Yesterday we shared 5 tips for surviving the gown sale section at the Arizona Bridal Show. Today we're moving on to the main wedding vendor area and sharing 5 more tips for successfully navigating through hundreds upon hundreds of wedding vendors.
The Arizona Bridal Show claims it's the largest in the nation. We haven't been to every bridal show out there, but we're prone to believe them because this show is HUGE. If you don't have a plan you will get overwhelmed and leave with out accomplishing the work you came to do!
These 5 tips for surviving the
Arizona Bridal Show wedding vendor section
will go a long way to helping make your time at the show as successful as possible.
1. Smaller is Better
Most brides-to-be like to bring friends and family to the bridal show to help make wedding planning decisions and to help carry all the free magazines, fliers and swag you'll collect from vendors. Rather than inviting your entire bridal party, family and life long besties consider selecting just a few key people to help you navigate the bridal show. Think mom, MOH and sister/BFF. If your fiance is actively participating in the wedding planning process make sure to bring him along too!
If you have a hard time staying organized and on track, bring someone to keep you focused. If you're more of a type A personality, bring a friend who will keep you laughing and stress free. Bring friends & family who know you well and know what YOU want for your wedding and won't try to convince you their idea is better (admit it, we all have this friend). Bottom line, remember this day is about you and your fiance, your wedding and what you need to accomplish to pull it all together. Don't feel pressured to invite a huge group to join you if it will create more stress or derail your goals for the bridal show.
2. You've Got (Lots) of Mail
One of the easiest and cheapest (ie: FREE!) things you can do to make your day at the show and your overall wedding planning more organized is to set up a dedicated email address for all wedding related email. There are lots of free email options out there, but at Brilliant Bridal we run everything on Gmail since it easily allows you to set up folders for all of your different vendors and guests to keep things organized, it has virtually unlimited storage, and comes with a slew of other goodies like Google Drive, Google Calendar and more that can be a huge help with your wedding planning.
Create an email address that is easy to remember and reflective of your wedding day like: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You can use this address to give to wedding vendors, for an eco-friendly RSVP option or as way to keep in touch with your wedding guests with out having your personal email bombarded.
Keep in mind that by attending the Arizona Bridal Show, you likely had to share your email address during the ticket purchasing process. That email address will be shared with the 600+ vendors that pay to attend the bridal show. You will be getting A LOT of email in the days and weeks following the bridal show.
Some of it will be from vendors that you want to hear from and some of it might be kind of annoying. By law, all direct email marketing must have a clear "unsubscribe" option. We would encourage you to use this method for silencing the wedding pros you aren't interested in rather than marking their emails as "spam".
3. If You Like it Put a Label on It
One super easy thing you can do in advance that will save you lots of time at the show is creating a simple address label. Many vendors will be offering giveaways and promotions that will require your contact info and instead of writing this info over and over again, a sheet or two of labels will save you lots of time and writer's cramp! You can put as much or as little information on the label as your comfortable with, but do make sure to include your full name, phone number and your wedding email address at minimum.
Also, never feel pressured to give your contact information to a wedding pro. If you do, that's probably a sign of a vendor you wouldn't want to work with in the first place. You should only give out your contact info out if you are truly interested in a vendor's service and would like more information, or if you would like a chance to win in their giveaway.
4. Pencil it In
The Arizona Bridal Show is a great vehicle for meeting a lot of wedding vendors in a short amount of time. You'll likely meet a few vendors that you'll want to make an appointment with to talk to them in more depth regarding your wedding. Take a look at your schedule before heading to the show to get a general idea of which days or weeks you're available to schedule appointments. Make sure to bring your calendar, planner or smart phone to book appointments immediately as you are talking with vendors. Many vendors will offer a discount on their services (including Brilliant Bridal!) if you book and keep an appointment at the bridal show, so coming prepared to schedule appointments could end up saving you hundreds if not more!
5. Get Your Game Face On
This is going to sound a lot like advice you'd get from your mother the day before taking a big test, but don't tune us out! (Not that you would ever tune your mom out. :) ) Make sure you get plenty of rest tonight. Eat breakfast, drink plenty of water, bring snacks with you and wear comfortable shoes! It's amazing how being tired and hungry effects your mood and with all of the added emotions and pressures involved in planning a wedding you want to be on top of your game. Plan to arrive earlier than you might think necessary since parking downtown can be time consuming and plan to pay for parking (bring cash!) unless you want to walk a few blocks. Aside from that, plan to have a great day, meet some amazing wedding pros and make a huge dent in your wedding planing!