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!

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