17 Sweet Tips to Attend a Bridal Show and Live to Tell About It!
Here at iDo we know a lot about attending bridal shows! We get to see it from the end of a vendor and we know that being an attending bride (or brave wedding party member) can be exhausting, overwhelming and frustrating!
But have no fear! Attending a bridal show can be one of the most fun things you will do during your planning process. You will only get to be engaged once in your whole life so make the most of it! Attending a bridal show or two or three will be a great way to dig in and start on your planning full throttle. You may come out physically exhausted but you will be mentally invigorated!
Being an engaged gal who is in the throes of wedding planning; has given me the opportunity to share some insight into every aspect of pulling off the biggest life event that you and your husband will ever host! I have so much to tell y’all but I thought this was a great place to start. I wish I had known these things before stepping into my first Bridal Show. Please do your gal pals a favor and share this article with them before they find themselves curled up in the corner of an exhibit hall surrounded by flower petals, sparkly linens, and cake crumbs…they will thank you later.
- Wear comfortable shoes. I didn’t think this had to be said but after our last bridal show I deem it necessary. Yes…those 3 inch heels look great with the pencil skirt you’re wearing but your feet will be KILLING you after walking around the show for 4+ hours. You already snagged the guy anyway so don’t worry about turning heads at the bridal show.
- Bring a small rolling bag or crate. Have one of your friends/bridal party members be responsible for rolling it around the exhibit hall for you. Vendors (like iDo) will be handing out tons of freebies and lots of informational materials. A rolling crate like this was perfect for me and my Mother in Law was nice enough to roll it for me; keeping my hands free to do what I needed to do. Like pick up cake samples and put them into my mouth! :)
- Have a plan of attack! Be sure to check out the vendor list before hand and take time to check out their websites to see if you like their style. Then figure out which booths they are at and come up with a route. This will allow you to focus on the vendors you really want to talk to while saving time and steps! Once you’ve hit your top 5-10 vendors then you can have time to check out the others on your list who may not have been a priority. Pre-planning is key ladies! Make the most of it.
- Bring friends…but not all your friends. I think this is one of the biggest mistakes brides make at the bridal shows. You may think that having more people with you will make the day easier or more fun but I feel like it adds to the stress of the day and doesn’t allow you to effectively accomplish what you came to do; which is talk to vendors and get ideas for your own wedding. More people means more coordination and sometimes having too many opinions flying around makes it hard for the bride (aka: YOU) to think clearly and have a clear vision of what you want on your wedding day. You can always get everyone else involved in other ways to make them feel involved and no one’s feelings will be hurt. I think 2 is the magic number here! And choose those 2 wisely. No whiners allowed!
- Don’t drab your fiancé to the bridal show unless he really, truly wants to attend. We’ve seen firsthand the glazed over eyes of the fiancé in tow at the bridal show (think: zombie apocalypse). Get him involved in planning as much as possible, but if you really don’t think he’d have a good time at the bridal show let him stay home or go out with his pals while you’re gone.
- Bring your own snacks and water bottles (if allowed by venue). This was a saving grace for me when I attended my bridal shows. I was much happier to bring my own water/snacks then purchasing the totally overpriced stuff at the venue. I refuse to pay $3.00 for a bottle of water. The food is usually never good so snack (on something healthy) while you’re there and save the money for that fabulous birdcage veil you really want!
- Stay hydrated! Drink the water that you bring to the show! You’ll be doing a lot of talking and walking so remember to drink a sip of water between each vendor visit.
- Limit your sugar intake! I almost did myself in at the first bridal show I went to….I was in a sugar coma for a week afterwards! I ate SO much cake/cupcakes/candy/cookies, etc. I supposed I justified my overindulgence in the name of ‘wedding planning,’ but it was too much. And really…after the 10th cupcake they all started to taste the same to me. In general all the bakeries at the show are there for a reason…they make great cake; so really just try to focus on the cost and style of what you’re looking for. You can always schedule a private tasting at a later date when your palette isn’t in sugar shock!
- Identify yourself as the bride! Vendors love chatting with the brides and it’s always nice to know who the bride is! I sported a fuzzy pink tiara at my last bridal show and the vendors got a kick out it. Identify yourself in a fun way! Also identify your crew (the 2 special members you choose) if possible. I gave my Mother in Law and Bridesmaid an identifying pin and they loved it! One of the iDo brides had some serious bridal bling….we knew she was the bride from a mile away!
- Create a special wedding email address to use for all things wedding. I REALLY wish I would have thought of this before I was knee deep in tulle and cupcakes. Your sanity and your inbox will thank you. Wedding planning takes tons of research and you’re always having to hand over your email address. Come up with a cute one that you use for all of your wedding planning inquiries and activities. You will keep your personal inbox clear of clutter and be able to sort through the information much more efficiently.
- Make address labels! This is probably the number one tip that I can give you. This will save you time and save your hand from turning into something reminiscent of the crypt keeper. Don’t waste time writing the same information over and over….just give the vendor an address label. Be sure to include the following: Brides Name, Grooms Name, Mailing Address, Email (wedding email), Wedding Date or Season/Year.
- Visit the photo booth vendors and get a great keepsake photo with you and your bridal show crew! This is a great way to capture a few fun pictures from the bridal show! Giant sunglasses and feather boas are a must!
- Connect with the bridal show beforehand via their website or Facebook page. The bridal show organizers provide Brides with great information before the show even starts. Connect with them on their website to get a preview of the vendors. Connect with them on their Facebook page to keep up with what’s happening with the show. Also I’ve noticed that the Bridal Shows will offer special ticket prices to their Facebook followers. You can also keep your eye on idodailydeal.com to see if we’re offering discounted ticket prices for your nearest bridal show!
- Also be sure to connect with your vendors via social media. They usually give great deals to their followers and sometimes those deals are only advertised through social media! Plus it’s a fun way to keep with wedding trends! Follow the iDo Facebook page here to see what we’re up to!
- Do not go with the first vendor you talk to. Shop around and see what else is at the show. Vendors will most likely be offering special show deals if you book with them on the day of the show so be sure to check everyone out first. Booking vendors at a bridal show is a great way to save some money but you need to leverage your buying power. Vendors are people too and they should always be understanding of your budgetary restraints. Let the vendors know that you’re going to be shopping around at the show and that you’ll come back to them if you want to hire them or discuss their services further. If you have two vendors that you’re interested in then use that as a bargaining tool. They may be willing to knock off a travel fee or give you a small discount on top of the show deal that will help sway your decision. It never hurts to ask!
- Chat with your vendors! If you’re looking for a photographer-be sure to talk to the person that will actually be taking the photos. If they aren’t available be sure that you have the opportunity to chat with them (phone or in person) first before making your decision. If they aren’t available at the show then ask if they can extend the show special until after you’ve had the chance to chat with them directly. You need to be comfortable working with them on the biggest day of your life. Interview them thoroughly before hiring them. Don’t be shy… ask tons of questions!
- Stick around for the drawings! It’s the best part! Some of the vendors will be giving away some awesome prizes and you may have to be present to win! Stick it out to the end…you never know what you might win! And be sure to strike a deal with your crew that if they win-they hand the prize over to the woman in white!
- HAVE FUN! This is probably the most important tip of them all. You’re planning the wedding of a lifetime and the bridal show is just a piece of the puzzle! Relax, enjoy yourself and have a great time!
I hope you enjoyed our very first blog post! I want to bring our brides information that is super-duper useful to brides during the planning process! Please feel free to leave comments below and share some other tips that I may have missed! HAPPY PLANNING!
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