Bridal Show Tips + Tricks

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Edmonton has 3 main bridal shows every year: The Edmonton Bridal Fair, Bridal Fantasy and Bridal Expo. Seeing as there are 2 bridal shows this month, I have been getting a lot of questions about what to expect at a bridal show and (more importantly), how the experts handle them.

Bridal Fair Wedding Show Booths

{ epicevents.ca }

So, I decided to do a little blog post to help you out!

  • Bring Comfortable Shoes

I can’t help but snicker at the girls I see at the bridal shows in their 4 inch, thigh-high boots, walking around with this look of sheer pain on their faces. (Sorry!) A bridal show is not a runway – unless you’re one of the models actually hired for the fashion show. There is a lot of walking and an awful lot of standing! Your best bet is to wear comfortable shoes with little to no heel – something that you know you could stand in for 2 hours and not be too bothered by.

  • Leave Your Entourage At Home

Bridal shows can be crazy and very crowded. There is no need to bring your entire wedding party or all of your bridesmaids with you. The main purpose of a bridal show is to acquaint yourself with vendors and their services, and to get design ideas for your wedding. If you have 6 people in your entourage, that’s a LOT of opinions! Plus it is very easy to lose track of people. I would recommend bringing no more than 2 people along with you.  If your fiancé is not that interested in the planning process, then leave them at home. (Most bridal shows do have a sort of “Man Den”, but really, I equate it to the ball room at Ikea –you know what I’m talking about. Believe me, your man would much rather be at home than waiting 2 hours for you in a fenced off area with other men!)

  • Bring Water and Snacks

As I mentioned before, bridal shows can be very crowded places with thousands of people in the hall at any given time. This means that line ups for the concession stands are long and prices for food and beverage items are high. There is also not a lot of variety. Where possible, bring a bottle of water for each person and bring some granola bars or other snack items to last you through the day.

  • Come Prepared to do Business

Vendors pay to exhibit at bridal shows in order to get new business. And fortunately for you, you are there to HIRE vendors! :) Make sure to bring a notebook and pen with you as well as your calendar so that you can make appointments with vendors that you are interested in. If you are unable to speak to the vendor directly, grab their business card and contact them at a later date.  Try to only take business cards from vendors that you are interested in. (i.e.: If you are looking for a florist, don’t grab the card of every florist at the show). By the time you get home, you will have forgotten which vendor made that bouquet you loved and you will have more business cards to try to rifle through to find the florist you wanted. Also, bring along a bag to keep all your pamphlets and freebies in!

  • Brace Yourself for Contact

Lots of exhibitors will have contests and prizes that you may want to enter. In order to save yourself time and some serious hand-cramping, make some printed labels and bring them along with you. Information you should include on these labels are: your name, phone number, email address, full mailing address and wedding date. You may also want to sign up for a free email account just for this reason and forward emails from this new account to a current email account. The reason for this is that the bridal show will release a list of attendees to each vendor (remember that info you filled out when you bought your ticket…yup! That’s what it’s for!), and these vendors will send you emails from now until a year and a half AFTER your wedding (in some cases). Having a separate email address just helps you control the barrage of emails a bit better.

  • Take Pictures

If you see something that you like, take a photo of it in order to help you remember…but ask the vendor for their permission first! If they allow you to take a photo, try to include the vendors name somewhere in the photo as well, or position their business card in the shot. That way, you will remember which vendor created what and who to book later!  If the vendor doesn’t allow you to take photos, check out their Facebook page (if they have one). They most likely will have photos of their booth uploaded there for you to look at.

  • Expect to be Bothered

As you walk through the event centre, you will be hollered at, called out, etc. by people trying to hand you pamphlets or get you to view their booth. This is especially true of the bride (believe me, vendors LOOK for that ring on your finger!) Just be prepared for this and don’t take it personally – this is the way it’s done. If you have already booked a vendor for that service, politely say, “I already have my DJ. Thank you”. And leave it at that.

  • The Fashion Show

Either you will be interested in the fashion show, or you won’t be. If you are interested, snag a seat approx. 15 minutes before the show starts. If you aren’t interested, take advantage of this precious time to speak to vendors that you weren’t able to speak to before. The fashion show draws a lot of attention and the exhibitor booths are pretty near empty at this time, which is perfect for the bride who wants to have more one-on-one time with the exhibitors!

Are you a Bride (or Groom!) -zilla?

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If you have ever watched any of those reality wedding shows, chances are you can easily spot a “Bridezilla” when you see one. You know the type – the girl who is ordering her friends around, lipping off sales people in the bridal store, breaking down and crying at the littlest thing…the list goes on.  You sit there, glued to the television and unable to look away, your mouth agape saying, “Omg! That girl is crazy!” And you swear that when the time comes, you would never be like that.

Artistic drawing of bride
{ therottenlittlegirls.com }

And now you are a bride-to-be (or groom-to-be… it works both ways!), and it’s your turn to have the spotlight on you.  But are you starting to think that your friends and family are maybe not being as involved or supportive as you thought they would be? Are your bridesmaids ignoring your phone calls and coming up with excuses for why they can’t go with you to look at invitations? Well, you may want to check yourself…because you could be a Bridezilla!

Here are a few ways to tell if your have been stricken with this terrible wedding-affliction:

1. It’s all got to be perfect…ALL OF IT!

It’s only natural to want everything to be perfect, and no one can blame you for that. However, it is important to understand that life itself, by its very nature, is not perfect. Trust that everyone around you will do their very best to make sure that your day goes according to plan. But while there is nothing wrong with striving for perfection, understand that you also need to be realistic with your expectations of your big day.

2. You are in wedding mode – 24/7

One of the first things people do when they get engaged, is to start trolling the internet for all-things-wedding. While this is a very important step in the planning process, you shouldn’t be eating…talking…sleeping…dreaming about weddings all the time! It is important to take little breaks along the way while you are planning your wedding and that you and your fiance take some time for just the two of you. Having a professional wedding planner can also help you accomplish this! :)

3. You seem to be having more arguments with people than usual

Okay, while this sounds like it may be an obvious warning sign, it usually isn’t as obvious to the bride/groom. To the bride/groom, it may seem as though friends and family are fighting you at every turn and on every decision, or that they appear distant and unavailable when you need them. Try to think back on the previous discussions you have had with your wedding party and family – does it seem like they have been more “difficult” to deal with as the planning has gone on? If the answer is “yes”, then point that finger back at yourself because YOU may be the issue!

4. You forget your manners

Okay, pop quiz – What’s the “Golden Rule”? Answer: “Treat others the way you would like to be treated”. You’ve grown up hearing this rule and others, like always say “please” and “thank you”, from your parents, teachers, etc. A Bridezilla/Groomzilla will often forget about this and will take help for granted. It is very important to thank people along the way, and not just in the speech at the wedding (although that is important too!). Your friends, family, vendors and your fiance, have all devoted much of their time and energy into helping you put together an amazing wedding. No one could have done all of that themselves, so give thanks and show appreciation!

5. You are controlling and unrealistic

If you say “jump”, everyone around you should say, “how high?”, right? WRONG! Everyone has their own lives and commitments that they need to fulfill on a daily basis and it is unrealistic to expect them to be able to drop everything immediately, if you ask them to. This also is the same with vendors. It is important to remember that you are not their only client and that they have set working hours and schedules that they need to adhere to as well. Expecting a vendor to cancel other appointments to come to your aid NOW is unrealistic and it could put a real strain on your relationship with that vendor.

Groomzilla Upset Groom Annoyed Groom

{ namechangeexpress.com }

Whether you are a bride, or a groom, or the Maid of Honour (it happens to YOU too!), it is important to remember that there is no such thing as “perfect”. Being a Bridezilla / Groomzilla ultimately hurts you in the long run because people who you turn to for help, may not be there after your disrespectful treatment of them. This behavior may also hurt your relationships with vendors and they may not want to go over and beyond for you.

You need to trust that your family, friends and even your vendors want you to have an amazing wedding. The sooner you can realize this, the quicker that weight will be lifted off your shoulders and you can enjoy your engagement and your wedding.

2011 Yearly Wrap-Up

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Sweet Bliss Weddings logo

2011 has drawn to a close, and I cannot believe what a whirlwind year it has been!

Sweet Bliss Weddings opened for business in April with little more than a laptop and a passion to create beautiful and memorable weddings. Being my first year in business, I had humble expectations.  When I was interviewed for an article for the Edmonton Journal, I was excited and pleasantly surprised.  And when I was told that the same article appeared in multiple newspapers across Canada, I was ecstatic! :)

Since creating Sweet Bliss Weddings, I have been so fortunate to have met and worked with some amazing vendors and clients.  I just want to thank everyone for their support and encouragement this past year. I certainly could not have done it without you!

2012 is shaping up to be an amazing year for us. We have 8 weddings for 2012 (so far) and I will also be attending the Wedding Merchants Business Academy conference in Las Vegas! We have a few projects and collaborations on the go as well, so stay tuned!

:)