One of my favourite things when I was planning my own wedding was going to bridal shows, and let me tell you why. First of all, bridal (or wedding) shows are events that are typically open to everyone, and especially to couples who are engaged about to get married. In one of my previous blog posts on event/wedding planning, I mentioned shopping around. I cannot stress how important it is to do that before making a decision on any aspect of your special day. Bridal shows allow you an opportunity to explore many options that exist, to ask questions, and make decisions.
Get to Know Vendors
One of the primary reasons to visit a bridal show is to get to know vendors. Honestly, going into planning at the beginning can be overwhelming, and you may not be aware that there are businesses that can do whatever it is you want to get done. So visiting a bridal show introduces you to these businesses that could help you out and get that overwhelming task off your mind. There are always a variety of business that can add to the experience at your event. Last show I visited had a cotton candy business that provided gourmet cotton candy and drink to parties. How cool would that be at a wedding?! At shows, you’ll meet different photographers, wedding venues, decorators, limo and car services, DJs, bridal boutiques, accessories, florists, etc.
Get to know Services
A bridal show is a chance for wedding businesses to showcase their best work, so that they can impress you! That includes showing you everything they can do. A lot of the time they will also coordinate with each other to show you combined their services combined. For example, a decorator will work with a florist to come up with a design together to show you an example of a table set up, or a backdrop set up with an amazing floral decor. You’ll learn about a venue’s special features, and you can be presented with plenty of giveaway prizes and offers. Some caterers will be present as well and you can try out some of their dishes, cakes and desserts. An excellent and efficient way to test out plenty of places all in one place!
Get an Idea about Pricing
When you talk to the different vendors, you’ll have come up with an idea of what you want to get from each of them, and with that information, they will be able to give you an idea about how much things cost. Of course, what they show you will be over and beyond what you might originally want (they do try to show you their best work!). And in the end, you won’t know how much something really costs until you meet with them with a firm idea about what you’re looking for for your wedding/event.
An important thing to point out is that often participating businesses will offer potential clients a discount if they’ve visited them at the bridal shows. Some bridal boutiques will also offer discounts on their off-the-rack dresses. And that’s definitely one way to have you keep the business in mind!
Walking into the bridal show, you might not initially know what you’re looking for when it comes to the specific elements of your party, however, with everything on display for you to enjoy, you will walk out of the show feeling inspired, and have some sort of idea of what you eventually want for your wedding.
Tickets to the shows average around $20 to $30 CAD, although sometimes you can find a bridal show with free admission. Sometimes as well, if you’ve been talking to a vendor, they might offer you free tickets to a bridal show they are participating in, so it doesn’t hurt to ask, nor does it hurt to see if your favourite vendors are participating at a bridal show so you can take a look at what they can offer you.
In general, bridal shows can make planning your big day overwhelming, but they do have plenty to offer!
Have you been to a wedding show? I’d love to know what your experience was like!
Interested in visiting a wedding show? Check this post for some of the wedding shows that go on year-round.
All opinions are entirely my own based on my own experiences within the field. If you have any questions or comments and opinions that are different from mine, please post them below in the comment section. I would love to see what other people did and what worked for them.