Bridal show season is in full swing! It’s considered “best” to attend one at least a year (or more) before your wedding, but for some reason, the shows tend to be held early in the calendar year… which works well for vendors, as it’s their “quiet” season, but may mean you are attending one with just a few months before your big day. The good news, though, is that your entire wedding can be planned in one afternoon! If you have three months, it can still happen and be super awesome.
Wedding expos, however, can be completely overwhelming. Here are some tips to make it a little easier.
- Wear comfortable shoes. You will be walking for hours and are definitely going to get your steps in today! Consider bringing pain killers, too. It’s hard to enjoy the excitement of a bridal show if you hurt.
- Get some blank address labels and print your and your partner’s names, wedding date, and contact info on them. Nearly every vendor is going to offer some kind of promotion and all will ask for the same information. Save your hand by printing these before you go. Trust me.
- Bring a bag with comfortable shoulder straps. You will receive a “tree” of paper with vendor information to take home and review later. Even if the show gives you a tote bag, it’s going to get heavy. Having your own with a padded strap (or a backpack) will help save your neck.
- Break the flow! When the doors first open, almost everyone will start at the right, then work their way left. If you get there early, head off to the left for less traffic. If you get there later, the crowd will have worked their way left, so go right.
- Bring your calendar! You’re going to find vendors you will want to meet with to discuss your event in more detail, but please show that you value their time by scheduling a later meeting. They want to meet lots of people and hope to book several weddings while there. You’ll receive much better attention if you arrange to meet them later. That said…
- Bring your credit card and/or checkbook. If there is a vendor you just know is The One for you and they have your date available, you want to be able to put down that deposit right then and there.
- Be prepared to take notes: old school with a small notebook and pen, or snap pix with your phone. This will help you keep track of anyone you might want to call later, so you don’t get confused sorting through all that material.
- Bring a trusted friend who knows you well… or maybe two… to make the event enjoyable, but skip having a large entourage with all their differing opinions. Consider bringing your partner so they can share their opinions; after all, it’s their wedding, too.
I no longer attend wedding expos as a vendor, but I’ve been to enough to know what to expect at these events. And a really great thing about them is that you’ll find so many people who can really help shape your vision.
Can’t attend a bridal show but need some help getting started with your planning? I understand that this isn’t something you do every day, so reach out to me and I’ll be glad to assist!
I’d also be honored to speak with you about my photography services. I still shoot some weddings, and love creating all the related sessions – engagement, bridal, boudoir….
Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].