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As Valentine’s Day is now officially over, bridal shows will be sprouting up all over the place!

Here are a few tips for successfully navigating a bridal show and making the most out of your visit!

1. BRING A FRIEND!!! Sisters, moms, and maids of honor make great choices! There is a ton of knowledge to be found at these shows so PLEASE do yourself a favor and bring backup!

2. Print labels with all of your pertinent contact information on it. This will save you an unbeleivable amount of time. Almost every vendor will be thrusting clipboards into your face to fill out information for various reasons. We gather info on people so that we can do a drawing to win a free engagement session! We like to give some incentive for you to come to our table and the chance to win a prize is perfect! We also like to send a card and add you to our newsletter after the show so we use your info for that as well. Just make sure you ask what it’ll be used for…you never know. Pertinent information should include your names, wedding date and venue, phone, email, and postal address.

3. Just like Disney World, when you go into the room, head straight to the back and work your way out. This is especially true if you arrive just at opening time. It’ll be like a bottle neck at the door most brides just hovering at the first few tables. You won’t get much of a chance to actually talk to the vendors if you are caught up in that.

4. Actually talk to the vendors! We are there to show you the very best of what we have and hopefully wow you enough to want to sit down in a private meeting. This is your best opportunity to get to know is right off the bat to see if it will be worth your time to schedule that meeting. I know it’s loud and chaotic and you’re surrounded by bridezillas at these shows but do everything you can to take a moment to talk to the people you’re most impressed with.

5. Take information for everyone you want more info on and don’t take anything you aren’t interested in or don’t need. Save yourself the hassle of having to sort through everything later by taking information only from the vendors you want to learn more about. If you weren’t impressed with a vendor’s display table then don’t take their flyers/brochures/cards etc. If you don’t need a DJ, same rule applies…and so on. It’s ok to be honest if people are still trying to give you things. Just say “no thanks!” and continue on your way. Don’t worry about being rude, it happens all the time! And quite honestly, you’re saving us unnecessary follow-up and marketing materials!

6. Take a look at the vendors before you go. If you’ve been to several shows or even if you haven’t, check out the vendor list on the host’s website. Maybe you’ve already seen or ruled-out most of the vendors. Or maybe you need a florist but there aren’t any at this show. Or even if you do want to go, checking out the vendor list can give you an idea of who is there. You can look at their websites before going to the show and have an idea of who you want to talk to and who you don’t. Like most-things-wedding, it’s best to be prepared.

7. Skip the fashion show. Unless you came to see this years trends in bridal fashion, skip the eye candy and take this time to visit the vendor booths. Since most of the brides crowd into the ballroom to watch the dresses and tuxes be modeled, the booths should be empty and the vendors anxious and excited to talk to you!

8. No suggestion here just an observation…only about 1 out of every 20 brides bring their grooms to bridal shows. Do with this information as you please but it’s definitely a tidbit you should know

HAVE FUN at those bridal shows! It’s a great time to see ideas and vendors that you may have never found otherwise. Make the best of it and enjoy!!

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