Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bridal Fair 101

The hustle and bustle of the New Year is here and it’s time to set our calendars for the year ahead. If you are planning an upcoming wedding, this could mean fitting in Bridal Fairs into your already busy schedule. Often times these fairs can be very overwhelming with a wide variety of information, special offers & new ideas being thrown at you all at once. Below are a few tips we have found useful to help simplify the process and maximize your bridal fair experience!
Bridal Fair Tips:

1.     Try to Attended at Least Two Bridal Fairs:
Be sure to attend at least one bridal or wedding fair close to your wedding location to help you find great vendors that work in your area. It’s also a good idea to attend a second fair in a nearby big city to see new trends, specialty ideas and of course to enjoy the celebrity status feel!

2.     Bring Contact Information Stickers:
Many vendors offer great show specials and raffle drawings at their booths that are usually only obtainable at the show itself. In order to enter these drawings you are often required to enter some basic contact information, which can be very time consuming. To help streamline this process brings a few sheets of address label stickers with your name, phone number, email* and wedding date. This way you can simply stick on your sticker to their information card and you are ready to go!
*Additional Tip: Create a new email account just for your wedding. This will help you keep everything organized in one area and avoid filling your personal/work email with wedding details.

3.     Attend the Fashion Shows:
Even if you already have your attire set, fashion shows are a great way to get inspiration for other aspects of your wedding (i.e. floral designs from the bouquets they are carrying, color palettes from the bridesmaids dresses, accessories, hair designs…etc).

4.     Visit Every Booth:
Take the time to visit every booth for at least 30 seconds, even if you already have booked the service they are offering. They may have new ideas you have not thought of and great give–aways that you can benefit from! Keep in mind what booths stand out to you most. Then after you have “scouted everything out”, return to the booths you were most interested in to ask additional questions and gather more information.

5.     Bring a BIG Bag:
Whether it’s pamphlets, cards, samples, favors or prizes, at the end of the day you will have received a mountain of material from all the different vendors. Bring a large bag with at least TWO pockets to help carry and sort everything. Use one side as the “everything” pocket and the other as the “very interested in” pocket. (If you have three pockets you can use them for “everything, maybe, and must have!”). This process will really help when you are sorting through everything later trying to remember what is what.

6.     Ask Vendors About Other Vendors:
If you are hesitant about using a certain service or vendor (i.e. you are not sure if you want use a wedding planner), ask some of the other vendors at the fair what they think. They work with these professionals every day and know first hand the qualities they can bring to your wedding.

7.     Mark Your Calendar!
Most vendors welcome arranging a time to meet outside of the hustle of the show atmosphere. These are usually no-obligation consultations and can often lead to additional discounts on their services. Bring your calendars so you set these meetings and benefit from these specials. 

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