It's Bridal Show Season!! Throughout the month of January you can find Brilliant Bridal at the Colorado Bridal Show in Denver, the Bridal Spectacular in Las Vegas and the Arizona Bridal Show in Phoenix (stay tuned for more details). It's seriously such a fun time to meet so many new brides-to-be and to start chatting about finding their dream dress at a dream price!
If this is your first time attending a bridal show, whether in Denver, Las Vegas or Phoenix, we'd love to share some tips with you to make this an amazing experience! Regardless if you're going to a huge annual bridal show or a smaller venue open house, these tips will make sure you are prepared to lock in amazing deals, stay organized and most importantly have the most fun ever! So here's to kicking wedding planning stress goodbye and planning your big day like a pro!!
1. Create a Wedding Email
Create an email address that is easy to remember and reflective of your wedding day like: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can use this address to give to wedding vendors, as an eco-friendly RSVP option or to keep in touch with your wedding guests with out having your personal email bombarded.
This tip is straight from the organization gods! Really, it's sure to make a world of difference in keeping you organized while at the bridal show, but also as you continue to plan your wedding. There are loads of free email options out there, but at Brilliant Bridal we choose to run everything on Gmail. It easily allows you to set up folders that you can use to organize your vendors, it has virtually unlimited storage, and comes with a slew of other programs like Google Drive, Google Calendar and more!
Keep in mind that by attending most bridal shows, you likely had to share your email address and "opt in" to receiving emails from their partners. Some email 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."
2. 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 a bridal show is creating a simple contact info label. Many vendors will be offering giveaways and promos 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 you're comfortable with, but do make sure to include your full name, phone number, wedding date and your wedding email address at minimum.
Also, never feel pressured to give your contact information to a wedding vendor. If you do, that's probably a sign of someone 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 their giveaway!!
A lot of brides-to-be like to bring a whole bride tribe to the bridal show to help make wedding planning decisions and to carry all the free goodies from vendors. Rather than inviting your entire bridal party, family and lifelong besties, consider selecting just a few key people to help you navigate the bridal show. Think mom, MOH and sister/BFF. And if you and your fiancé are sharing the wedding planning duties, make sure you both attend and agree on the guests attending with you.
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 things light and stress free. Bring friends & family who know YOU and who won't try to convince you their idea is better (admit it, we all have that friend).
Bottom line: remember this day is about you and your fiancé, 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 wedding planning.
4. Check Your Calendar
Bridal shows are an amazing opportunity to meet with a high quantity of wedding vendors in a short amount of time. So it's pretty likely that you'll meet a handful that you want to chat more about your wedding. Before heading to the show, take a look at your calendar to get a feel for which days or weeks you're available to schedule appointments. Many vendors (us included!) will offer a discount on their services, if you book and keep an appointment, so coming prepared to schedule appointments could end up saving you hundreds of dollars if not more!
5. Game Time
This is going to sound a lot like the advice you'd get from your mother the day before taking a big test, but don't tune us out if you want to be on top of your game! (Not that you would ever tune your mom out. 😉 ) But be sure you: get some rest before heading to a bridal show; eat breakfast and drink plenty of water (plus bring snacks) and wear comfortable shoes! It's amazing how being tired and hangry with sore feet affects your mood. Not to mention all of the added emotions and pressures involved in planning a wedding. Also, plan to arrive earlier than you might think necessary, since parking downtown can be time consuming and don't forget to bring cash to park.
Aside from that, plan to have the best day, meet some incredible wedding pros, taste all the samples and make a huge dent in your wedding planning! Hope you feel so prepared to take on your first bridal show and we can't wait to meet you!
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