Bridal Show Banter
Bridal Fantasy is this weekend, so I thought I would share my helpful hints for attending bridal shows and making it out in one piece…with most of your sanity. Having worked bridal shows as a vendor for the last 12 years I have come up with a fairly comprehensive list, enjoy!
- Wear comfortable shoes
Now, I love my stilettos as much as (probably more) then the average bear and will usually sacrifice comfort for style, so when I tell you to wear comfortable shoes you know it’s important. Bridal shows involve a lot of walking, usually on hard surfaces. Year after year I see brides dressed to the nines in their 3” stiletto heels complaining about their feet hurting and looking absolutely miserable because of it.
Some places do not have a coat check and it isn’t fun to wear (or lug) your Canada Goose parka around a show. Wrap yourself up in a warm blanket scarf and make a beeline for the door, it will count as your cardio for the day!
This may seem obvious to some, but others think “I can just get a bottle of water there!”, yes you can…if you want to wait in lines and pay $3.00 more.
- Pack snacks
Lineups can be looong, the food usually isn’t that great and it is overpriced. Pack a granola bar, some cheese and crackers or even some sandwiches. You will look like a genius to the hangry brides standing in the food lineups.
- Avoid the writing cramp
Bring labels pre-printed with your name, address and email address for entering draws, this saves you time (and carpel tunnel) filling out all those little forms.
- Say cheese
Take photos of centerpieces and décor you like, but please ask the vendors BEFORE taking the photos to make sure it’s alright.
- Expect the show to be crowded
Don’t show up to a bridal show and be annoyed that it is crowded with brides and their respective entourages. Just go mentally prepared to deal with it!
- Only take information from vendors you are interested in
I see so many brides leaving a bridal show with bags of business cards and brochures. If you already have a photographer, don’t bother taking their full color brochure only to go home and throw it in the garbage. Speaking from a vendor point of view, these marketing materials cost us money so help us (and the environment!) out by not taking information if you aren’t interested.
- Bring a notebook and pen
Make notes about vendors you really liked and why you liked them. So many times brides will be at home a few weeks after the show trying to figure out what florist made those centerpieces they loved.
- Be wary of impulse purchases
Some shows allow vendors to sell things like jewelry, veils and sometimes even gowns. Please think before you buy, most items at these shows are final sale. Just because it’s a good price doesn’t mean you should buy it! Will that veil actually match the color of your dress?
- Get a seat early for the runway show
Brides usually make a beeline for runway show seating at least 10-15 minutes before it starts. Go have a seat and eat your lunch there (if food is permitted) to make sure you don’t have to stand. If you already have your gown, this is a great time to look around and chat with vendors as most people will be watching the show!
- Don’t be a mean girl
This should go without saying but sadly, some brides need to be reminded. Vendors are there to promote their business so please don’t act annoyed if they try to talk to you. If you aren’t interested in what they have to offer politely state so and walk away. A simple “I already have my florist, thank you.” will do just fine. You don’t have to love the bouquet that they have on display but the “Oh my GOD that is so UGLY!” might not be required. Another thing I see is brides making fun of other brides…we aren’t in Jr. High any more (thank GOD!) so please don’t ridicule other brides who may have different taste then you, I see this all the time…a bride will be oooh’ing and awww’ing over something and another bride and her friends will be behind her making fun of whatever it is she is looking at. Be respectful to vendors and other brides.
Bridal shows are fun if you go prepared, so follow my tips and you should come out of it relatively unscathed. Above all, remember to have fun!
Amy's been a consultant at Bridal Debut Gownhouse for over a decade and she’s also a certified wedding planner. She is passionate about helping brides find a gown that they feel amazing in (just like your groom/bride to be, its gotta be “the one”). She believes that shopping for a dress should be lots of fun. She's got tattoos, a toddler, and a cat named Jimmy Choo!