August 14, 2010 ByGuest post by Kim Francis, member of the MOB Squad ,and current MOB.
Bridal shows ~ to attend or not to attend? Are they worth it? My daughter & I have pondered the importance of attending bridal shows. We are planning to attend one or more in the coming months before her December wedding if for nothing else but to get some great ideas! Pretending to be a wedding expert…Lol… I have jotted down a few ideas that have helped me to organize my thoughts, ideas and the expectations I have before attending our first event. It looks as though brides can save a lot of time and huge amounts of money, have the opportunity to meet face to face with top wedding industry experts, see the latest fashions in wedding gowns and tuxedos, pick up great ideas for the wedding and while doing all of this you could possibly walk away with a wonderful door prize!! That alone is enough to entice me to go to one or more bridal events!
Here are some great tips to use & remember when attending bridal shows:
1.Arrive early; the earlier the better! Many times bridal shows offer extra incentives for those that do so; a free prize to the first 100 customers…etc…
2. Pre-register before the show. Most of the events I have seen coming to my area are offering deals when you pre-register. Most offer a buy one get one free admission or a discounted admission price.
3. Bring your friends. Bringing family & members of your bridal party along will help them to feel more involved. It is a great opportunity to ask their opinions or get their help when you need to make a decision on hiring services for your wedding day. It is also a great time to just have fun and make memories together! Who doesn’t love a Girls Day Out?
4. Make contact info labels. Wedding vendors will often have drawings for prizes at their booths. Instead of having to fill out multiple forms with your contact info, prepare some labels before the bridal show. Information you might want to include are: your name, address, phone number, and email address. We have found using pre-printed return address labels work well.
5. Bring a notebook and pen so you can take notes. Write down contact info of vendors, attach flyers or business cards from those you talked to and any thought or ideas you have while attending the bridal show. This way all of your thoughts & ideas will be in one handy dandy notebook!! I also carry a swatch of my daughter’s ribbon and any other coordinating color swatches with me at all times! This has come in handy on more than one occasion! Sometimes the colors of ribbons & flowers will look differently under different lights. This way you will always be sure you are buying the right color!
6. Bring a digital camera. This will allow you to quickly remember some of the great things you saw at the show. Did you see a great dress during a bridal fashion show; a unique centerpiece idea? Maybe there is a great cake from a wedding cake designer. It’s always a good idea to ask before snapping the photos.
7. Know your budget. Setting your wedding budget and knowing who is responsible for each thing will help you make decisions and know what you are looking for while attending the show.
8. Bring your checkbook. Many wedding vendors will offer a “Show Day Only” discount. Take advantage of these deals. This will help you save even more money if you are able to find your vendors at the bridal show. It might also be a good idea to bring a wad of cash! Sometimes cash in the hand speaks volumes to a tired vendor who is sick of packing up all those vases or other wedding must haves!
9. Do your research. Know which services you will need before the show. Also, try to find out which wedding vendors will be exhibiting. This will help you know what questions to ask and allow you to visit those vendors you are particularly interested in as not to waste time on items that you do not need!
10. Plan to be there for several hours. Plan on attending the bridal show for several hours. Allow yourself time to visit all the vendors and find everything you need. Don’t rush yourself. Also, stay for the fashion shows. Great prizes are given away after each of them. Most importantly, have a good time with your friends & family and make lots of memories!