When it comes to planning your wedding, attending a bridal fair might be one of the most beneficial thing you can do for yourself. Bridal shows act as a one-stop-shop for engaged couples. You can find almost all the info you need under one roof, talk to vendors and ask questions, get ideas and inspiration, register for prizes, see the latest fashions and wedding trends, and so much more.
Although looking through magazines and reading blog posts can give you some ideas, when you attend a bridal fair you get to touch the actual invitations and linens, taste the buttercream frosting, smell the flowers, hear the bands, and see everything up close.
Bridal shows also offer you the opportunity to sign up for gift registries and giveaways (some giveaways are worth thousands of dollars!), collect local vendor and preferred vendor information, and attend a bridal runway show where you get to see gorgeous wedding gowns, groom’s attire, and bridesmaids’ dresses.
So if you haven’t already thought about attending a bridal show, we highly suggest you do! Where else can you drink champagne, try on tiaras, and sample sugared roses? #PrincessDreams
Once you have a bridal fair in mind, it’s time to start thinking about how you can get the most out of the day.
Here are some of the best tips we have for attending a bridal show and getting the most out of the experience.
Pre-register. Oftentimes, shows offer a ticket discount to those who pre-register (versus getting tickets at the door). It also saves check-in time (because who likes standing in line?).
Wear comfy clothes and shoes. You don’t have to dress to impress to attend a bridal fair. You’ll want to wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll be standing and walking around for hours. Maybe even stretchy pants so you can sample lots of sweets and savories. 🙂
Pack a credit card and cash. You might need cash for parking, tickets, and snacks and drinks. Credit/debit cards come in handy if you want to put down a deposit or pay for vendor services.
*Budget Tip: Eat before you go or, if it’s allowed, pack snacks so you don’t have to spend $$ on food booths.
Take a notebook and pen. You’ll probably be more likely to look through a special bridal show notebook than through your phone for vendor contact info and wedding ideas. You can also use a notebook to hold any appointment dates you may make while at the show.
*Vendor Tip: For vendors who are of particular interest, keep their info separate or mark them with a special pen/highlighter.
Take a shoulder bag. You’ll be collecting a lot of flyers, brochures, and business cards. It’s much easier to keep these in a special tote bag, rather than getting everything mixed up in your purse or trying to carry around stacks of paper.
Take a color swatch. If you already have your wedding dress/bridesmaid dresses picked out, it helps to take a color swatch with you so that you can hold it up to any accessories and jewelry you find particularly beautiful.
Create contact labels. Many vendors will have sign up sheets for interested brides and grooms to fill out their name, phone number, email, etc. This gives the vendor permission to contact you with more information. Instead of writing your info down over and over again, create contact labels before you go so that you can just peel and stick!
Concentrate on the vendors you need. Before the show, check out which vendors will be present and do a bit of research. Focus on the top priorities. This will help you get the most information out of your preferred vendors (instead of asking all the vendors a page full of questions).
Don’t rush. Plan to spend a good chunk of your day at the show. Walk the aisles and take a close look at what each vendor has to offer. Ask questions and collect all the info you need. You won’t use all of it, but it’s better to have too much than not enough. Take a day to let the info digest a little, then start rummaging through your bridal show bag. Read over the flyers and brochures, contact anyone of interest, and continue planning your dream wedding!