Going to a Bridal Show: Tips to Make the Most of Your Experience

Wedding planning can be overwhelming, especially if you have never been a part of the process before with a sibling or close friend. While hiring a wedding planner is the desired option for many brides, some decide to attend at least one bridal show before making that decision. No matter how large the bridal show is, it will require you to devote several hours of your day to get the most out of the event.

Researching vendors online and utilizing word of mouth are both great options to narrow down your list of possible vendors for the big day, but nothing will make as much of an impact as meeting these professionals face to face. To make the most out of each and every bridal show you choose to attend, below are some tips to keep in mind:

–   Bring along your support system. This would include your mom, maid of honor, sibling(s), etc. Anyone who is close enough to you to know what you are looking for and what will be most helpful to you in the months leading up to your wedding day.

–   Plan to devote enough time for the event. Some bridal shows have dozens of vendors with multiple professionals in each category. If you do not have any idea what kind of photographer you want or what type of venue you are considering, expect to spend most of your day meeting each one in every category where you feel clueless.

–   Bring a notebook and large bag. You will be given a lot of information during the bridal show. Many vendors will have brochures, and some will explain all the services they offer that you’ll want to write down for future reference. The bag can also serve as a place for any door prizes you might win or small purchases you might make.

–   Make sure to bring your checkbook and/or credit card. In addition to items that will be for sale at bridal shows, you may find yourself in a position of booking a vendor on the spot. Maybe you really love a cake chef, but his or her dates are quickly filling up for the month of your wedding. Maybe you already researched a vendor online, and all you were waiting for was the opportunity to chat in person before making a final decision. There is certainly no pressure to make these decisions during the bridal show, but if you do, you’ll be happy you came prepared!

–   Consider bringing personal information cards with you. Many vendors will ask you to fill out contact forms or enter for prizes such as free photography sessions or a discount on wedding services. You will save a lot of time not to mention avoid a sore hand by bringing pre-printed cards or mailing labels with you.

–   Plan ahead. Research which vendors will be present at the show, create a list of all the services you’d like more information about and have a wedding budget set beforehand. You will want to wear comfortable shoes and have a realistic plan for what you hope to accomplish at the bridal show.

Most importantly, have fun at the event! Keep in mind that planning your wedding is supposed to be fun and a great time to learn more about your fiancé as you plan your future together. Your support system is there to help you along the way, so do not hesitate to divvy up the workload. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by details – that’s why you hire professionals!