Here are a few tips on how to have a fun and efficient bridal show experience!
And for JOP's wedding deals check out this blog post
So you’re recently engaged . . . well, BIG CONGRATS! You've also chosen your entourage to help plan your big day, so now it’s time to start hitting up some bridal shows. HOW FUN, right?!
You get all dressed up for a day and you excitedly roll up to your first bridal show only to see the long line of others waiting for the doors to open. The mad rush already has you in the last place behind all the early birds, but don't worry, we have a trick for this!
Next, you get to be stuck in a bottleneck after the bottleneck as you're ushered at a snail's pace around the venue. Not to worry; again, we have a trick for this, too!
You finally make it through just in time for the runway show; the thing you're most excited about, and then you realize you're late to that game too and there are not more chairs!
Maybe you’re about to hit your second or third show of the season and you ask yourself, “Is this even worth fighting the crowds!?”
Well we got you!
Here is a great list of bridal show tips and tricks that are a sure-fire way to enhance your experience and create an efficient, fun way to “Bridal Show!”
Before you head out the door
Map it out: Make a mental note of your current wedding booking priorities, and only focus your efforts, time, and energy on talking to those vendors. You will most likely go to several shows a season, so these priorities will change as you begin confirming your vendors and crossing items off your To-Do list.
Know your budget: Another thing you can do is try to plan out how much you'd like to spend (or at least a range) for each category so when you get the pricing for each vendor, you'll know immediately if you need to waste more time or put them on your call-back list.
Get yourself prepped: Check out the vendor list online if the show website provides one. Doing a little research beforehand will clarify which vendors you need to talk to, which ones you may just want to check out, and which ones you can skip altogether. Some bridal shows have a vendor map, so you can figure out your plan before you get there.
"Label" yourself: Here’s the thing; if you are interested in a vendor (especially one with a great door prize!) you are going to want to give them your contact information. When every vendor will hand you the pen and paper to grab your contact info. And about halfway through the event, your hand gets cramped and the excitement you came in with has suddenly disappeared unless you come prepared! Before you head out the door print out 5160 return address labels with your name, your wedding date, an email, a phone number and mailing address, so when they hand you the pen and paper you just stick a label on it and be on your way! Other helpful information could be your groom’s name and wedding location.
Grab a bag: Again before you head out the door, make sure you have a sturdy, large bag to collect all the free promo material and giveaways. Lots of shows provide these but oftentimes they run out early in the game.
While you are at the bridal show
Sneak attack: Whether you come early or are stuck at the back of the line waiting, once the doors open, slip past everyone and make your way to the middle or end of the vendors and circle your way back to the front. You won't be stuck in the cowherd or crushed by the mad rush if you navigate against the typical bridal show flow!
Window shop first: If they didn’t have a vendor list to check out beforehand a trick is to do a quick scan of the vendors, then head back and wait in the bottleneck lines for the ones that catch your eye. This is great for smaller shows where there are fewer than 50 vendors to check out. For the larger trade show style events, break the event up into sections. Do a quick scan of the venders in the area and move on to the next row.
Utilize your entourage: They are there to help, so let them! They'll be great time-savers!
Don’t just take photos! Almost every bridal shows have a runway show with an announcer giving you all the details of what the models are wearing, and probably even their make-up artists and hairstylists. Start your video camera instead of a snapshot of your favorite styles so you can grab the details the MC is sharing as the models make their way up the runway!
ENJOY IT! You are with some of your favorite people planning one of the biggest and best days of your life, so use these tricks to help “Bridal Show-ing” more fun and while gathering helpful info you'll need for your wedding planning.
After the day is over
Give yourself a high five for making great headway in researching vendors for your wedding day!
Pretend it’s Halloween! Dump out your post-event bag and start organizing: make a list of vendors to contact, and if a vendor contacts you, make sure you respond immediately to let them know if you are still interested in their services. (It’s ok if you aren’t any more! Just let them know that too. Thanks!)