‘Tis the season again, bridal season that is! As we approach next weekend’s highly anticipated Austin Bridal Extravaganza I wanted to give some bridal show browsing tips. I recently attended a show with my newly engaged daughter and being that is way my first show as a participant, browsing was a whole different ballpark! I have observed many brides who were overwhelmed, but never quite experienced that myself until this visit. Even though I am very familiar with the bridal world, and what information she needed, I still had no clue where to start. There were pile of people trying get to each booth. Trying to successfully grab a business card you are sucked in to filling some door prize out, or setting up appointments and even listening to spiels from the vendors. Don’t get me wrong, these prizes can be great and what they say could make or break booking that vendor. Follow these tips, not only from a wedding vendor but a Mother of the Bride’s perspective!
1. Register online before you go, earlier the better. This skips you waiting in line to fill our paperwork at the door.
2. Bring an appointment book, many vendors offer coupons or discounts if you book an appointment that day.
3. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, don’t bring the cute heels for this event, it is a large ballroom filled with people. Leave your coat in the car or check it at the hotel, what is worse than handling a huge purse, bag filled with goodies (Trust me we left with 4 bags filled with flyers, goodies and cards) and then also lugging around a coat.
4. Leave the family at home, the little ones that is. There is nothing worse than trying to get to a crowded booth or through the isle than being blocked by a huge stroller.
5. Print out address labels on sticker paper with your name, address, email, phone, and wedding date. This way you and your bridesmaids won’t spend 5 minutes at every booth entering for door prizes, or writing your contact information out for those vendors that you would like to contact you after the show.
6. Keep a pen in your pocket easy reachable. When you taste the most amazing cake or see the most gorgeous gown in a catalog, write a star or quick note on their business card. This way when you get home and empty your bags out you remember which stores you want to visit.
7. Look first for vendors handing out bags, start there this way you can fill them up and not be stuck hands full of paper. Go around to all booths even if you think you know who you are booking for that category still grab business cards or flyers in case something happens like that vendor isn’t available for your date.
8. Enjoy the day. How many times in your life will you plan your wedding.
These tips hopefully will help you feel less overwhelmed. Bridal shows are extremely informative and we vendors have a ton of knowledge to help you! Go slow and keep your cool, talk to vendors even if there is a wait to reach their booth, you never know what help they may end up being.