Bridal Shows are a unique environment. I have participated in Bridal Shows in various capacities for the past 20 years. They are filled with an excitement not found at other “shows” because newly engaged couples are some of the happiest people on earth. The purpose of a Bridal Show is for a bride-to-be to see as many vendors as possible, collecting information to be digested later.
Most shows run between 4-6 hours long. Each vendor wants to speak to as many brides as possible. Each bride wants as many questions answered as possible. It is an impossible task when only given that period of time. I have watched many brides frustrated by the lines at the booths and vendors disappointed as brides give up and walk away. I would like to offer some advice to the new brides-to-be as we enter engagement season and Bridal Show season.
• Go to the show with someone whose opinion you trust and who can help you focus.
• Only take your future groom if he is a very patient person or he really wants to be involved. Some shows offer a groom’s den or perks for grooms but otherwise most shows are bride focused.
• Grab a bag the first chance you get so you can easily carry the information you pick up.
• When gathering information, do not feel obligated to pick up every piece of paper on a vendor’s table. You will end up with a bag full of redundant material that you will have to sort through, and the vendor will be out the cost of the pamphlets that you throw away.
• Have a list of things you would like to accomplish. Keep an open mind but refer to the list .
• Don’t go to the show with the hopes of booking vendors, instead go to the show and make appointments with vendors so you can meet one on one later and have all your questions addressed in a personal setting. There is not enough time at a show for every bride to have every question answered. Between the noise and the crowd, the setting is hardly ideal to get personal service and you will feel rushed and shortchanged.
• Go hungry because there will be food and of course cake.
• Wear comfortable shoes and clothes. Halls can be freezing when you get there and heat up as they fill with people.
• When you get home, go over the information you collected immediately while it is still fresh in your head. Make notes of the appointments you made and any questions you have.
Any of these ideas should help make your Bridal Show experience better but I cannot stress enough the importance of making appointments for after the show. Your time and questions are too important to try to cram them in to a 5 minute conversation between 100 other brides.
Best of luck in your wedding planning and most of all: enjoy yourself!