Bridal shows can be a fantastic resource for couples shopping around for ideas and deals. Be sure you're prepared to get the most out of expo opportunities.
Pre-registering for these events saves you time at check-in, and often a few bucks as well. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes—you’re going to be doing a lot of walking.
Arm yourself with labels
Many of the vendors will have giveaways at their booths, so instead of filling in each entry form every time, print labels or bring a hand stamp.
Identify vendors of interest
Write a star on the business cards of vendors that really interest you. In addition, take any of their brochures or business cards and store them in an area of your binder, purse or pocket that keeps them separate from all the other business contact handouts and information.
This will allow you to quickly remember some of the great things you saw at the show. Did you see a gorgeous dress during a bridal fashion show? Maybe there is an amazing cake, floral centerpiece or invitation style that you want to remember.
Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. With a room full of vendors showcasing their niche in the wedding industry, you have a unique opportunity to learn and receive helpful tips from professionals focused on planning, photography, videography, invitations, catering, favors, wedding-day attire and everything in between. Don't be shy.
Don't limit yourself
Even if you think the first florist, planner, caterer, etc., you talk with is perfect for your wedding needs, take advantage of the fact that you can easily visit multiple florists, planners, caterers who are all showcasing their services at the expo. By comparing multiple vendors and the services they offer, you can feel confident that you have chosen a vendor that best fits your needs—and you may be able to better negotiate prices/services.
Prepare for special offers and discounts
Many wedding vendors will offer a special day-of-the-bridal-show-only discount if you schedule appointments to learn more about their services. Bring your calendar along to help you save even more money and learn more about their services in a one-on-one follow-up appointment after the show. Other vendors may offer products for sale such as jewelry, favors and bridal accessories at a special discount at the expo as well. If you're interested in possibly purchasing products, don't forget your credit card and checkbook.
Bring a supportive person with you that doesn’t mind chatting with vendors and who will enjoy the overall process of helping you get the most out of what you're looking to find. Make a pact to have fun and to take a break if your energy and focus start to wane. If you're not able to visit each of the vendor booths of interest, you can always get in contact with the vendors after the show via their contact info in the expo's guide. You also will most likely receive a schedule for additional bridal shows that you can attend in the future and a promotional bag filled with plenty of information to peruse.