Newly engaged and eager to start planning their dream wedding, many brides are excited to start contacting vendors and checking items off their never-ending lists! In the wedding industry, we have our peak engagement seasons and Christmas / Valentine’s are one of the biggest booking periods. For any new bride who recently got engaged, jumping in head first into local bridal shows are the best way to hit the ground running and build up excitement for their upcoming nuptials! With this is mind, here are some tips for braving those upcoming Bridal Shows:
GET IN GEAR – Attending a bridal show can be a looong day. To ensure you make it out alive, be prepared for anything. First and foremost, dress comfortably. We do not recommend dressing to the nines, in your highest heels and tightest jeans, to look the “part” of a beautiful bride. Wear comfortable shoes that will allow you to walk around happily for long periods of time. There is nothing worse (for the brides friends and the show exhibitors) then a grumpy bride rushing past the never ending rows of exhibitors, looking for the exit because their feet hurt too much to cary on. If you insist on wearing those 6 inch Louboutin heels – be prepared with band-aids and a back up plan of ballerina flats in your handbag.
Eat a hearty breakfast and snack often. Be prepared to cure any hunger pains with some snacks, bottled water, and treats for your friends. An awesome bridal show will have a state of the art concession stand for you to visit – they may even have a few speciality cocktails for you to celebrate with!
Bring a camera. Exhibitors try to put their best foot forward at a bridal show and they are always working on new styles for the upcoming season. Bring a camera for inspiration on decor, centrepieces, flowers, and favours that you can refer back to when you are ready to. REMEMBER – BE RESPECTFUL! Ask if you can take a photo – most vendors will say YES. No need to be sneaky by pretending to talk on your phone or text when you are really taking a picture – we notice those things. We are actually more flattered that you love our work and welcome an opportunity to inspire you. Also – try not to comment to your friends, while taking the photo, on how easy or how less expensive its going to be to recreate it yourself. Respect the time and talent that went into the work.
3. CHOOSE YOUR ENTOURAGE WITH CARE – Sure, you just got engaged and you’re the happiest you’ve ever been. Going to a bridal show to start getting tips is at the top of your priority list for a Saturday afternoon. But consider this: It might not be at the top of your friends lists. Keep your Bridal Show party small and intimate. Don’t force every family member, future in-law and friend on Facebook to come along with you. Consider inviting your mother (and future mother in law), a sister or two, and only those in your bridal party. Choosing your bridal party comes with a need for major sensitivity and etiquette – inviting friends along that wont be in the bridal party could be misleading and hurtful down the line, when you are selecting your MOH and Bridesmaids. Want to know our advice? Bring another newly engaged friend along instead – that way you wont have to worry about lack of interest or boredom from your friends and family.
4. PLAN, PRINT & PREPARE – Before you go to a bridal show, consider creating a wedding email address. This will help you keep any important wedding information separate and safe, and it will also help spam out those ridiculous vendor attacks to your mailbox after the show. Every vendor will try to nab your email address (present company included) so that they can follow up after the show. Of course they will – it’s how they generate those leads into business. The week after the bridal show, your inbox will likely be flooded with emails of promotions from every exhibitor in the place – so be smart about it and direct them to a wedding specific email address that you can refer back to when you are ready to sort through the deals.
Rather than writing your name, phone number, wedding date, and email address over and over again, causing carpal tunnel syndrome – consider creating pre-printed labels with your information listed. This will not only save you a trip to the doctor, it will also save you time to enjoy the important aspects of the show.
Consider researching where your favourite booths will be situated in advance. They are always posted on the show website closer to the show date. When you register at the door, you will be given a map to cross reference. Mark off the ones you want to see so you can make sure you don’t miss out on an opportunity and don’t be afraid to let them know you’ve wanted to catch them at the show. Chasing vendors by email and phone can be a tedious task and this is a GREAT opportunity to take control of the drivers seat and let them call you.
5. STEAL THE DEALS – A bridal show is where the majority of exhibitors are going to showcase their best promotions of the year – especially if you are considering getting married in the same year. Take advantage of these amazing show deals by visiting each booth and hearing what they have to offer. These deals aren’t likely to be listed on their website so make sure you take the time to hear them at the show. BE CAUTIOUS – Don’t be fooled by exhibitors who say the deal is only available during the show hours. This is a sales ploy to try to make you book on the spot by instilling fear that you’ll miss out on it if you don’t fork over your cash right away. Don’t fall for it! A trustworthy and established vendor will allow you to take the show promotion home with you to do some research, check their references, and get back to them in the weeks after the show. Do keep in mind that the promotion is only for a limited time though, and respect a great deal when you see it.
We hope you enjoyed our Tips for Braving the Bridal Show Season! Remember – Bridal shows are a fabulous opportunity to meet with fabulous vendors who will help make your wedding day amazing. Make sure to take the time to meet as many as you can! You never know what amazing, hidden gems you might find….
VISIT TWELFTH NIGHT EVENTS AT THE LUXURY LONDON BRIDAL SHOW – MARCH 11 2017 – LONDON CONVENTION CENTRE