As a wedding photographer and recent bride myself, I know that this is a fun part of the wedding planning process, but it can also be overwhelming. Bridal Shows vary from intimate affairs at a local reception venue, to all-day extravaganzas at exhibition halls complete with fashion shows and music.
It's important to keep in mind the reason you're visitng a particular show.
- Have you just started planning your wedding and are just looking for ideas? If so, be respectful of other brides who are ready to make purchasing decisions and are wanting to talk to a particular vendor.
- Or are you looking to finalize your wedding vendor bookings? Wedding shows can be a useful way of determining if a vendor's ideas and personality are compatible with your own. Even if you are ready to book, I'd suggest you don't pay a deposit, unless the vendor is offering a special Bridal Show deal that is too good to pass up. Express your interest to the vendor and follow up the next day, so you can give yourself time to avoid any impluse buys.
Even at a small Bridal Show, you will end up coming home with dozens of samples, leaflets, and business cards. It's helpful to have a system in place to organize yourself as you wander from booth to booth. You will most likely receive a gift bag on entering the Bridal Show. If possible, bring a folder with you to collect info from your favorite vendors. If you're not the plan ahead type, simply folding down the corner of the promo card or leaflet of your favorite vendor is a good way to narrow down the choices at the end of the day.
If you are only left with a few more vendors to book and you only have a limited time to spend at the Wedding Show, make sure you don't waste time visiting every booth. Have a plan in mind. If the vendor list or floorplan is available online, you can save time at the event by highlighting only the vendors you want to target.
For some brides-to-be, visiting a Bridal Show is simply a fun way to spend time with their girlfriends or fiance, sampling wedding cakes, looking through photo albums, or watching the fashion show.
P.S. The Bridal and Grad Expo is taking place this Sunday, November 7th, at the Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna. We're at booth #47, upstairs near the fashion show. Fill out a ballot at our booth for a chance to win wine & chocolates! You'll get to see some of the amazing albums we offer, and get to meet the person behind the blog... so don't forget to stop by and say hello.