This post was written by our resident wedding expert, Jennifer Suma. Jennifer is the wedding coordinator for Oasis Conference Center, and has been a part of over 100 weddings. As a vendor, bride and bridesmaid many times over herself, she has some great tips for attending bridal shows!
A Bridal Show Adventure
Getting engaged is exciting and emotional and you feel like you are floating on a cloud…for about a week. Then you realize you need to find a venue, pick a date, select a DJ, find a dress, choose a photographer, etc., etc. The list becomes endless and you go from “blushing bride” to “get me off this ride!”
One of the best ways to get started and see all of the local vendor options is to attend a bridal show. Yes, those can also be overwhelming, but in what other setting to do you get to see anywhere from 50-500 vendors all lined up and ready to tell you about their business? They have pictures, promotions, free pens and will probably tell you more than once how beautiful your ring is and how gorgeous you will be as a bride! You can accomplish in 4 hours what would normally take you 4 weeks to search and with all the compliments you might also leave feeling like Miss America (if she were getting married).
From my experience as having been both a bride and a vendor I have seen some do’s and definite don’ts for these shows:
- Come with a FEW friends or family members for support.
- Create a new email address just for your wedding prior to any wedding planning. All your wedding emails will go to one place and both you and your fiancé can have access. Make it something fun like firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Make labels ahead of time that include your name, email address, phone number, wedding date or time frame, estimated guest count and any other important notes.
- Walk the entire show and then go back to booths that stood out to you for more face time.
- Ask vendors if the décor at their booth is included in the prices & packages they are giving you. The booth may look like something out of a celebrity magazine, but the $40 per person package probably doesn’t include anything but the napkin.
- Go home from the show, relax and don’t open your bag of goodies until the next day. If you try to review it all in the same night your head may really explode.
- Come with 20 friends and family members. You will get frustrated trying to keep everyone in tow and the more opinions they have the more it will drain out the one that really matters…yours!
- Let vendors tell you that you are behind in planning and you need to book everything right then and there.
- Give your information to vendors that really don’t interest you just because you feel obligated. They will appreciate you not wasting your time and theirs.
- Wear 4” heels unless this is a daily occurrence for you. Look cute, but don’t torture your feet. Happy feet equals a happy bride.
- Feel overwhelmed. It is a lot of information to take in all at once, but you will get a lot accomplished!
Good luck at your next bridal show and maybe you will run into the Oasis! We will be at the Wendy’s Bridal Show January 4th & 5th at the Duke Energy Convention Center and the Cincinnati Wedding Showcase January 11th & 12th at the Sharonville Convention Center. Be sure to visit both websites for admission coupons!