The Ultimate Bridal Show Checklist

If you are planning on attending the Bridal Extravaganza Show at the George R. Brown Convention Center this weekend, we’re here to help you. Whether this is your first bridal show or you are a bridal show veteran, you will likely be wanting to make the most of your time and experience at the show. Here’s a handy checklist to help you in your search for the perfect wedding planning:

The Ultimate List of Bridal Show Tips

Bridal shows in the US draw more than 35% of the brides planning weddings with over 6,000 shows occurring each year.

Attending a bridal show can be both an exciting and overwhelming experience for newly
engaged couples. Not only is it convenient to meet a majority of your area vendors all in
one place, but it also allows you the opportunity to see what’s hot in the wedding
industry that you might have not thought of or even considered. But with dozens and
dozens of vendor exhibits, it’s easy for this fun event to quickly turn stressful. Although
an indecisive bride or groom can benefit from attending a bridal fair, it’s important to be
aware of a few things that can make the experience more enjoyable for you. Use these
bridal show tips to make the most of your visit.

Before the event

Create a brand new wedding e-mail account
Keep your personal email account spam-free by creating a separate wedding e-mail
account that can be used specifically for your wedding related communications. This will
allow you to request more Information from various wedding vendors without risking
your personal privacy. You can also use this email account for your contact Information
when you enter wedding contests or promotional drawings. Some couples even use this
email address to for their wedding RSVPs. A good tip is to reserve your main e-mail
address for vendors you actually contract with.

Pre-register for the show and save time and money
Most bridal shows will allow you to pre-register for the event well in advance to the
actual date of the show. This helps the show get a rough estimate of the number of
visitors that plan on attending. Not only does pre-registering allow you to save time from
having to fill out all your information at the entrance, but there’s a good chance that you
can take advantage of early-bird contest drawings.

Research area vendors prior to the show
One surefire way to save time during your visit to the bridal show is to research and
familiarize yourself with the wedding vendors in your area that are expecting to be
exhibiting. You can usually find a list of exhibiting vendors at the official bridal show
website. Visit vendor websites to get a feel for their style and range of their prices. This
while help you eliminate wasted time by knowing which vendor services are within your
price range.

Have a game plan
You will have a limited amount of time during the bridal show to visit an overwhelming
amount of vendors that could help you on your special day. Before attending the show,
make a quick list of the wedding services you need, and an estimated budget for each
of them. Having an idea of what wedding services you need and an estimated budget
for each of them will help determine which vendors are within your price range and
worth spending your time conversating with.

Prepare yourself with pre-printed labels
The main reason for attending the bridal show is to interact and meet possible wedding
vendors for your wedding day. Having preprinted labels that include your name,
wedding date, wedding location, mailing address and wedding e-mail address that you
can quickly give to vendors can help you save time and keep you on schedule. Adding
your phone number to your pre-printed labels is not suggested. You can also use them
to quickly enter various giveaways and promotions.

Pick up a bag to hold items given away at the show
One thing that is for certain is you will be leaving with a lot of brochures, pamphlets,
business cards and promotional information. All of that information can get heavy, so
picking up a bag to help tote everything around can be a life-saver.
Quick tip: Use one bag to store all of the vendor information in which you are truly
interested, and have a friend/fiance carry another. When you receive information from a
vendor who doesn’t offer something you’d like to learn more about, put it in your friend’s
bag. When you get home, you won’t have to sift through a large amount of ads that do
not interest you.

Make sure you eat a light meal before attending the show
With all that tasty cake sampling, it’s easy to get a sugar rush and sugar crash if you
don’t have something already in your stomach.

Be prepared to wear a “Bride-To-Be” or “Groom” sticker to receive special attention
from the vendors.

Some bridal show events will have concessions or food court areas available so don’t
forget to bring some extra cash just in case they do not accept debit/credit cards.

Phone Number Bummer
Decide on the proper/specific phone number to give to bridal exhibitors from the show
so they can contact you. Calls at work can quickly become annoying so opt to give your
home or cell number and request to receive calls during non-work hours.

Allow yourself ample time to be at the show. Be prepared to
stay 2-5 hours.

Bring your date book calendar or digital planner
Trying to remember all those venue open house dates or planning a follow-up tasting or
meeting with a potential vendor will surely be easier if you can quickly glace at your
immediate availability Come prepared with your calendar and with a good idea of your
existing schedule.

Bring a digital camera
With so many vendors presenting in one area, It’s easy for them to all begin to blend
together throughout the day. Help yourself remember all of the decorations and ideas
that caught your eye by simply taking a quick photograph while roaming the show.

Bring a friend
Share this exciting time during your wedding planning by bringing along either a friend,
your fiancé, your mom, future mother in law or bridesmaids, with you to the bridal show.
You can surely use the extra help carrying all the information you receive, plus, it’s
always nice to have a second opinion. Also, when entering for a giveaway, they’ll be
able to add their names too so your group has a greater chance of winning a prize.

Take a pen
As you collect business cards or information pieces you can make a star on the ones
you like, so you can remember who’s who when you get home and you can also easily
write down the actual names of the vendors you chatted with.

Bring color samples and swatches
It’s easier to coordinate accessories for the bridal party or match the colors of your
flower arrangements with wedding cake decor if you bring sample color swatches for
vendors to see and make suggestions.

Hot Tip: Keep in mind, the floral arrangements you see in the fall may be quite
expensive when it comes to availability in the early spring wedding. So ask questions!

Wear comfortable shoes
The last thing you’ll want to worry about during all the excitement and buzz of the bridal
show is how much your feet hurt from all of your walking around. Wearing comfortable shoes
should be mandatory.

During the show

Save time by cutting to the chase
Your first question to a vendor should be: Are you available on this date? If their
response is “NO”, move on.

Be flexible and keep an open mind
Planning a wedding requires a lot of organization and requires you to also be flexible. If
you had your heart set on a specific wedding vendor and find out that they are booked
or cannot accommodate your preferences, simply begin looking for another vendor.
There will be lots of professional services being offered during the bridal show and you
will surely have other options.

If you see another person roaming the show with a good giveaway gift or sample, make
an attempt to visit the booth they got it from right away. Quantities are usually limited
and only the first few visitors will receive those “good” gift samples.

Ring cleaning
Don’t forget to make time to have your engagement ring cleaned for free during your
bridal show visit. This is a very common service that you should definitely take
advantage of and it only takes a few minutes.

After the show

Prepare for mail pieces
Within just a few days of you attending the bridal show, you will obviously begin
receiving an increased amount of pamphlets and letters from area exhibitors that are
vying for your business. Some of the mail will have special offers or incentives for you to
contact them.

Email Address
When you first register for attending a bridal show, you will notice that the registration
paper you fill out will often have an area to fill in your email address. Consider creating a
separate wedding e-mail address that you can easily trash when your wedding is over.
This allows you not have to worry about trying to unsubscribe from all those spam
emails you didn’t want in the first place.

Organize your new found information ASAP
Do yourself a favor and arrange to go through and organize all the pamphlets and
literature you received from the bridal show as soon as you can. Having a huge stack of
papers you haven’t gone through can loom over you and create a sense of not being
organized.

Follow up with vendors you like quickly
Remember, good vendors book up fast and your show-favorite could book up if you
don’t act. If you find a vendor you like, make sure he/she knows it and get the
communications going.

Source: The Ultimate Bridal Show Checklist

We’ll look forward to seeing you at the Show this Saturday and Sunday!

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