(Closed) Are bridal fairs worth it?

posted 5 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
1038 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I went to a huge bridal expo in Phoenix in January.  We are getting married in FL so didn’t need to meet with any vendors.  Just wanted to enter the giveaways, have free cake/catering samples and talk with some travel agents about our honeymoon.

 

 

The one I went to, if you registered online you got a giftcard from JVL for 2 free tungsten rings(you pay for shipping).  We actually used that(and hint….everytime you order a ring from them, even if you used a giftcard, they send you another giftcard with your purchase in the mail).

 

I entered a bunch of giveaways. I suggest you have preprinted address labels with your name, address, phone number, email(make up one for your wedding only) and wedding date.  Makes it easier than filling out form after form.  I didn’t win anything from those giveaways, instead had to dodge phone calls from different vendors.

 

I got calls saying I “won” 2 nights at a hotel or something but I had to go to a presentation about cookware…so I didn’t win anything with them really, just a sales pitch. 

 

I did win $300 off any package at American Laser Center(I used it towards a package of several microdermabrasion appts). I won it by catching one of the bouquets they throw out at the fashion show.  So if you go and they have a fashion show….get good seats and try to catch a bouquet. 

Post # 5
Member
4653 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I have not gone to won but you can win tickets to ones most the time “like” the bridal show’s facebook page a lot of the time they will give out free tickets! (atleast the ones here do!)

Post # 6
Member
105 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

You can find a few deals at bridal shows, and maybe even win some items like PP here, but overall I’d say it’s not worth it. I went to two over a year ago and I still get annoying phone calls about the “romantic dinner for two” I’ve “won,” plus loads of junkmail.

Post # 7
Member
12565 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I went to one, and other than getting to eat lots of free cake, it wasn’t really worth it.  I felt really overwhelmed, and didn’t get any of my vendors from the show.

Post # 8
Member
554 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Here (in my city at least, can’t talk for the whole country) we don’t pay to go into bridal expos. Having been to a few & seeing the same things over & over, I actually think that would be a deterrent…

Post # 9
Member
2106 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Not worth it. We both got spammed for months after by fake prizes aka you won 2 nights at any of our resorts! You won free wedding bands! You won free china! Etc. 

We ate a few free mini cupcakes and found a florist. If I had to do it again, I never would have put down my phone # on anything. Oh and I also got a TON of emails from affiliates of other vendors. So, I gave my info to a spa in hopes of winning a spa package… and all of a sudden I got emails from DJ’s, despite not going to any DJ booth. Oh and a Photobooth company called, emailed, and generally harassed me for weeks, even after I requested they remove me from their mailing and phone lists. 

Post # 10
Member
3295 posts
Sugar bee

This is how I got my Photobooth for $400. My BM and I was walking through and the Photobooth guy stopped me. I told him I wasnt interested because they are too expensive and he said he would give me a discount if I booked with him. So I did. My wedding is during an off season though so I am sure he was happy to get work during the wedding off season.

Post # 11
Member
894 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I won 50% off of my wedding cake so I’d have to say yes 🙂

Post # 12
Member
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I dont think they are necessarily that beneficial, but it is kind of a fun way to spend the afternoon as a bride-to-be!  I didn’t go into it looking to book anything specific — I just wanted to see what they were all about and perhaps enter a contest.  Therefore my expectations were pretty low.   

I went with my Mom and two sisters and we had a good time!  We drank wine and ate apps, sampled some wedding cake, and chatted with some vendors.  I didn’t end up winning anything, but a bunch of girls did.  I got tons of sales calls and spam afterwards, which was very annoying. I would say you have nothing to lose by giving one a try, but don’t expect too much because you may end up disappointed.   

Post # 13
Member
7610 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I went to a large one in Toronto and it was kind of boring.  Not worth it for me.

Post # 14
Member
2282 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I found my photographer at one, and considering I paid way less than I would have if I’d just gone with who I’d have found doing online research, I consider it worth it just for that. 

I got to try lots of free cake, and got some ideas for hors d’oeuvres, and a much clearer picture of what I wanted (largely based on reacting to all the stuff I didn’t want), but it was a fun thing to do with a friend. Oh, and I got a free tote 🙂 Their only giveaway while I was there was for a wedding cake from a really amazing local bakery, but DH’s aunt was already doing our cake as her gift to us, so I didn’t even enter. 

Post # 15
Member
1038 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@mcgoo:  It wasn’t much to go.  If you went online and registered before the event you only paid $12 for 2 people.  My FI went with me and he wasn’t completely miserable(I don’t think he was, lol).  Most you get a free subscription to a bridal magazine as well if  you go. 

 

Another tip: bring a sturdy tote bag to carry all the magazines and cards and stuff the vendors give you.   I did and was glad I had that vs the plastic bags they hand out.  Get good at looking straight ahead when walking through each aisle if it’s vendors you aren’t interested in.  Once you make eye contact, they will shove cards and fliers in your hands.  My poor FI wasn’t good at that and didn’t want to be rude, so he ended up with a massive stack of them by the end of the day(that we just to toss once we got home). 

 

All the photobooths let people take pics in them and keep a sample copy so don’t dress down too much(comfy shoes are an absolute must though) and have some makeup on.  I finally convinced FI to stop and try out one of them just so we got a cute free pic together. 

 

Post # 16
Member
881 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I found my ceremony musician at a bridal show.  A full string quartet wasn’t really in our budget but we found a woman who plays the violin for a lot less and booked her.  I’m really excited so I would say it’s worth it because you may find just one vendor you needed.  I agree with the PP though about not putting your phone number.  I also got multiple calls claiming I had won a prize which was not actually a prize at all.  One “prize” I won twice, in about a week, they must have forgotten they had already called me.  I also still get calls from JoS A Bank asking if we have our tuxedos yet and we never went to their booth!  I think it is something fun to do on a Sunday afternoon, and the food samples are always great!  If you don’t have all of your vendors yet it might give you some inspiration.  Enjoy being engaged!

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