Attending a bridal expo or two is a great way to check out various vendors all in one trip, and a fantastic opportunity to make headway on your wedding to-do list.
Before you visit your first wedding expo, take a gander at the pitfalls below, to ensure you don’t fall victim to any of them.
Have a game plan. When you visit the various bridal expo websites, you’ll notice that the visiting vendors are typically listed. Make a note of which vendors you want to visit, and create a semi-strict itinerary with a little bit of wiggle room, just in case a few unexpected vendors catch your attention. You don't want to wind up not having enough time to see all the vendors you want because you didn't draft a rough plan beforehand.
Don’t hand out your contact information unless you’re certain you want that vendor contacting you—but even then, taking their information is best. This puts you in the power position of choosing when you’d like to have contact with that vendor. It also gives you the opportunity to explore other vendors before deciding on your final picks.
Even though it might be tempting to take every freebie that’s given to you, don’t. The last thing you’ll want to worry about is a sore back from lugging around too much stuff (not to mention the clutter you'll experience once you bring everything home). If you simply can’t resist, then wait until the last couple of hours to take any freebies.
Have a pen and a pad of paper handy for taking notes. For example, when it comes time to look at bridal dresses, it will be easier if you have pre-written notes handy on which styles you loved the most.
2011 wedding expos are a one-stop shop for the bride that wants to get a large helping of all things wedding related, before making any decisions about her big day. Bridal expos allow you to see all of your wedding related options at once, without having to drive to every wedding vendor, hair salon, or florist in order to find the one that fits your needs.
If you’re not sold on the idea just yet, then read through the following bridal expo exhibits and see if you’re not hopping online to purchase a ticket to the next expo in your area!
Bridal expos typically consist of the following exhibits:
- Banquet facilities: hotels, resorts, country clubs, convention centers, winery, and golf clubs.
- Accessories: guest wedding favors, wedding party favors, as well as companies that provide that extra something special, for example a media wall (like they have on red carpets), a candy buffet etc.
- Beauty, Health & Makeup: Hair salons, skin care lines such as Mary Kay, and Nutrition companies.
- Bridal Gowns: Various bridal boutiques and shops will have their latest styles on display through catalogs, and sometimes live models.
- Wedding Consultants and Planners
- Entertainers & Disc Jockys: Entertainment Lighting Professionals, DJ companies.
- Event Designers
- Favors: Jarred candies, Candies Apples, etc.
- Gift Registry
- Honeymoon & Travel
- Invitations & Stationary
- Limousine Companies
- Musicians & Vocalists
- Rental Supplies
- Wedding Photographers
- Tuxedo shops
Although you may not choose a dress from one of the expensive wedding dress designers, this does not mean that you should ignore designer dresses altogether. In fact, one of the best ways to understand your personal taste, to hone your wedding style, and to glean inspiration is to go to a bridal expo where there are hundreds of vendors, wedding dress designers, photographers, florists, catering companies, DJs, and professional wedding planners. You may not end up using any of them, but you will significantly narrow down what you want and (perhaps more important) what you don’t want.
A wedding trade show will help you figure out where you want to put your money. For example, you may see a wedding dress that you know exemplifies the overall theme of your wedding. Remember that the dress sets the tone, and should be chosen early in the planning process (usually after the date and the venue). Though you may not be able to afford the $12,000 gown, you now have a keen eye for emulating that dress. Also, you may want to consider having a dress custom made (though this can still be expensive, depending on your tailor).
You may also find plenty of inspiration for other elements such as color schemes, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, cake flavors, and centerpieces. Remember that wedding planning has a huge learning curve, and bridal expos are a great way to jump start that process.
Bridal expos are a fantastic place to find anything and everything you’ll need to ensure your wedding is nothing short of perfect. They are your one stop shop for all of your wedding needs. They are also easy to find! Just type in “bridal expos 2011” online and you'll be one step closer to making your wedding day planning much easier.
Bridal expos are ideal for the busy bride who doesn’t have time to schlep around from bridal gown shops to wedding cake bakeries. Since many of your local vendors will likely have booths at a bridal expo near you, you can pick out everything you might need for your big day in one fell swoop. If you visit a bridal expo you’ll have the opportunity to explore and book your wedding photographer, entertainment, florists, cake designer, etc.
One great reason to check out a wedding trade show is because they are tons of fun! Not only are they exciting and festive, but will provide you with countless great ideas for your wedding day.
Before showing up, make sure you have a clear idea of your wedding budget and what you need, that way you can maximize your time by being efficient and visiting the vendors you know you’ll need to hire. Since bridal expos tend to get crowded and showcase a great number of vendors it will help you to stay focused if you have a list of specific needs, that way you don’t get confused or sidetracked