I thought this was a great article on how to get the most out of the MANY bridal shows that you will be attending in the next several weeks, so grab your coffee and enjoy!
After “engagement season” comes “bridal show season.” A bridal show is an exhibit, typically held at large convention or conference centers, where hundreds of vendors come together to put on a showcase for couples who are planning their weddings. It’s also a great opportunity to receive free swag and gifts, and it’s another fun event to enjoy during the engagement period!
As you can imagine, with hundreds of vendors and booth displays, bridal shows can also be overwhelming and overstimulating. Today we will be sharing some tips on attending bridal shows.
Do not book a vendor without consulting with your Certified Wedding Planner (CWP). Many wedding vendors in attendance will be offering one-day incentives for you to book the day of the bridal show. Make sure to consult with your Certified Wedding Planner to ensure they are on their approved vendor list. Your CWP will also be able to read the fine print and understand the terms of the agreement. Sometimes these terms will not work for you or your wedding day. So, prior to signing on the dotted line for any vendor, make sure to discuss their services with your Certified Wedding Planner.
Do your research on the bridal show prior to attending. Many bridal shows will list all the wedding professionals who will be attending on their website. If you’re going to be looking for a specific vendor, be sure to check out the bridal show’s website and social media before arriving. If you have already hired your Certified Wedding Planner, compare the bridal show list to your planner’s preferred vendor list as well. This will help you narrow down the wedding vendors you’ll want to connect with at the show. Create a "wedding-only" email address. After the show, you’re going to receive tons of emails. Setting up a “wedding-only” email account to use while you’re planning your wedding will make it easy to filter and to stay organized throughout the planning process. We’d recommend creating this email address as soon as you get engaged so you can correspond with all your wedding vendors, including your Certified Wedding Planner, right from the beginning.
Engage with, gather details from, and ask questions to the vendors you are interested in learning more about. The wedding vendors at a bridal show are there to connect with engaged couples like you and to answer your questions. Taking notes about the information you gather will allow you to remember which ones you have connected with. As we mentioned above, bridal shows can be very overwhelming. You may be meeting and talking to multiple professionals all in the same vendor category. Writing down their package details and collecting their brochures will give you the opportunity to sit and discuss these details with your Certified Wedding Planner separately. Create mailing labels with your information on them. Many wedding vendors exhibiting at the show will be offering fun giveaways and discounts, which will require you to enter your information (your name, wedding date, wedding location, email, and phone number), often on a slip of paper to be drawn out later. To prevent hand cramping from repeatedly writing out all of your details at each booth, we’d recommend creating pre-printed mailing labels to bring with you that include all of the information mentioned above. This will allow you to easily and quickly enter these drawings. Have fun! These shows and exhibits can be overwhelming and stressful, but they don’t have to be. Hiring a Certified Wedding Planner comes with many benefits, not least of which being that you will gain access to their preferred vendor list. Having this list will make it so much easier to narrow down which booths to visit so you can focus on having fun, getting some fun swag, and enjoying one of the fun moments of your engagement!
If you haven’t hired a Certified Wedding Planner yet, make a CWP’s exhibit one of your first stops! Prior to the show, when you are doing your research on who will be attending, you can find out whether any wedding planners who will be attending are certified. This information will be listed on their individual websites. We highly recommend that you prioritize hiring a Certified Wedding Planner so you can save yourself unnecessary stress and heartache throughout the entire planning process.
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