Thursday, January 22, 2009

Surviving the Bridal Show

A couple of weekends ago I attended my first bridal show. I had read some tips on attending the Phoenix Bridal Show from the helpful Sarah from The Wedding Hub but I wished I would have followed it beforehand! Her advice is general to any show and after attending I can see now that she knew what she was talking about.

First of all - bring labels with your information. I don't know how many times I wrote out my name and address.

Second - definitely set up a separate email account to deal with vendor inquiries. I had just filled out cards for the things that I was interested in hearing more about. But somehow (I think with registration) my email got on everyone's list and even though it is about 2 weeks later I still get about 10 emails a day from various vendors. Hard to sort out from my actual vendors that I need to read.

Third - This wasn't on Sarah's list but I would say skip the show if you already have your vendors in place. If I were just starting the process this would have been a great place to start to get an idea of what is out there and what the costs are of various services. Since we are less than 3 months away I really just went to get some new ideas. That didn't really happen - my time might have been better spent browsing wedding blogs for inspiration! The show was really Wedding Industry Complex (WIC) overload!

One of the best resources at the show were free copies of Arizona Weddings, Arizona Finest Wedding Sites and Services, and Arizona Bride. I have picked these up at a bridal salon before but think it is great for getting local ideas about vendors. The national magazines are great for inspiration but don't really let you in on what is available locally. These mags list pricing info, websites, and phone numbers of venues, photographers, rehearsal dinner locations- you name it, it is in there. I would recommend to anyone beginning to plan their wedding to find something similar for your local area.

Anyone else have advice for surviving the Bridal Show?


Jess & Frankie said...

so true about the labels, they saved me!

Blablover5 said...

Ugh, so many bridal shows are just scams.

You have to be really careful too in giving away information. There are a lot of places that will then sell that information. I got hounded for months by things I didn't have a clue about.

It really is weird how you have to pay to essentially give away free marketing to vendors.

melissa said...

One other sucky thing about Bridal Shows is that they charge you a huge fee to get in. This particular one was $12! I would have never of gone but I got a free ticket in the mail. Otherwise I probably would have never of gone.

Check the shows webpage to get free or discounted tickets.

AmyJean said...

I'll be heading to my first this weekend :)
wish me luck

Adrienne said...

All great tips! I could have used these a couple weeks ago! Cute blog! :)

bridechic said...

Love the idea of walking out with such glossy mags. Love shows. They used to be free for brides and grooms and the vendors picked up the tab.

Cyd said...

I think the labels and the separate email account are great advice!

Once A Bride said...

I remember my first bridal show--yuk. Totaly overload--lots of crap to deal with, pushy people, etc. It can be rough navigating through all of it. Since I was getting married in another city, I thought I'd find some vendors thru the show, but ended up using vendors through internet finds. Go figure. :)