There is one thing a bride never has enough of – time. From the moment you get engaged until the day you get married, you will probably log hundreds of hours and endless miles. Good bridal shows have a variety of wedding vendors who exhibit many of the services and products you need to create a perfect wedding. At these shows, the brides-to-be are the guests of honor and the total focus of the vendors. They are eager to provide you with information and advice, free samples, and often, discounts.
Sacramento Bride and Groom offers these tips for getting the most out of your bridal show experience:
1. Create an email account specifically for wedding related communication
Give this email to show vendors instead of your regular email address, then just close it when it’s no longer needed. You’ll be happy you did!
2. Bring pre-printed labels with your name, address, email, phone number and wedding date
Though many vendors have gone digital, many are still having you fill out a paper sign-up or entry form. Having labels or a stamp eliminates the need to write this information every time you register with a vendor to win prizes or to receive information. Especially useful for those whose handwriting is “challenging”!
3. Grab a Bag
Stop by one of the magazine vendors and get a free tote bag, like Sacramento Bride & Groom! You’ll also get a FREE magazine to read after the show.
4. Bring a friend
Your mother, your maid of honor, a bridesmaid or, best of all, your fiancé. It’s to your advantage to include him in as much as possible from the beginning. He’s also perfect for carrying the big load of information and samples you’ll be gathering!
5. Take the time to talk with vendors
Don’t be shy! Vendors are there to talk to you! What better way to get a feel for how well they might be able to work with you? You can’t get that from a visit to their website. Even if you don’t end up hiring them, you just might pick up some great ideas that you haven’t thought of. Plus, many vendors offer show specials that will save you money.
6. Register for everything
Sure, you’ll get put on lots of mailing lists. But you’ll get lots of discount offers and specials and one (or more) just might come in handy! Plus, lots of exhibitors will have a giveaway. Someone’s going to win it, maybe you! You can’t win if you don’t sign up.
7. Take pictures
Dresses, table settings and decor, flowers, accessories…get photos of anything that catches your eye. You can refer to it later when you are deciding on the details. Get inspired!
8. Attend at least one fashion show
The bigger shows often feature a fashion show, and the fashion shows are often the highlight of the day. It may be the only time you and your companion will have an opportunity to sit down! When you see a gown you like, be sure to make a note on the program so you can remember which vendor to go back and visit before leaving the show.
AFTER THE SHOW
Remember, not all shows are created equal and its a good idea to plan to attend more than one. The big crowds at the largest shows can be overwhelming and a deterrent to having adequate time to talk with vendors. On the other hand, shows that are too small may not offer much variety in the services you need to plan your wedding.
1. Sort your swag
Take a few minutes to sort through the materials you brought home and separate into those you had a good connection with to research their businesses. You will be hearing from anyone you signed up with and probably lots of others you didn’t. It’s better to communicate thanks, but no thanks if you aren’t interested or don’t need their service after all.
2. Do some research
Take the time to check out your vendors, from a straight internet search to Yelp. A true professional will have a good digital presence, from website to social. Get a good a idea of average costs before you set an appointment. Average prices for Sacramento weddings can be found here.
3. Set consultations and tours
The sooner you can meet with vendors the better. The best vendors book up quickly so be prepared to put down deposits if you are still happy after your second meeting. I always feel it’s best to talk to at least 3 vendors of comparable pricing before deciding.
Shows can be a great resource from everything from venues to real estate (thinking ahead), in addition to wedding websites, magazines and Pinterest. Be sure to attend at least one bridal event while planning your wedding.