Bridal show season is quickly approaching. Each year, from January-March, soon-to-be-brides and recently engaged friends of the bride (and groom), gather to attend events where they can get ideas, network, meet vendors and learn more about all those they will work with throughout the journey to make their magical day come true.
If you’ve never had the opportunity to attend these wondrous events, or have only ever been to them as a guest, then you might be wondering as the now, “bride-to-be,” how to best map out and leverage all the events have to offer.
We’ve been to many bridal events and have helped countless couples to have the wedding of their dreams. We know that this time can be stressful, but it’s also a part of the beautiful adventure.
Here are our top 5 tips for getting the most out of bridal shows this year. We’ve included some time-saving hacks as well as some neat options for maximizing the benefits you get out of these events.
Tip # 1: Have an Action Plan
In addition to registering early for the bridal shows you’ve decided to attend, it’s important to have an action plan for the day. Do your research and see if you can find out which vendors will be attending in advance. If you receive the program on the day of the event, you can also take a few minutes before you begin to see who is there. If there are any vendors in particular that you’re interested in, make notes of the floor plan to be sure you visit their booths during your day’s travels. Speaking of walking the show floor, you’ll want to wear comfortable shoes and take a backpack to store all of the pamphlets and business cards you’ll be picking up.
Tip # 2: Network with Other Brides
While you’re at the expo to meet with vendors and set appointments, it’s not a bad idea to network with other brides who are currently going through similar experiences and in full-on wedding mode. It’s a great support system to have throughout the process and they may also be able to offer additional insights or ideas.
Tip # 3: Dedicate an E-Mail Address
Email follow-ups and marketing outreach isn’t uncommon for vendors you’ve given your information to at these events. It’s a great way to keep in touch and also learn about any special promotions or offerings they have, but it can also get lost in the shuffle of your usual inbox messages. It’s wise to create an account dedicated solely to wedding-related correspondences. This way they’re always in one place and nothing will get missed.
Tip # 4: Time Saving Tactics
Look for ways to cut down on the time you spend at each booth. We don’t mean to speak less with the vendors but to have an action plan and come prepared with valuable questions that guide the conversation so you can move to the next booth with efficiency. To cut down on time wasted even further, consider pre-creating little labels with your name and email on it that can be applied on vendor sign-up lists this way you’re not having to handwrite the same information on the forms over and over again throughout the day.
Tip # 5: Don’t Be Afraid to Follow-up
While vendors are certainly at these shows to be able to meet brides looking for their services, it’s important that if you liked a particular vendor or offering and had some discussions about your big day, that you follow-up with them about it after the show. Take the initiative and reach out with an email to pass along your contact information and remind them about your discussion. Take as many business cards and other materials as you need to recall later on which vendor was offering specific services. At The Riverhouse Wedding Showcase, we provide a bag to attendees so they can keep all their day’s paperwork in one easy place to carry, locate and store them.
The Riverhouse 13th Annual Wedding Showcase is happening Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020 at The Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station, 55 Bridge Rd, Haddam, Connecticut 06438 from 11 AM-3 PM. Join Photographers, Disc Jockeys, Hair Stylists, Florists, Limousines, Ice Carvers and Jewelers looking to assist New England couples with creating the wedding of their dreams!