5 Reasons to Attend a Local Bridal Show
This post originally appeared on Ann Steward Photography's blog, a sweet friend and featured vendor at the Afternoon at the Grand Magnolia House! She asked me to share some of the reasons I'm excited about this event, and why brides-to-be should make this a part of your planning process!
Newly engaged and overwhelmed with the planning process? Where do you even begin?! From magazines, to Pinterest, to your mom and every newly married friend, there are tons of resources at your disposal, and that in itself can cause some stress. One great way to tackle that feeling of overwhelm (and to have a lot of fun in the process) is to attend a local bridal show. These smaller, interactive events give brides-to-be the opportunity to get important wedding planning questions answered while enjoying a fun afternoon with your bride tribe. Dozens of wedding pros are gathered in one place, excited to meet you and help you plan your day. Need more? Here are 5 reasons to find a local bridal show in your area and make plans to attend.
If you’ve never planned a wedding before, the process can seem daunting. There are so many decisions to make, and you’re not quite sure where to begin. Pinterest is overwhelming, and you can’t sift through what is feasible and what is way over your budget. You need ideas, but in a realistic and practical way. A bridal show is just that! Actual wedding pros, who work at actual weddings in your area, are presenting their actual work. You can see, touch, and smell it. They can help you narrow down what you’re searching for, even if you don’t find it there. Plus, there are usually multiple vendors in the same category, each offering something different in their service or overall experience. Every vendor is not a perfect fit for every bride (and they don’t want to be!) so it’s important to compare and see who suits your needs and vice versa. The experience of meeting face to face and sampling what a vendor has to offer will give you so much more guidance and direction for the rest of the planning process. Even if you don’t come away with booked vendors, you have a better sense of how to keep looking.
Meet wedding pros
This one seems obvious, but there is more to booking your wedding vendors than you think. The best wedding day experiences happen when you have an actual relationship with the professionals who are making the day happen. They know you, your tastes, your priorities, and you feel confident in their talents, abilities, and the decisions they’ll make. A bridal show is a great way to initiate that kind of relationship. Your initial impression of these vendors won’t be from their website or social media, but from the actual people. Do you enjoy talking with them? Then you will probably enjoy working with them. It is still important to find the professionals who are a good fit for your style, budget, and personality, but spending some time with them at a bridal show can be a helpful way to do just that. Especially if the show is on the smaller side and you have the time to talk one-on-one.
A bridal show is an event designed to serve you as the bride-to-be by giving you the most valuable experience, which often means added benefits to attendance. Whether this is in the form of giveaways and raffle prizes from the hosts, special offers or discounts from the vendors, or free bridal swag just for attending, there are often lots of bonus goodies available to guests. Both the hosts and the participating vendors want to design an event that wows and impresses the attendees (because they also want to wow and impress your wedding guests), so you’re likely to run into some awesome deals.
Visit a venue
Some bridal shows are hosted at huge convention centers with thousands of guests, which can be a good thing in terms of efficiency. However, I am partial to the smaller, more relationship-driven events you often find at a local venue. Not only do you get the one-on-one attention, but you get an inside look at a wedding venue. If you haven’t yet secured your wedding location, this can be a great way to tour and check out an option you love, while enjoying the benefits we’ve already seen. If you already have your venue, this is still an opportunity to see how the vendors operate in a more natural setting. How did the caterer dress that table? How did the floral designer set up her display? The professionals have more freedom for creativity, giving you a better feel for their style and delivery.
What other time in your life do you get the opportunity to go to a bridal show? This is it! Enjoy the process. Be called bride, sample some cake, and dream about your one and only wedding day. Bring your bride tribe and plan together. It’s just fun. The professionals gathered at the show want to celebrate with you – it’s why we do what we do – so come and be celebrated. And hopefully you’ll come away with some of those tasks crossed off your planning to do list!
For all of those reasons and more, I was thrilled to plan the Afternoon at the Grand Magnolia House. The venue is a gorgeous, classic Southern home, and the vendors are thrilled to meet you. I hope you’ll make plans to join us February 25!