Should You Go to a Bridal Show?

By Laura Firenze

Planning a wedding can be such a fun time, and also a time of much decision-making. One of the tools that some brides consider is attending a bridal show. They can be a lot of fun, but there is usually an admission fee, so it is important to decide beforehand if you will be getting your time and money’s worth out of a bridal show.

The basic concept of a bridal show is that many of the wedding vendors in a region will get together for an afternoon or a weekend under one roof. This gives brides a chance to meet a lot of different vendors in a short amount of time. Do not think, though, that speaking briefly with someone at a show is a substitute for a formal appointment to evaluate their services. It is more like an opportunity to see who is out there, gather business cards, and make follow up appointments for a later date.

Every bridal show will have a general theme or vibe. They are often sponsored by someone, and who that someone is may make a difference in the type of vendors that choose to attend. For instance, a show sponsored by a country music radio station and held in a convention center will certainly be different than the show sponsored by a vineyard and held on their premises. The first show is likely to be a broader cross-section of the local wedding professionals, whereas the second show will feature more high-end vendors. The more upscale shows are often by invitation only, so if you are looking for that type of vendor, you will know that they have already been pre-selected for you. It really all depends what you are looking for.

There are certain categories of wedding vendors that you are more likely to meet at bridal shows than others. For instance, many well-established bridal shops will choose not to participate in bridal shows because they figure that most brides already have their gowns by the time they get around to attending shows. In addition, they do not want to pull their staff and sample gowns away from the store on a Saturday. So if you are looking for a place to purchase a gown, a bridal show is not going to be all that helpful.

However, there are great reasons to attend the bridal shows. The vendors that are going to come out in full force are those who do not have a large storefront. So it can be a terrific chance to meet independent wedding professionals who can give your wedding unique and personalized attention. Bridal shows are a great place to find photographers, bakers, limos, entertainment bookers, calligraphers, and others.

You will also see small craftspeople showing products that they make. Artisans who create things such as candles, soaps, chocolates and other favors will often gather at bridal shows. You may also find people who make handmade wedding jewelry for gifts (although many brides prefer to search for their wedding jewelry gifts online for a greater variety). If you have been looking for some original touches for your wedding, you may find a bridal show to be helpful.

Of course, many brides who attend bridal shows will go just because it is a fun thing to do. That can be reason enough. One word of advice though: unless you have a focused plan, do not expect your fiance to spend a Saturday afternoon wandering through a bridal show. He will be eternally grateful if you take your mother or maid of honor instead!

Laura is interested in wedding planning and wedding trends including jewelry, receptions, and gifts. []Gifts of wedding jewelry are a very personal way to show how much you care.

Article Source: Should You Go to a Bridal Show?

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