So...maybe it's been a couple of months since your engagement, the excitement is starting to fade, the congrats have all been said, you've gotten used to that ring being on your finger and now it's time to plan the wedding. Whether you have a date set or are feeling the pressure of setting a date, you're starting to realize there is some serious work ahead and it's a little overwhelming.
You're buying bridal magazines and seeing ads about these bridal shows. Are they worth going to? Are they as fun as people make them out to be? Well...yes and no. A lot of these shows are huge and take place in giant convention centers and feature literally, hundred of vendors. How do you make a plan on how to navigate these events, get the most out of them, and most importantly, survive them.
Here are 5 tips to survive the bridal expo:
1.Make a plan
Make a list of the types of vendors you're looking for. Maybe you need everything, in that case, list them all. But perhaps you already have a dress picked out, or a band, or you know a baker who will make your cake. In that case, list only the types of vendors you're looking for. Print out a list of vendors, and a copy of the show's floor plan. Create a route for yourself, targeting the vendors of most interest to you. It makes sense to visit their websites in advance to see if they are of interest to you. For example, if you're looking for a photographer or videographer, check out their portfolios and see if they're styles meshes with yours.
2. Bring labels with your contact info
The most time consuming thing at these events is filling out forms with your contact info. All vendors want to capture your email address. It makes it easier for you and for them, if you bring a batch of pre-printed labels - such as Avery mailing address labels. Create them and be sure to include your name and email address at the minimum. Mailing address and phone number, only if you choose.
3. Communicate with the vendors
After the show, these vendors you left contact info with will do their job and follow up with you. Don't ignore them! You asked for this. If you already found another vendor, let them know this so they can move on to someone else and it will stop them from contacting you.
Photo by Susan Sancomb
4. Don't be seduced by the tchotchkes!
In order to get your attention, vendors give away all kinds of free things - maybe you need that glass of champagne, but do you need pens and keychains? Probably not and chances are you'll never use more than half these items. So just say no.
5. Don't bring your entire squad
Bridal shows tend to be packed with brides and usually a large group of friends and family. Everyone has an opinion so the bigger your group, the more conflicting opinions you'll hear. Make it easy on yourself and bring only the people whose opinions you trust and respect and keep your squad lean.