Over this past weekend, my Fiance and I went to a bridal expo at Harvey Convention Center. If you are not familiar, a bridal expo is a place where local vendors come out and give you information about their business. There are all sorts of wedding services at these expos. Including caterers, photographers, videographers, wedding planners, bridal boutiques, florists, bakers, DJs, etc. A Bridal Expo is a place where you can sample food, talk with vendors about pricing, and see the latest wedding dresses. Usually, at the expo, there will be a wedding dress fashion show and prizes if you signed up with the vendors at their booth. These prizes range from money off their service to a full all-inclusive wedding. Vendors also give discounts if you speak with them and sign up for their mailing list!
Since getting engaged, I have been to three venue open houses and one bridal expo. I like the atmosphere of a venue open house much better than a bridal expo. At the bridal expo, there are so many people. When you try to speak with vendors, it does not seem personal. You do not want to be that one bridal that holds up everyone trying to enter that vendors prize drawing. You also have to pay an entry fee at a bridal expo. There are no fees when attending a venue's open house. And there are so many people that your chances of winning something are very slim. At a venues open house, there are not as many people. You can talk with the vendors for as long as you like, and this makes it feel a lot more personal. There is also a better chance of you winning something. At one open house, I won $250 off a wedding dress! At the Expo, didn't win anything.
Here's how to survive at a bridal expo!
1. Go early! Beat the crowd, because it is not bad when the bridal expo first opens. The only downside of going early is that you have to be at the convention center for hours. That can be boring. You can always go grab a bite to eat and then come back for the "fashion show" and prize drawing at the end of the expo.
2. Make labels! I saw a bride do this. It's not as personal, but a great idea. She had a label sheet that had her name, wedding date, email address and phone number. Whenever there the vendor had an email list or form to fill out, the bride would put her label on it. I got really tired of writing my information 100 times. I wish I would have thought of this!
3. Wear Comfy Shoes! You will be walking around the whole time, so make sure you wear shoes that won't hurt your feet.
4. Ask about pricing and write it down on their business card! You get so much information during these events. There is no way you can remember what you spoke about with each person. Pricing weighs VERY heavily on our decision. Instead of emailing the vendor after the event and wasting both of your time, ask about their pricing while you have them in front of you.
5. Make sure to stay for the prizes at the end! They usually do this at the end of the expo. If you are not present the coordinator will draw another name. So make sure you are there for that!
If you are a bride and you are in search of wedding vendors. I recommend going to these events, whether it is an expo or open house. It is a great way to gather information. But defiantly follow your local wedding venues and look for open houses, because they are better than expos, in my opinion.
Thank you for reading! Chat with you soon and have a great day!