What Are They, and Why Should You Go?
- Bakeries (for those fabulous cakes)
- Bridal shops (both for bridesmaids and for brides)
- Tuxedo and suit shops
- Stationary (for invitations)
- Rental companies
- Dillards and similar stores (for your registry)
- Weight loss
- And more!
That's quite a list. How in the world can you make sense of it all? Keep reading.
- Don't Go Alone. Bring one of your best friends. Bonus points if they're also a bride. If you can't bring a friend or two, bring your sister, mother, a favorite aunt. Bring anyone whose company you enjoy.
- Get There Early. The first 200 brides through the door got a free bridal sash. Every bride got a year's subscription to Brides Magazine. Getting there early means that you get to see everything without the huge crowds. The show began at 4 and ended at 9, but most people showed up after 6:30. This meant I got to visit every vendor without having to wait in a line to speak to them if I had any questions.
- Come Hungry. Caterers will bring samples of their food in order to spark interest in their business. There was a macaroni and cheese bar (yes, bar!), pita bread with several different types of hummus, cheeses and crackers galore, meatballs, etc. Bakeries brought in all flavors of cake and cupcake samples, including a variety of champagne flavors, exotic and unique flavors like hummingbird, and your standard chocolate and vanilla. And it was all delicious. They are trying to impress you, so don't hesitate to grab those samples and try away!
- Fill Out the Forms. Several vendors were giving away free prizes to anyone who gave their contact information to them. Shutter booth, a photo booth company, had a wheel with different amounts of money on it. Whatever it landed on, that's what you got off the cost of renting a booth. My friend got $75 off. The girl right after her got $150. Others were giving away coupons. Dimitra Designs was giving away a coupon to brides for 50% off all of their dresses, and only for the brides who attended the festival. That's how I got my dream wedding dress. As I was writing this post, I kid you not, I got a call from a photographer because I won a free bridal portrait from a drawing I entered. As of now I get a free 8 X 10 professional photo of me in my wedding gown.
- Visit Every Booth. Even if you're not interested, stop by each booth if you can. Every booth had a flyer or brochure with details about their business. Others would have free gifts on top of this such as pens and bags. Use the bags to keep all the flyers.
Once You Leave, Declutter
- Look at everything you got.
- Toss out anything you're not interested in.
- Put like with like (caterers with caterers, etc.).
- Put each type of vendor in a different sheet protector or simply paper clip them together.
- Place flyers in the appropriate sections of your wedding planning binder.
- Now you've got a good place to start for finding vendors that will work for you in your area!
My Bridal Show Experience
Tell me about your bridal show experience!