Having gone to two bridal shows, I learned some tips and tricks for making the best of your experience. I would highly recommend going to at least one bridal show if they have one in your area. They are a great opportunity to network with vendors, get ideas, and enter into awesome giveaways. By going to bridal shows, I won $100 off my wedding gown, which allowed me to get my dream dress! I got lots of freebies, coupons, and more. You also get to try free food! 🙂 However, bridal shows can often be large, overwhelming, and chaotic. To make the experience a little more manageable and fun, I have some helpful tips for making the most of bridal shows:
1. Enjoy a day of bridal fun
First, and most importantly, have fun. Many bridal shows have fashion shows and other fun things to do while you’re there. While bridal shows are a great way to find good deals, they’re also a fun way to bond with your wedding party, see wedding fashions, and just generally get you in the wedding spirit. It wasn’t until I went to a bridal show that I really got into the planning spirit.
2. Get labels with your name, address, phone number, and email printed
Nearly every vendor at bridal shows has some giveaway to enter. Also, if you give your information, many will send you special deals in the mail for attending the bridal show. Having ready-made labels keeps you from having to write your information repeatedly and keeps from getting bogged down at the various booths.
3. Make an email specifically for wedding planning
Giving your email is a good way to get special deals right to your inbox. However, after giving your email to dozens of vendors, there can be quite an influx. I wish now that I had made another email specifically for my wedding planning, since I am finding my inbox can become overloaded with the mixture of personal and wedding emails. Some great deals have gotten lost in the mess.
4. Bring a friend
Having a sidekick, maid-of-honor, or even mom is a good way to keep yourself centered and have an extra hand. Both times I went, I brought help and they were lifesavers. They graciously carried my bags and grabbed all the promotional materials. That allowed me to speak with the vendors, get ideas, etc. without getting overwhelmed with stuff.
5. Narrow your field
After a bridal show, you will most likely arrive home with a pile of magazines, business cards, and flyers. To help organize and keep down the clutter, go through everything once and determine what you really need and what you want to keep. Toss the rest. You’ll find that some vendors are out of your price range or that you may have doubles of some things. I tried to keep mostly business cards since they’re small but hold all the vendor’s information. I used business card sheets from Staples to organize them in my wedding planner along with any coupons or other small cards.
I hope this tips help anyone who attends a bridal show in the future. Using these tips will help you make the most of going to a bridal show. I’ve already found several vendors through bridal shows. However, it’s also just a great way to go have fun with your girlfriends and get to eat yummy cake!
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.