(Closed) First Bridal Expo!! What to expect? Tips? Your experiences? :))

posted 6 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
Member
39 posts
Newbee

It’s overwhelming, that’s for sure! My Fiance and I just went to one 2 weeks ago. Keep in mind, you will be asked a lot to book then and there and some vendors can be super pushy. And expect a ton of emails if you give out your information freely. It’s super fun and you’ll see a ton of stuff you’ll want. I found my wedding dress at the first wedding expo I ever went to back in July last year too. Have fun!

Post # 4
Member
1576 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I have 2 pieces of advice… Part 1:

My advice for bridal shows: Come armed with a fake gmail account that forwards everything to you regular gmail account. That way if it gets to be too much, you can always just turn off the forwarding.

Advice #2 is to make a fake phone number using google voice. I have mine set up so that if you call it, it’ll dump you straight to voicemail and if you leave a message it will email me that someone tried to call me. It attempts to transcribe the voicemail, but it’s pretty bad at that. ๐Ÿ™‚ But it’s so nice. No annoying phone calls.
To set it up, find Google Voice by either searching it, or it’s under Google‘s “Home & Office” services. Register a number and link it to an email account and a cell phone. Then go to Settings. Click on the “Calls” tab, and the fourth item down is “Do not disturb”. Turn that on so that the calls don’t make your phone ring and just go straight to voicemail.
 
Done! ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 5
Member
1576 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Part 2:

What smart married lady taught me about bridal shows is that it’s a great place to ask questions. I’m a bit on the shy side and hate looking dumb around the “experts” but a bridal show is no place for that.
The first time I went, I didn’t know a lot about what I wanted, but she took what I did know and ran with it.
She would corner florists and ask them things like “When do you start to book up? How many months out should KOI424 be talking to you? What sort of flowers are popular in late July/early August? Have you ever worked with VENUE-ABC? (A venue I was looking at that was a different location from the bridal show) How do you usually like to decorate that place? How would you compare that place to VENUE-LMN (where the bridal show was)? How do you like working with the people at each? Are they nice? Professional?”
I never ever would have had the guts to take up this woman’s time with all these questions. But the information was invaluable! You’re getting the inside scoop! I would have just gone up to her and said “Oh you do flowers? They look pretty. I’ll take your card.” And walk away. lol.
 
One thing I love to do at bridal shows, if they are local to a venue you’re looking at, is to ask all the photographers if they have pictures of weddings at that location. Most photographers bring lots and lots of albums. It’s really cool seeing how different people decorate the venue.
 
Bridal shows are just great places to talk to the experts and get great information that you’d never find anywhere else. 

Post # 6
Member
3765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

I created a wedding email account, and thank god because I get about 25 emails daily from potential vendors!

I also bought cheap gift bags that were brightly colored and labeled each one “flowers,” “cake,” “music,” etc. When I got handed literature from different vendors I put them in the appropriate bag. This saved a ton of hassle when I was looking for the info from that one florist I really liked, or the cake place that had a pink flyer.

Post # 7
Member
3765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

+1 ask everyone if they have worked a wedding at your venue. My church is very unique in that it’s round, so I was really interested in how each photographer shot the church.

Post # 8
Member
1144 posts
Bumble bee

Here are my tips:

1. Like some mentioned, make an email account dedicated to all things wedding.

2. Don’t sign up for “free dinners” or “cooking classes” because they’re going to try to pressure you into buying a $3,000 cookware set and from people I know who went, it was NOT an enjoyable experience. They’ll also harass your phone.

3. Make premade labels with your name, email, phone number and wedding date to make it easier when filling out ballots and whatnot. It saved me a TON of time.

4. Wear comfy shoes!

5. Bring a notebook and a pen, some booths don’t have handouts with pricing info so I found it useful to write it all in my wedding planning notebook.

Post # 9
Member
3765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

@DeeVine1217:  why didn’t I think about premade labels! *facepalm*

Post # 10
Member
960 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@DeeVine1217:  +1

Also bring a backpack to put things in, sometimes the bags they give you are not comfortable to carry around.

If you intend to stay a while, bring something to eat and a bottle of water

Take the time during the fashion show to speak with vendors that are normally super busy! Most people clear out during this time and it will be easier to get 1 on 1 time with them

Post # 11
Member
1576 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Oh yes – a notebook and pen are key! When you are finished speaking with someone, right down a quick note (sometimes I’d do this on the back of their business card) that “This is the one who…” because you’ll look at all these brochures later and forget who’s who.

I think the labels must be a regional thing. I made labels for my first show but never used them. Every vendor has a different sign-up sheet format. I’ve never been to a bridal show big enough that it was too hard to write down my name 10 times here in Jersey. But I imagine in other parts of the country they might have bigger ones where labels would help. 

Post # 12
Member
5 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I just went to one here in Calgary Alberta on the weekend.

Here is my advise,

wear running shoes

check your coat.

dont carry a heavy purse

bring your cell phone to take pics

make labels with your name, address, phone number, email, wedding date for those draws, alot easier than filling them out.

ask alot of questions.

but most of all, take it all in, it was alot of fun.

Post # 13
Member
3765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

@koi424:  I think I wrote my name and info down about 20-30 times >.<

Post # 14
Member
1576 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@littlemisst08:  Eeep!!

See – in NJ there’s like 3 bridal shows going on somewhere every Wednesday and Sunday, but they are all fairly small. Some only have like 5 vendors.

I’d imagine in other places they are less frequent but bigger. That would be a more effective use of time and gas money even though it must be overwhelming.

Post # 15
Member
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

I just went to one this past weekend. It was crazy busy! People everywhere, tons of information, some free stuff and lots of draws to enter. I printed out self adhesive address labels with my name, email, phone and wedding date to stick on ballots for entering draws. So much faster!!

Grab tons of information and go around twice. Make sure you see everything and come back to your favorite vendors to ask questions. 

Post # 16
Member
3765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

@koi424:  Oh wow. Here there are four major expos a year, and they are MASSIVE. We’re talking fight through crowds, stand in lines to get in, wait a few mins to get a chance to talk to the vendor you want to see. Sometimes I just wrote my name down because there were too many people crowding a vendor.

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