It’s bridal show season! It’s your chance to meet some of the areas finest wedding vendors. So here are my top 10 tips for you brides about to attend one of the many winter bridal shows.
Top 10 Tips For Brides At Bridal Shows
10. Dress for comfort. Wear comfortable shoes. Check your coat. Maybe dress in layers so you can take off that sweater if you get hot. It’s a long day of walking, standing and talking. So be comfortable.
9. Do some advance research. Look at the list of vendors who will be there. Visit their websites. Make some notes. Some you’ll be able to cross off your list before you arrive. Others, you’ll want to make a note to talk more with at the show. This will save you time.
8. Don’t fall for show specials. Chances are if vendors are desperate enough to offer a show special then they’ll honor that same special a few days later. Most of these “specials” are designed to pressure you into signing a contract right then and there. That’s not how things should work on your wedding day. Take your time and make an educated decision.
7. Don’t start the conversation with “How much do you charge ?” When you ask this right up front it puts these wedding professionals off. They will need more information about your wedding day before they can give an exact price. Also you’ll need more information about what they offer to do a real comparison. So starting off with “How much do you charge?” just creates a bad vibe.
6. Ask good questions. In relation to #7 on the list above, asking the right questions to these potential vendors will separate the professionals from the pretenders. “What are 3 unique things you’ve done recently at a wedding?” is a good question. “How many years of experience do you have?” might not be a good question because they could lie. Questions that make vendors think quick on their feet will give them a chance to prove their experience and knowledge and will expose those who are lacking. (Look at My top 10 questions to ask vendors at bridal shows)
5. Have conversations. Plan on being at the show for a while. Talk to vendors one on one. Just grabbing a business card or a flyer doesn’t accomplish anything. You can do better than that sitting at home and surfing the internet. Talk, listen, and get a real feel for these vendors personalities and what they offer.
4. Arrive early. Get to the show early and be waiting for the doors to open. You’ll catch the vendors when they are fresh. You’ll get through quicker and if you see any vendors still setting up or getting organized as brides are entering the show, you’ll know who might do the same on your wedding day.
3. Try to get free passes before the show from participating vendors. Almost every show I have ever done as a vendor has sent me free tickets to provide to some potential clients. So find out who is going to be at the show you are looking at attending. Call around and ask if they have any free tickets. They’ll be happy to give them to you.
2. Don’t shop on price alone. You are assembling a team. No two vendors are exactly alike. A cheap price doesn’t always mean it’s a good deal. Every decision you make will have some impact large or small on your wedding day. Find the best, the professionals you like the most. Go home and rank them in order of priority. Then determine, based on your budget, who makes your team.
1. Have fun! Bring your maid of honor. If you drink, relax and have a drink. Make yourself at home. Joke with the vendors. You’ll see other sides of them that might give you more insight into what they might be like to work with. Enjoy planning your wedding. It’s a once in a lifetime feeling.
I hope these tips help. Enjoy your planning. Let me know if I can be of assistance. My company will not be at many bridal shows this winter as we are already having a tremendous 2011. If you are interested in booking with us, just call. We offer face to face meetings in our Madiera office. You can catch us on Saturday, February 19, 2011 at the Hollywood Casino Bridal Show. For those brides booked at the Manor House, as one of their preferred vendors, we will be at their bridal tasting Tuesday January 18th. Enjoy the shows!