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How to Get the Most Out of Going to a Bridal Show

Updated on April 6, 2019
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Jami is a professional event planner and has worked in the business for over 10 years. Let her help you.

Handling Bridal Shows Like a Pro

Bridal show season is upon us, and I am not here to remind you how absolutely overwhelming planning a wedding can feel. With hundreds of booths lining the aisles, DJ booths pulsing in every corner, flowers peeking out of every possible corner, and sales people shoving cake samples down your throat; bridal shows can feel more like surviving the zombie apocalypse rather than planning the happiest day of your life. If you are heading to a show in the near future, please read through this list to make the experience more productive and maybe even a little bit more fun! After all, planning your wedding should be exciting and not terrifying!

1. Make a List of Items/ Vendors/ Locations/ Services You Still Need

Before you even step foot inside a bridal show, take some time to prep. There will be a lot of vendors vying for your attention. This is where a lot of brides get overwhelmed, because they just don't know where to start. Think about what services and products do you still need? Flowers, cakes, party favors, linens, aren't going to matter if you don't have a venue, date, or color palette. If you do not have anything booked, focus on the most important services and items; like a venue that can accommodate the number of guests you anticipate. Don't try to book services at a bridal show without a location and date. It won't work. Once you have secured your date and venue, bridal shows become much simpler. Make a list of what you still need, so you don't waste your time at the show! Also, don't think you have to book anything the day of the show. Focus on getting information to sit down with your partner and family to go over the options when you get home.

2. Download or Print a Map of Show Booths

Most shows will have a website with at least a list of vendors that will have booths. Some even go as far as providing a map with each booth labeled. It would help you utilize your time better by looking through the list or map and circling the ones that you are most interested in. Take your list from step one and find vendors/booths that will have the services and items you need first. That doesn't mean you won't find other booths that pique your interest, but it is good to have an idea of what you are looking for before you step into the craziness of wedding & bridal shows! Take note that most vendors will not be placed in booths near their competitors. So, there will not be flower vendors next to other flower vendors. Or bakeries next to bakeries. Keep that in mind when searching for the booths you want!

3.Bring Printed Address Labels

Most booths will have a sign up sheet to either win a prize or receive discounts, coupons, etc. Having sticky address labels with your name, email, address, and wedding date can save you a ton of time when filing out info cards and promotional giveaways. It will also save your hand from cramping after all that writing! Being able to quickly give a booth your info can keep you from getting stuck at booth, when there is limited time and hundreds of booths! Plus vendors love when brides seem to have it together. This tip will make you look like a professional!

4. Designate Someone to Snap Photos of Things You Like

Trust me when I tell you, that you will see things at a bridal show that you would never thought to do at your wedding. Flower arrangements, ceremony decor, signage, gifts, cake design, it will seem overwhelming. It would be in your best interest to snap photos of ideas and designs you like. You will not remember everything, and you might not even be able to describe what you want to a vendor. Photos are perfect for this reason. You see a centerpiece you love, take a picture to show your vendor, or to look up later for purchase and DIY steps. You will thank me for this one! Give your partner or bridesmaid or mother-in-law the task of snapping photos of things you like while you talk with vendors. It will keep them occupied and you won't have to think about it while working your way through the booths. Win, win!

5. Take Notes on Info Packets or Business Cards

This is a tip that you can also assign to someone else during the show. Bring a pen and make sure to take notes on each booth you visit. Whether you write on business cards or info packets or a pad of paper, it doesn't really matter, but this will help you after the show when you are trying to remember what each vendor could offer. Write down follow-up questions, things you liked/ didn't like, discounts, dates, offerings, services, pricing, etc. Anything you might want to remember later on is important to write down. There will be a lot of information thrown at you and many booths will be similar in style and products, so it is very important to take notes to ensure you get exactly what you want on your wedding day!

6. Take Advantage of Sales and Give-Aways

If you take anything from this article, please let it be this! Take advantage of the sales and give-aways at every wedding show you attend. I'll say it louder for the people in the back! TAKE ADVANTAGE. Vendors want you to participate in their promotions. They want to give away their tastings, gifts, freebies and swag. They are excited for you to see their products. They are there for you and your wedding. Let them tell you how they can help you have the wedding of your dreams. Do not be afraid to ask them questions about their services and products. They might have things you never thought of! Trust the professionals and talk to them and participate! You never know, you might win a free $20,000 wedding. It happens all the time!

Now Go Forth and Wedding Plan On

Enjoy the process! Wedding planning is fun! Don't forget to step back and appreciate this time in your life! Good Luck and Congratulations!

© 2019 Jami Pack

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