(Closed) My first "Bridal Expo"…what should I expect?

posted 5 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
Member
1600 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Honestly, when I went to a bridal show I was SO overwhelmed.

There were massive amounts of people and most of the booths were so crowded you could barely move.

So many people are shoving things in your face (fliers, pictures, business cards, etc.) you can barely concentrate on what YOU’RE trying to accomplish. They gave us a huge bag to gather all our stuff in and it probably weighed 10 lbs. after an hour.

And most of the stuff I saw there was so over the top, expensive, and elaborate. I didn’t use a SINGLE thing I got at the bridal show. Every vendor that pawned their info. to me was entirely too expensive or just not my style. Then again, we are having a fun, informal, low-budget, party and not an over the top, showy, black tie affair.

So I guess it just depends on your personality and what your wedding style is.

Once I saw holographic bridal photography, liposuction, and edible flowes, I was done. lol

But it is an experience, so I say go check it out and see what you find. Just wear comfortable shoes and bring, like, a back pack. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post # 4
Member
3626 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Honestly, I went to one bridal expo (that sent me a ton of postcards) and I hated it. It was in the ballroom of a local hotel and there were a good amount of people (mostly women) there. There were vendors of all sort, including DJs, flowers, photobooths, etc. I didn’t really see anything that screamed out at me that I had to have and DH and I got out of there in maybe 30 minutes or less. We had a really good budget (average to high for my area, depending on who you ask) so we weren’t necessarily looking for a great bargain or anything. We were just interested in seeing who was out there.

I didn’t use any of the vendors that exhibited at the expo although it turned out that two of my vendors do go to these things (namely my DJ and my photobooth vendor).

I didn’t see anything extremely creative or gorgeous. I think they tend to be fairly mainstream to cater to the masses. If anything, I found more ideas looking at regional bridal magazines (e.g. The Knot for your area), Pinterest and blogs of venues in the area. A lot of blogs have all the vendors used in the weddings listed so that’s really helpful.

Post # 5
Member
993 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

expect a headache and alot of crazy brides…. I didn’t enjoy the one I went to

Post # 6
Member
948 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Like PPs have said- be prepared for the place to be packed and the chaos to be overwhelming. I went to one, stayed for about 15 minutes ad left. 

Post # 7
Member
5663 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Expect to be accosted. Take a tote bag for all the fliers, and take pre printed address labels with your info so you don’t have to fill out all the give always by hand. I’d suggest making a separate email address as well or your inbox will be flooded. I made a wedding email address we used which was great and kept all of this out of my normal email. 

Post # 8
Member
473 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I went two bridal expos. The first was awful and the second was awesome. The first one was your typical mainstream, over-priced shit on display, I want to be a princess for a day crap. It is overwhelming, especially if weddings aren’t your thing. Yes, I never dreamed about getting married ever since I was a little girl. We exist. Laughing But, my stepmom wanted to go, so I went along.

The second expo, our officiant was a vendor and she put FI and I on the guest list. It was called Love Sick and it was more of a cool kids expo. FI had fun because there was a burlesque show. That was awesome!

In short, if there are boobs, the bridal show should rock.

I guess I should give you real advice, so here goes: don’t give out your email or phone number. The vendors are relentless!

 

 

 

Post # 9
Member
10454 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

I printed out self adhesive address labels with name, wedding date, email etc to enter in draws and for giving any contact info to vendors. So much quicker!

Post # 10
Member
1304 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I always assumed that those bridal expos are just a way to sell names to marketing lists.  So, I always avoided them like the plague.

Post # 11
Member
8697 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@FewChaMrsBrown:  Do not give them all your phone # and email. OMG! I have some that WONT STOP calling my phone and sending emails. They are so annoying and I try to stay civil but I dont know how many times I need to tell someone I have already booked my photographer, florist, etc.

Post # 12
Member
349 posts
Helper bee

If you haven’t already done so, you might want to set up a “wedding only” email address.  Pre-printing labels is a great suggestion, as mentioned by previous posters.  If you are sensitive to noise or crowds, be ready to bail out; the one I attended was like a battling DJ convention; each one turning up his noise to attract more attention.  The only positive was that I became aware of a couple of venue options I wasn’t aware of, but it was more productive to take their cards and talk with them after the show. My primary interest was the fashion show, but it was disappointing – the bridal gowns were all generally the same style and they showed very few MOB dresses.  Even my 11 year old niece hated the experience, in spite of all the free cake samples! 

Post # 13
Member
2287 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: Central Park

Go hungry. They’re are tons of samples. And don’t take any flyers you don’t want or need. 

Post # 14
Member
546 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Like others said, it can be a cluster. I’ve been to one and holy crap it was insane. They get up in your face with flyers and whatnot. I had in my head that I wanted to look into photographers and cakes. Some of the photographers I spoke with were like vulture car salemen! I just wanted to know price ranges, and I do understand that prices vary and there is a lot they can do to work with you, etc. But this one photog, all I did was ask where his prices start and I got a FIVE MINUTE intro about how pricing works and why photog is what it is before he told me his range, which was a huge range, and still didn’t answer my question.

The cake booths were nuts because all people wanted were samples, and I legit was interested in finding someone who works well with buttercream. Completely unsuccessful.

Some vendors were genuine, some snitty, some pushy, some clueless. I went to the CT Bridal Show (that’s what it was called), and I asked one vendor where she was located. She told us, and it was on the other side of the state from where we’re having our wedding. I told her where the wedding was and her reply was “oh! What are you doing all the way up here?” I was just like “this is the CONNECTICUT Bridal Expo” (which was smack in the middle of the state). It was just obnoxious.

Anyway, here’s my advice. Unfortunately, I did not get the ideas you’re hoping to get. It’s more about vendors than fun decor ideas. As others have mentioned, if you haven’t done it already, create a wedding email. Don’t write your phone number down because you may get hounded. Bring a pen or notebook to be able to write things down. As people handed me flyers, I wrote little notes on them like “too expensive” or “nice photography, girl was friendly”, things like that. Have a plan. Know the things you want to look at and the things you don’t. Be cautious about entering contests because you may get spam emails and phone calls from them nonstop. 

Post # 15
Member
542 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I live in NYC, so I went to a few. I went to the famous Bridal Expo twice, one time was awesome and the other time was meh. Depends on what vendors show and give away.

I scored a free 1 year subscription to Brides magazine 🙂 and got a free set of engagement pics that I cherish so much.

My advice is only give your info to vendors who you are really interested in. Don’t give your info out to people that are being pushy, they will continue to be pushy when contacting you with a million calls and emails.

Post # 16
Member
535 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

Create an email just for wedding vendors. Af ter my first bridal show I got dozens of emails the next week. Having them all in one email helps keep my regular one from getting crowded.

 

Be ready to taste lots of cakes, appetizers, etc.

 

Go just to have fun. Don’t go with an agenda or plan to get x y z accomplished. Otherwise you’re there on a mission and miss out on the experience.

I’m a year from my wedding so most werent interested in speaking to me. For me that made it more enjoyable since I didn’t feel like I was pressured to make decisions right now.

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