As most of you know we are currently in what the wedding world knows as engagement season. This is the time of the year that is most popular for couples to become engaged and start planning their wedding. This also brings with it Bridal Show and Open House season!!
If you have never experienced a Bridal show or Open House as a bride to be or a vendor, I will happily explain its purpose. The purpose of a Bridal Show or Open House is to allow brides to meet different types of vendors that they may or may not need for their wedding. It is also a way for vendors to meet a larger amount of brides to be in one place. They can be a little intimidating and sometimes overwhelming, but there is a way to make it a productive and enjoyable experience. Here are a few helpful planner tidbits that will create an environment of success for you. I have divided it up into 3 areas, Pre-show, During the Show and After the Show.
- Pre- register for the show online- This will save time in line when you enter the show, you will be able to walk right in. Be sure to print your ticket or save to your phone.
- Look at the vendor list- Be sure to review the list of vendors that will be present at the show. Depending on the size of the show, they will also have the booth assignments so you will know exactly where they will be located in the exhibit hall.
- Make a list of the vendors that you need- This saves lots of time a the show, know if you need a photographer, videographer, catering, bakery….etc
- Create a new email- I typically advise all my clients to create a new email just for wedding correspondence. This will save you from having to navigate through all the emails in your personal or work email account. If you plan on attending multiple Bridal shows or Open Houses, create an email just for those vendors.
- Pre-print labels with your contact information- The larger shows will offer this service for a fee. This will also save time and keep your hand from getting sore from filling out all the information with vendors.
- Limit your group- If you are focused on looking for potential vendors, limit the amount of people you bring, they will be a distraction and possibly slow you down. Also, this is not fun for your groom, please do not torture him by making him go with you.
- Wear comfortable clothes- The larger shows are held in large exhibition halls, so be sure to have on comfortable shoes and a shoulder bag is always great to keep your hands free.
During the Show
- Arrive early at the show- If possible be one of the first to arrive the door. This will allow you the opportunity to talk to specific vendors before they get too busy.
- Focus on vendors you need first- When you first arrive, your first objective is to talk to those vendors you need for your wedding. Your objective is to get preliminary information and schedule a call or meeting to finalize the details or get further information. Have your calendar ready and know what days and times you would like to schedule with them.
- Take notes- Make a note on the business cards of the vendors that you are most interested in. Do it immediately, because you will forget. To make it even easier, you can sort your cards in separate bags. One for yes and one for we don’t need.
- Preserve Trees- There is no need to take ALL of the paper/printed items that are given out because most of them might end up in the recycle bin. Be selective about what you take and use social media. Look them up on Instagram and/or fb and follow them
- Enjoy and Eat cake- Once you have met with the vendors you need. Feel free to wander aimlessly, and enjoy the fashion show, all the goodies and free stuff.
After the Show
- Sort Immediately- If you didn’t sort your cards during the show, sit down and pull out the ones that you marked that you were most interested in to follow up with. Recycle or throw away other papers you don’t need and save the bags….They are great at the grocery store!
- Follow up- The day after the show you will start to get emails from vendors at the show. Be sure to email/call the vendors you are most interested in and get any additional information you may need to book.
- Answer emails- Vendors have no way of knowing if you have already booked with someone else. In order to cut down on the amount you receive, reply to those vendors you don’t need politely and let them know you are not looking for their services. This will prevent them from emailing you repeatedly. (Example Email: Thank you for reaching out to me, my fiance and I have already booked our _____________ so we are not in need of your services. Thanks again and have a great day!) This is perfect and as a vendor I would prefer to receive this from you than no response.
- Book your vendors- If those vendors work for you, book them and move forward with your planning!
- Congratulations, you have successfully made it through a bridal show! I would love to hear about your experience at a bridal show and how well it worked for you.
If you are looking to attend a Bridal Show or Open House in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, here are a list of a few that are coming up! Click on the links for details!
- Southern Social Bridal Show
- Dallas Bridal Show
- Luxe Show (Come out and meet the me and the Stohr-ee Events Team, use LUXEVENDOR and you will get a $5 discount on tickets)
- The Wedding Show
Tell me your Bridal Show or Open House Stohr-ee!