Bridal conventions/fairs…worth it?

posted 3 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
Member
4441 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

@a_day_at_the_fair:  I went to a smaller one and hated it.  But at a larger one there were travel agents with honeymoon ideas, I found the consignment shop I later sold my dress at, lots of opportunities to win stuff, venues with potential discounts.  I think it depends how far along you are with planning and what you’re looking for.  If you’re just starting planning definitely go!

Post # 4
Member
720 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@a_day_at_the_fair:  

                 I think it depends where you are from and how big/small these fairs are. In my area we went to one and it was a total waste of time. Maybe it was the way we were dressed but very few vendors tried to talk to us.  It can be worth it to enter all the draws to win free things though so I guess it depends. Ours was $8-10 for an all day pass with fashion shows each day and a lot of vendors around the city had $2 off coupons you could print out to save on admission. They can be great if you want to get an idea of  things/vendors you might wanna book and to see things in person. Do you know anyone who has gone in the past you might be able to ask?

Post # 5
Member
192 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Like PP said, the bigger expos are awesome but they aren’t super worth it if you are mostly done with planning. Even though I am mostly done, it was still a blast to go with my Mom. However, unless you are serious about wanting info, refrain from giving legit email/phone numbers. My email exploded with tons of vendors I don’t care about. I just loved all the free stuff and fasion show. I would suggest you go to one, if only for the experience, it can be really fun.

 

Post # 7
Member
351 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Ugh I hated them!!! It was like walking onto a used car lot, everyone trying to sell you. At least the one I went to.

Post # 8
Member
941 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I went in with specific objectives looking for specific vendors. That made it way less overwhelming. I found and booked a photographer that I love but would never have otherwise come across. 

Post # 9
Member
170 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@a_day_at_the_fair:  

I went to 2, BrideWorld.com expo’s in Los Angeles and Pasadena. Over 100 vendors, I found 3 of my vendors there. As long as you bring your postcard invite, it’s free for 4ppl. They also give you a complimentary tote and wedding planner. Plus me and my hunny won a free trip to Hawaii for 4 days! So I love them.

Post # 10
Member
518 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@a_day_at_the_fair:  I went to the bridal expo in my area and it was fun…mostly because it was a day spent with my best friend I dont see much anymore…but it was also fun tasting food and cake, seeing flowers, and signing up to win things

Post # 11
Member
7098 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

My mom and I went to one when we first started planning. It was kind of nice to meet some of the vendors in person, see the photobooth setups (some were literally like shower curtains around a chair…no thanks), the DJ’s gear, etc. I personally hate sales people so I didn’t really enjoy it, but it was somewhat helpful. If you’re already done with most of your planning I wouldn’t bother though.

Post # 13
Member
2421 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

@a_day_at_the_fair:  Our venue actually held a fair with free admission.  It was perfect.  It was all vendors that work there frequently.  Everyone knew the venue, knew what worked, what didn’t, where things were, etc.  

We booked our photographer from that fair.  We found the bakery for our cake there as well.  We also got to try all the cocktail food the venue puts on as they catered the fair.  I think we’re also going with a DOC I met there.  She was fantastic, I just haven’t booked an appointment with her yet.  I also found my hair stylist and MUA there.  Big day! It crossed off a lot of line items for me. 

There were vendors there we knew we didn’t want.  Our DJ and officiant are both personal recommendations from coworkers (the venue is a recommendation as well!)  The florist is actually my cousin (she happens to be a bridal florist by trade.)  

And we got 2014 pricing for our 2015 wedding.  We also got a bunch of fair deals, basically extras thrown in ontop of regular 2014 pricing.  

Post # 14
Member
137 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

It depends on what you want in a wedding. These conventions seem to be filled with the vendors who can afford to rent the convention space, which means they have a ton of money and also charge a ton of money for their services. I am pretty much doing everything DIY, and Bridal Fairs are aimed at brides who want everything done for them. To me, the only thing that made it worthwhile is the food samples. I’m super picky about food, so it was a good way to see and taste things first hand without making appointments with all the different caterers. Other than that, it’s like a pack of hyenas moving in for the kill. The industry is geared toward making you pay as much as possible for crap you most likely don’t want or need. The coupons I received were only valid for the next few months after I went to the convention last September, and my wedding isn’t until this October so that wasn’t going to work out. I entered like 30 contests and won nothing, neither did my friend who I went with. Over all, a waste of time in my book.

Post # 15
Member
260 posts
Helper bee

I went to one that was approximately $75.  I stayed a long time, really enjoyed the fashion show, and got lots of ideas.  That being said, I was at the VERY early stages of planning.  If you have done a lot of plannin already, it may not be worth it for you.

Post # 16
Member
1802 posts
Buzzing bee

I’ve only been to one really small one, but it really wasn’t anything special. We got in for free because my grandfather is a volunteer at the expo location, so that was great (even though it was a $5 entry LOL). We basically just ate all of the food that caterers had out, and tried not to get ambushed by vendors. There was a divorce lawyer there!

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