Bridal Show Survival Guide
You are engaged. You are starting to assemble all the ideas and Professionals who will make your Wedding Day Happen. There is a lot to do and a lot of pieces to cover. If there is a local bridal show coming up, it is a great place where you can research and meet all of the Wedding Professionals in you area – You and all 300 other brides in town.
Here are some tips: Do Your Homework Look over your planner and see what categories of Professionals you still need to fill. Also check out the Bridal Show’s website or advertising to see what Professionals will be there. Make a note of those that you need, and if you’ve already spoken to any who will be there. If there is a map of what Professionals will be located where during the show, plan your route accordingly. Pre-Register if you have a chance, this keeps you from a long line when you first get there and may get you registered for more prizes. Come Prepared
There will be a lot of opportunities for you to sign your name and you will be asked a hundred times “What is your wedding date?” If you are entering for prizes or giving your information to set up meetings with Professionals, it is very beneficial to print up labels with all of your information so you can just stick a label instead of writing the same information over and over. Some people have used old return address labels that they get from charities in the mail, but if you can print your own, make sure the labels include:
Your Name and Your Fiance’s name
Your Wedding Date
Your E-Mail Address
Your Mailing Address and Phone #
If you have a little more creativity, you can also order “Wedding Cards” which are business cards that have all of your information, plus can include designs and colors that you are using for your wedding. This tells the Professionals what kind of theme or feeling you want for your wedding. There are many local and online shops that can print up business cards relatively inexpensively if you want to go that route. You will also be moving around and be in the presence of a LOT of people throughout the day. Dress comfortably, wear comfortable shoes, and bring a bottle of water. Take Notes
You will be talking to A LOT of people, so by the time you get home, it may be hard to remember who was who, so take quick notes throughout the day. Add some paper into your planner to write notes, or keep a pen handy so you can jot down information on the business card or brochure of someone who really struck your fancy. If you liked someone, be sure to follow up and contact them as soon as you can because following the show, you’ll be competing with 300 other brides for that Professional’s open dates.
Snap a Pic
If you have a good experience with a Wedding Pro at a show, you might not be able to take notes or remember who exactly you spoke to, so snap a picture with your phone of their booth or sign. This way, even if you have a business card, you can better remember which of the dozens of people you speak to is one that made a good impression.
Leave the Entourage at Home
It is a very good idea to bring someone with you as you navigate the madness of a Bridal Show. Having someone to bounce ideas off of, or someone you can send to gather information while you talk to someone else can help you use your time efficiently and get you a better result. However you don’t need to bring your fiance, both of your parents, both of your fiance’s parents, every single one of your bridesmaids, plus the flower girl, ring bearer, and all of your siblings and their children. (You especially DO NOT want to bring children if you can help it – These things are too loud, crazy, and crowded for young children) Dragging a large party around with you makes it very hard to communicate with the Professionals and each other, plus there is usually not a lot of free space to move around, so a large party can really cause a traffic jam. Instead bring just one or two trusted individuals who will help you make the best decisions, ask the right questions, and give you the support to gather the information you need.
Yes, planning a wedding can get very stressful, and sometimes a Bridal Show can make you even more confused and stressed, but this is YOUR day, one of the biggest days of your life, have fun, go in with the expectation that you are going to find all the right pieces that will make your planning easy and create a fun, memorable day. It’s your day, you can make it however you want, so have fun with it!