When it comes to discovering great vendors, products and ideas for your big day, there is no better place to go than a bridal showcase. These events, often held in beautiful venues, combine all types of services and offerings in your area under one roof for a day of fun, food, and prizes! From a honeymoon sweepstakes to exclusive discounts, the savings – and the fun – is limitless.
But with the wrong approach, you may walk out of a bridal showcase feeling just as overwhelmed by wedding planning as you did before. Avoid wasting your time at the next showcase by following these tips:
FIND A BRIDAL SHOWCASE THAT SUITS YOU
Do you like bustling crowds, over-the-top displays, and hundreds of options? Or do you prefer a cordial, tame environment to mingle with a handful of exquisite exhibitors?
There are dozens of bridal showcases going on year-round across the country. Look up each event in your area to determine which one seems most your style. You’re putting your valuable time aside to attend a show – make sure it’s one you’ll enjoy.
CREATE A WEDDING-ONLY EMAIL ADDRESS
Planning a marriage temporarily encompasses every aspect of life, from the moment of the proposal all the way up to the wedding day. It’s good for your mind – and better organizational practice – to create a wedding-only email address prior to attending your first showcase.
This designated email address will make it easier to keep track of correspondence with vendors you’ve met at the show. It’ll also prevent messages from your boss from getting mixed in with ones from your DJ!
GO IN WITH A GAME PLAN
Review the list of attending vendors prior to the event. This could be as extensive as researching vendor testimonials and prices beforehand, or as simple as taking a quick glance at the list to see what vendor names pique your interest. Having a handful of booths to hunt down right off the bat will help you feel productive immediately upon entrance to the show.
Coming up with a list of what services you do – and don’t – need is also a vital part of your game plan. Aim to have at least one vendor in mind for each service you need before the day of the show. On the other hand, don’t waste your time (or a vendor’s time) feigning interest in a service you’ve already filled.
Of course, feel free to make a friendly stop by booths that interest you; professionals attending bridal expos are chock full of beautiful, interesting ideas that could help your special day pop!
MAKE ADDRESS LABELS
But not just any address labels! Make sure they include: your names, designated wedding email, wedding date and venue. Visit a booth, slap a label on their contact form, and get down to business.
Not only will this save you from a sure hand cramp after filling out dozens of forms at vendor booths, but it will save you valuable time, too! And not to mention, vendors will be grateful to have one less chicken scratch contact form to decode later.
But don’t forget – your information is valuable. Give it out only to those who you have genuine interest in. For vendors you are particularly excited to connect with again, book an appointment to get the ball rolling!
DON’T STOP HAVING FUN
Wedding showcases can be overwhelming, but don’t forget – there’s free food and drinks for a reason! This is supposed to be an enjoyable and educational moment to become more familiar with different aspects of your special day. If you’re feeling stressed, irritated, or tired, call it a day. Chances are, if you’re not feeling at least a little enthusiastic, you won’t get the most out of the show.
SORT THROUGH YOUR SWAG
From fun promotional items to discounts, you’ll be walking out of any bridal expo with plenty of goodies. Aim to sort through your bounty up to a few days after the showcase, being sure to take note of any companies that left an impression. Consider touching base with those vendors in the future. After all, that’s why you attended the show in the first place!
~Sue Natale The Stylist
Sue Natale is a Long Island-based hairstylist and fashionista. Her work experience includes several salons on Long Island, including the world-renown Red Door Salon at the Garden City Hotel. Today, she works as a freelance hairstylist affiliated with Metamorphosis New York. Follow her on Instagram @suenatale_thestylist, or click here to book an appointment or consultation.