Bridal Show Tips, Part 1

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

Bridal Show icon with lights and velvet rope

A bridal show is no different, really, than any other trade show or convention you might go to for a hobby or work. There are people trying to make sales, a lot of them have brochures, some have little freebies, and many are sponsoring giveaways as a way to build their mailing list.

So far, for this time down the aisle, I’ve attended 2 shows and have 2 more on the near horizon. By the time it’s all said and done, I’m sure I’ll have attended an easy 6-10.

Why? Because there’s always something new to learn!

Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way that will make your experience at a bridal show more effective and rewarding.

  1. If you can help it, don’t go alone.
    It helps to have a buddy for this sort of thing, be it your fiance, your mother or your maid of honor. This buddy can not only help you in practical ways (holding your tote bag while you search for that pen you picked up at the other table, giving his or her 2 cents on a vendor that you were dazzled by but they weren’t, and making sure you don’t miss something good–like cake samples) but also they are indispensable in the subtle subterfuge of avoiding certain tables.
  2. Avoid eye contact unless you want to be hailed.
    Remember, these folks are here to try and make a sale–if not today, then sometime in the next few months. They want to talk to you, impress you, and try and sign you up for their mailing list–and they’ve probably paid a hefty table fee for the privilege. You’re there for information, yes, but if there’s someone you just don’t want to talk to, don’t make eye contact. You don’t have to be rude, but you also don’t want to get cornered.
  3. Dress the part.
    I’m not saying you have to dress to the nines or even wear white! But for vendors looking to make a sale, it’s very possible you’ll get taken more seriously if you’re dressed nicely, not in a rumpled t-shirt and a pair of flip flops. Books, covers and judging all come to mind, but we’re talking the ways of the world and years of conditioning don’t wash away as easily as hair products.
  4. Wear comfortable shoes!
    With the exception of  shows held at actual wedding venues, many expos are held in convention centers and under a thin layer of carpeting (if you’re luck to have that) will be concrete. And your feet will be killing you if you table hop for 2 hours in spike heels. Just don’t do that to yourself. Comfy flats or a nice low-heel or wedge will keep you standing pretty when all the seats for the fashion show are already taken when you get there.
  5. Pre-register, if possible, for VIP entry.
    Some shows offer early entry if you pre-register, others offer an extra drink ticket or a special gift. Early entry may mean getting a chance to have a good talk with that caterer you’ve been dying to check out or a 1-on-1 with a complementary makeover before everyone else gets there.

Pretty Book and Flower Icon


Learn anything new, yet?
Come back tomorrow for the rest of my tips;
there’s bound to be something to help you!

Tallahassee | Upcoming Bridal Shows

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

Bridal Show icon with lights and velvet rope

While on the venue hunt (more about that, later) I happened to see an announcement one venue’s website about a small Bridal Show being held–that very evening!–at My Favorite Things.

Thankfully, MFT is less that 5 minutes from my house, so I detoured on the way home from work to see what was up.

Flying solo at one of these things is never my first choice, but with barely 4 hours notice you just do what you have to do. I had a couple of very nice chats with some vendors, learned a few things I thought I knew but was wrong about, and found out about two more bridal shows this month!

So, Tallahassee, FL, (and the surrounding area) ladies, heads up:

On Sunday, February 19, 2012, the Tallahassee Garden Club is hosting the Garden Center Bride. From 1-5 pm local brides-to-be and their buddies can tour what I’m told is a beautiful and popular venue and have a chat with other locally-owned wedding vendors. Word on the street is that if you go and register you’ll be eligible for a discount if you then book your event there. The fee is $5 per person, at the door.

Tallahassee Garden Center
507 N Calhoun St

On Monday, February 27, Tallahassee Assn of Wedding Professionals is hosting a Boutique Bridal Show at Goodwood Museum and Gardens. Pre-registration grants you early, VIP access to the vendors starting at 5:30 pm. Brides pay $15–either pre-registered or at the door–while additional guests are just $5 at the door.

Goodwood Museum and Gardens
1600 Miccosukee Rd

Also, while not technically a bridal show, on Thursday, February 16, 2012, from 6 to 8 pm, department store Belk is hosting an Engagement Party . Check your local store for more info, but if you haven’t started your registry yet, this would be as good a time as any!

I guess everyone is trying to capitalize on the recent holiday engagements. Can’t say I blame them one bit!

Pretty Book and Flower Icon


Know of any other Bridal Shows in the southeast? Let me know!