10 Tips to get the most out of a bridal show without being overwhelmed
Hi everyone. Whether you are engaged for a day or 6 months, you are probably trying to figure out how to get everything you would like done without being overwhelmed. Well, the first place you could start with is to attend a couple of bridal shows.
Now, going to bridal shows can be a daunting task in itself. The first thing to consider is to limit yourself to 3-4 bridal shows during your planning process. If you start going to every bridal show in existence, you will get tired of it, and they will begin to look all the same. (not to mention that many vendors will start to know you by name :) ) So, do some research on some of the better shows in the area and make lists of the ones you are most interested in attending. Once you narrowed your choices down, you are ready to have fun! Here are ten tips to get the most out of a bridal show.
1. Set up a wedding email.
I can't tell you how important this is. Once you have started investigating vendors, you will probably start getting inundated with emails. To keep everything straight and not clog up your personal or work email, it is best to keep a separate one just for your wedding.
2. Pre-register for the bridal shows you are interested in going to and make wedding labels
Don't sign up for every show. Register for those 3-4 shows that you want to see. It will make check-in much more relaxed, and in many cases, it is cheaper or better yet free if you pre-register. Also, create labels. Very important. The tags are used to slap on every information card that vendors hand to you at the show. Keep in mind, at these shows there are at least 50-100 vendors if not more. They all want your information to contact you for bookings. If you intend to visit every booth, that is a lot of writing you will have to do. A quick label with your name, contact info (and we at David Eric Photography prefer to email rather than phone), wedding date and wedding location would make your experience much more manageable. It will also give you more time to speak to each vendor and ask them any questions that you may have.
3. Be comfortable
Keep in mind; you are going to be walking around a banquet hall or convention center for a few hours. Wear comfortable shoes and bring lots of water and maybe even a snack. In many of these shows, there may not be access to drinks or food other than samplings. Also, have a canvas bag with you to put the information that you will be given from the vendors so that everything is together. Some of the shows give you bags, but sometimes the containers may be small plastic bags that will be filled up by the time you walk in the door.
4. Bring someone with you.
I know you may want to do this alone but trust me to bring someone with you. Preferably your fiance ( I mean he is part of the decision-making process too) or your best friend that is helping you plan the day. Now, on the other hand, don't bring the whole army. Ever heard the saying "too many cooks in the kitchen can ruin the pot." If you have too many people with you, there will be too many different opinions for you to hear. The other influences can be more confusing than helpful. They also can be overwhelming for the vendors who are there to help you and answer your questions not the questions or comments of your entourage. And on another note, try to leave the kids at home. In many cases, they do not want to be there, especially the younger ones, and be more distracting for you than helpful. No offense.
5. Enter into the contest drawings that are of the most interest to you.
Once you get there, you are encouraged to enter into every vendor table drawing. Take a moment and see what it is all about first. If the vendors are giving away a free item that you don't want or need, don't enter into their drawing. Keep in mind; every vendor is there to offer you their wedding services. And in many cases, the door prize is related to booking that vendor for your wedding. By taking the award without the intent of scheduling them you are just wasting your time and theirs. Also, keep in mind, if you give them your information, you are permitting them to contact you. Unless you want that vendor to call, you don't do it.
6. Be honest with the vendors
All of the vendors there are there to help and book new clients. And They do pay a lot of money to be there. In some cases, it can be as much as $1000 or more. Be straight with the vendors when they are coming to you. If you want to get information, ask for it. If you don't need that service or are not interested in it just say thank you but I do not require that now. If you go and talk to everyone whether you are interested in that service or not, you are just going to get overwhelmed and get information that you don't need. It will also be frustrating for the vendor too.
7. Take info that interests you only
You are going to be visiting with so many vendors that it will become confusing. No matter how tempting it is to grab that free pen or magnet, if you don't need it, don't take it. The idea is to get the information from vendors that you are most interested in talking to and possible working with so that you can contact them for bookings. The vendors spend hundreds of dollars on these promotional things to give away so that you don't forget them. That's great, but now you have to take this stuff home and carry it around with you at the show the whole time. Your arms will begin to get tired of carrying this massive bag of trinkets that will most likely be in the garbage by the end of the day. Just take what is of the most interest to you and make notes of who you want to remember so that you can contact them when you get home and go through everything.
8. Keep an open mind
Some of your best ideas will probably come from a vendor that you saw at a bridal show. Look at everything. Talk to everyone you want. Get the info that catches your eye to call back later. Just soak it all in. Especially if you are just starting with your wedding planning. You never know when your inspiration may hit.
9. Stay until the end.
I can't stress this enough. The door prizes are given out at the end of the show for both the grand prize and the individual booth prizes. Here is a great trick to use your time wisely. If you are not interested in the fashion show or the entertainment show, visit with the vendors that peeked your interest. In most cases, they won't be busy because everyone is watching the showcase. It would be the perfect time to get the information you want really, and there won't be a crowd there.
10. Most important have fun.
These shows are your time to be a VIP for the day. Everyone is going to want to meet with you so that they can talk to you about your perfect day. Enjoy it.
So there you have it. Ten essential tips to make your bridal show experience the most helpful and fun day you have had without getting overwhelmed in the process. If you have any suggestions that I didn’t list that you would want to share, jot it down in the comments below. There are still some great shows to come in Northern New Jersey. We at David Eric Photography hope to see you there.
TATA for now. (hehe I still love that line)
About the Author
Caroline Rizzo is one of the owners of David Eric Photography in Maywood New Jersey. With over 25 years of experience in the wedding industry, she has won awards for excellence in photography and design. Caroline has helped hundreds of brides get the most out of planning their wedding to make it picture perfect. David Eric Photography is a vendor that is at at least four bridal shows per year and has seen so many brides get overwhelmed with the whole wedding planning process. If you are looking for an experienced wedding photographer that can also help with those details that most don’t know of call Caroline of David Eric Photography, Northern New Jersey ’s most sought-after wedding photography studio at 201-880-5400 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.