Florists, soloists, caterers, dresses, tuxes, transportation—there’s so much to do and so many vendors to call when planning a wedding. Why not kill about 50 birds with one stone by attending a local bridal fair or expo? Bridal fairs are great ways to meet with multiple vendors, try out some tasty treats and see some gorgeous gowns without running around town (trust me, running around will come soon enough). While they are helpful, would you believe there is actually an art to attending these events? I learned that bit of information the first and last time I went to a bridal fair last winter and I’m happy to share what I learned so you can have a positive, successful and fabulous time attending bridal fairs.
Buy Tickets in Advance
If available, you should think about purchasing tickets in advance. Advance-ticket prices may be a little cheaper and there may be an incentive to buying early like drawings or prizes.
Get There Early
Who doesn’t like free stuff? Samples go fast so you want to consider getting there early so you have first dibs on any of the swag.
Eat a Light, Nutritious Breakfast
If you plan on being at the fair all day, I suggest eating a light breakfast. Sure, you’ll be sampling cream puffs and cake with fondant and raspberry filling, but you will need the strength to get through the crowds of brides and their moms. With that said, don’t spend a dime on concessions. Usually there is plenty of food to try and water to drink. I guarantee you will be full of cheese balls and pigs in a blanket by the end of the day.
Have a Plan of Attack
One way to get overwhelmed at these things is to go in without a plan. Plan ahead and find out which vendors are going to be there and which ones you definitely want to talk to. Most bridal fairs feature a map or layout of the floor so you can plan accordingly. Once you’ve hit all your must-see vendors, you can go visit others, but at least you covered all your bases first.
Start at the Back
Almost inevitably, when patrons enter the fair, they will congregate at booths in the front. So, why not head straight to the booths in the back and work your way to the front. You’ll avoid the crowds and have more time to spend with your vendors.
Bring Name and Address Labels
Unless you want your hand to fall off filling out contact information, I strongly recommend pre-printed address labels. With your hands full of magazines and bags of goodies, it’s a pain to dig around to find a pen and write the same information over and over again. With a label, you can just stick it and walk away.
Be sure to write down which vendors you liked or want to research further. There are so many vendors that by the time you get home, it’s hard to remember who you met.
This is the most important tip. Bridal fairs are an excellent way to bond with the moms, dads, bridal parties, whoever, while getting some great ideas for your wedding. With these tips, you will be on your way to surviving your next bridal fair.
What tips do you have for surviving bridal fairs?