You just got engaged. Congrats! After the shock and awe wear off, you think to yourself, “Now I get to plan a wedding!” Suddenly, your head is spinning with ideas and you’re wondering where you even begin. You’ve already pinned a thousand pictures to your Pinterest board but how do you make your vision a reality?
A great starting point for any bride is to attend a bridal show. Bridal shows are great for getting inspired and seeing the latest trends in décor and fashion. The industry is always changing and the event professionals at these shows are experts in their field and are up to date on all the trends.
You also have the opportunity to meet with multiple vendors in a relatively short amount of time. Meeting vendors in person and making sure that your personality meshes well with theirs is so crucial. You are trusting these people with one of the most important days of your life and investing a good amount of money too, so you need to make sure that they understand your vision and you feel comfortable talking with them throughout the planning process.
Attending a bridal show can also help give you an idea of what that Pinterest wedding will cost and help you determine what your must haves are. Plus many vendors will give special bridal show discounts for products and services or free samples of food and sweets!
Bridal shows can be overwhelming so here are a few tips to maximize your experience.
- Make a temporary email just for wedding inquiries. Keeping all wedding related items separate from your day to day life will help keep you organized throughout the planning process.
- Plan your day. Bridal show websites will list vendors in attendance. Research those you may be interested in and make them your first priority at the show!
- Create labels with contact information. Most vendors have you fill out an information card so that they can follow up with you after the show. Include your name, address, phone number, email, wedding date, colors etc.
Day of Show:
- Be comfy! Wear comfortable clothes and shoes and leave the big heavy purse at home.
- Know times. Make sure you know when the fashion shows or other presentations are happening so that you don’t miss them!
- Hit the vendors you came to see first, but make sure you walk down every aisle.
- Take notes and photos and ask as many questions as you can! Then narrow down what you liked/disliked at home.
- Bring the decision makers. This is a great way to get everyone on the same page who have a financial stake in the wedding.
- Make a day of it. Plan on getting brunch beforehand or dinner afterward. This should be a fun day and is a great excuse to spend some quality time with friends and family.
- Go through all of the material you received at the show and narrow it down. Organize business cards, pamphlets and notes you took about each vendor by type and throw away anything you’re not remotely interested in. This will make things easier to reference down the road.
- Follow up or setup appointments with vendors you loved. Often times vendors book up 1-2 years in advance so if you loved a certain vendor, don’t hesitate and book them right away!
Blog written by Kristen Brill and Ryan Harmon, Lasting Impressions Cleveland Sales