This past weekend I attended my first bridal expo- as a bride. Every year I’m an exhibitor at about 7 wedding shows and bridal fairs in Northern California, so I have TONS of experience in what it takes to attend as a vendor, but attending as a bride is a whole new experience.
After attending the wedding show as a bride, and being completely overwhelmed and overstimulated, I thought I’d share some simple tips with my fellow brides on how to get the most out of attending a wedding show to plan your wedding.
Simple tips for getting the most out of a bridal show
- Upon arriving, you’ll receive a bridal expo bag which will be FILLED with information and literature by the time you leave. It’s so hard to keep this organized and sort through when you get home (I tried- believe me). It really helps to bring “favorites” notebook where you can jot down notes and store any correspondence from your favorite vendors to easily access later.
- After the show, you’re going to receive TONS of email. Set up a “wedding only” email account to use while you’re planning your wedding, This will make it easy to filter keep organized through the planning process.
- Do your research before the show. Most bridal expos will have an online directory of wedding vendors who will be exhibiting at the show. If you’re going to be looking for a wedding photographer for instance, be sure to check out the links to the exhibiting photographers websites before arriving. This will help you narrow down the wedding vendors you’ll want to connect with at the show.
- The very best deals to be had are at wedding shows. Most vendors will offer a 1 day only incentive if you book them AT the show. Make a plan for what vendors you need prior to the wedding fair, and come with check book in hand, prepared to lock in the very best deals.
- Eat cake!! In my opinion as a bride, cake is the best part of the bridal expo. indulge. 🙂
- Print mailing labels. Many vendors offer drawings and raffles and amazing free stuff! At wedding shows, we normally give away a free boudoir and engagement collection – valued upwards of $700. Bring pre-printed mailing labels with your name, wedding date, wedding location, email, and phone number to easily and quickly enter these drawings.
- Take your time and ask questions. The wedding vendors are there to make connections and answer your questions. Be sure to ask plenty of questions and take your time.
- Wear comfortable shoes & bring a bottle of water. Depending on the size of the show, you’ll likely be walking and talking a ton! be sure your feet are happy & that you stay hydrated.
- Arrive early. By the end of the day everyone is pretty much frazzled from talking all day. Arriving early will ensure you can have un-rushed and quality conversations with wedding professionals.
- Have fun! Remember that wedding planning is supposed to be fun. Enjoy this time in your life, and revel in all the pretty little details.
As wedding planning season officially kicks off, I hope these tips will help you get the most out of any bridal fairs and wedding shows you attend. In the coming weeks, we’ll be exhibiting at the Yuba Sutter Wedding Show, and the Destination Wedding Show in Grass Valley…. if you’re planning a wedding, be sure to swing by and say hi!
(this is the look I give Andy when he snaps a photo of me without prior warning)
Melanie Soleil Photography | Northern California Wedding Photographers