Planning Bridal Expo at The Mansion on Main Street in Voorhees, NJ. Reserve your spot today here.
1. Create a list of you need.
Prior to attending your first show, sit down and create a list. You need to go into the show with an idea of what you need or want. Try to make a "must have" list - the things that are an absolute necessity to make your day perfect. When making your list, think about what is most important to you. Are you going to want video of the day so you can watch it with your kids down the road to show them where it all started? Do you want an album of your wedding portraits? Should you get an interactive item like a photobooth for your guests to partake in?
Think about your vision for the day. Is it going to be a small affair or a large event? Do you want floor to ceiling flower arrangements? Are you having your ceremony at a church or at your venue? These questions will help guide you to figure out which vendors you will need.
For example, if you are doing a one-stop-shop deal and having both your reception and ceremony will be at the same place, then you don't need a limo, which is one less vendor you need to book. Creating a list of the vendors you want will help you when the doors open and everyone rushes into the bridal showroom.
2. Bring your bridal team.
Whatever you do, DON'T GO ALONE! Ask your bridesmaids, mother, soon-to-be mother-in-law or anyone else significant to come with you. Having a least one other person with you will help navigate your way through a show. You'll want to inform your team of what vendors you need so they help you find the perfect fit for your personality and budget. Another person will also come in handy when you have to carry all your free sway home.
3. Create a wedding email account.
When vendors sign up for bridal shows, they will usually get a master list of people that registered for the show and those that showed up that day that include your email. You will start to get inundated with emails regarding their services and how they are the perfect fit for you - believe I do this when we leave a show. In avoid cluttering up your in-box, creating a second account that you'll use specifically for wedding communication will help keep things organized.
4. Make pre-addressed labels with your information.
Every table will have a sign-up sheet for more information. You're going to write your name, wedding date and email so many times in one day that it will almost become meaningless. Creating pre-made labels with your key information will help you cut down your writing time and give you more time to talk to specific vendors. It's almost like creating your own business card to give to the vendors.
5. Bring a large bag.
You are going to be receiving a lot of take home items. Price lists, catalogs, magazines, pens, candy, stickers, and other free swag will be given out at a bridal show. By bringing a canvas tote bag or a really large purse, you'll be able to keep your hands free to enjoy the refreshments. You can also pre-pack snacks for when you need to re-energize yourself.
Bonus Alert - Look for the deals
Vendors are investing their time and money to attend these shows and want to come away with a least one booking. In order to guarantee this, they offer deals:
- Book today and receive 10% discount
- Receive a free engagement session
- Enter to win a special package deal
Brides who does their research can score big at these shows.
Come check us out on Sunday at The 2019 Mansion Wedding Bridal Expo