Bridal Shows 101

Illustration of a bridal show

Bridal shows are one of the most fun, stressful things about wedding planning. I went to a dozen of them during my planning process and learned so many wild things along the way. Hundreds of vendors all want your business, but choosing which one can be a little scary. We’ve got a few tips to help you through the process and have a little fun at the same time.

Don’t Make Hasty Decisions

Every single vendor is going to have a flashy booth exclaiming they are the best photographer in the world, the best DJ to ever play music, and have the best wedding dress made only for you. Don’t fall for it. Don’t sign up with the first wedding vendor you see with lights and glitter. Go home and do your research. Just because they have all the bells and whistles doesn’t mean they have the best product for you. My photographer was new to the scene and didn’t have the money yet to advertise at a bridal show. I found her while researching other vendors on Yelp. Do your own research and make sure the businesses you liked actually have competitive prices, show up on time, and will give you the best possible product.

Wedding dresses on display at a bridal show

The Cheapest Price Isn’t Always The Best Option

You’re going to run into vendors with every price imaginable. Some offer their services for hundreds of dollars while the next vendor will offer the same service for thousands. I thought a DJ didn’t really matter because I could stick my iPod up there with a playlist if I wanted and still have music. Boy, was I wrong. I went with a cheap DJ I found at the bridal show and he just wasn’t very good. He wouldn’t play anything we requested and he didn’t follow through with many of our wishes. Going with someone just because they are inexpensive isn’t the best choice. Again, do your research. Some people might just offer low prices because that’s how they roll while others have to offer low prices because they aren’t that good. Remember, neither the cheapest nor the most expensive price qualifies a service or product as the worst or best.

Bring Wedding Information Labels

You`re going to be filling out your information a hundred times. Every vendor wants your information so they can hunt you down and make sure you use their service or product. Even though you might not be interested at the time, you may still want to give your information in case you change your mind. Instead of writing that information over and over, it’s easiest to print out labels so you can just stick them on each sheet. The best information to include is your contact info and wedding date. You can even include your wedding budget if you wish. This will save you a lot of time and hassle so you can move from vendor to vendor quickly.

Food on display at a bridal show booth

Plan Out Your Trip

The best news is you don’t have to visit every single vendor booth at the show. You can pick and choose so you don’t get stuck listening to a salesperson’s spiel about a product you don’t even care about. Make a list of the most important vendors to you and only stop at these locations. If you already have a venue or a photographer then don’t waste your time at those booths. If you love a certain style of photography or need a wedding planner, check out the map beforehand and you should be able to find where these booths are located. Don’t get sucked into things you really don’t need like a wedding ring cleaner or travel planning service just because you got stuck at their booth.

Stick To Your Wedding Budget

Don’t fall in love with a vendor that’s over your wedding budget. You can politely listen and take information, but be on the lookout for hidden fees and crazy costs. You might love a photographer’s product, but the price is far above your budget. The odds are there is another photographer out there in your price range with the same style as the one at this particular bridal show. Don’t fall for the promised discounts without doing some research about any hidden fees. You have to stick to your budget or you’ll get home, feel regret over your decision, and may have to cut your budget on other needed items. A bridal show will have vendors for wedding budgets big and small, so take all the information you want from each place and compare the prices when you get home. You may be surprised at the amazing services or products you can actually get at lower prices. Each vendor sets their own price on their services so there will be at least one that fits your list perfectly.

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