Colorado Wedding Photography – Bridal Show Tips and Tricks for Brides

Happy Thursday everyone!

I have been knee deep in bridal shows lately, and have had some of the same questions from the people I’ve met. I’ve also been able to share some information that helped people, so I thought I would share it here as well!

And just in case you want to come back to this later, here is a Pinnable:

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Before I give you some tips and tricks, let me give you a little bit of background for how I know what I’m about to tell you. I got married in September of 2011, and being in the wedding industry, I was SUPER excited to go bridal shows as an actual bride, instead of a professional. Not only have I been a professional, working the bridal shows, but I have been to several as a bride as well. And with that in mind, I have some tips and tricks for how to get the most out of the bridal shows, and what to look for when you’re looking for what shows to go to.

Brooke’s Top 5 Tips for Bridal Shows!

1. Really look at what bridal shows you want to go to.

No, I mean REALLY look. Yes, there are bridal shows at huge convention centers. Yes, they are ginormous. But is that really what you want? I have been to all types of bridal shows, and it is really important to ask yourself what exactly you want when you go to these shows. If you want to see the fashion shows, or some of the larger events, then you’ll want to check out the big ones. If you want to really meet some professionals and actually TALK to someone, instead of walking through a showroom type atmosphere, maybe the smaller shows will be more for you. If you already have your venue confirmed, do they have a bridal event? This will give you a chance to talk to professionals who are most likely familiar with the venue, if not on the preferred list for that venue. I’ve also found that the smaller shows tend to have more caterers. I’m not sure why this is, but it definitely is a bonus if you’re looking to taste some food from some of the caterers you’ve been looking at. Think about what you’re looking for, and look at the lists of vendors for the shows you’re interested in. If you don’t need a caterer, do you really want to go to a show that is heavy on caterers? You might, if you want the food. ;) But seriously, think about what you need for your wedding, and what you want to see.

I have been to some bridal shows (as a bride) that were horrible. Full of products that weren’t really geared towards weddings, it was more like an in-home sales party than a bridal show. I have also been to some amazing bridal shows that were super heavy on the creativity and design and inspiration, and light on the nuts and bolts of wedding planning. Think about what you’re really looking for. If you have some professionals already booked, ask them! I will tell you honestly and wholeheartedly what bridal shows I think will be best for you. I work with my brides to help them throughout their wedding planning, even though coordination isn’t really what I do. It may not be my number one forte, but I can recommend some amazing coordinators. They will have ideas too! Ask around. Remember, the answer to any unasked question is always no. ;)

2. Ask for tickets!

Once you have decided what shows to go to, ask some of the professionals that you want to meet if they have discounted tickets. This is a GREAT way to get into the show and talk with them, without paying a ton to do so. Most professionals will either have tickets for you, or help you figure out who to talk to! And for all of you non-brides out there that like to go look at the inspirational stuff – you know who you are – you can come too! Yes, these are bridal shows, and the main focus is definitely brides. But that doesn’t mean that if you’re not getting married, they’re going to turn you away at the door. These events can be very cool if you are planning any type of event, or just want to go with girlfriends to check out some amazing design pieces. Some of these coordinators and designers are super talented, I love looking at their designs!

3. But what would I wear?!

grinch what would I wear

Haha, I know it seems silly. But I promise you, you will have some feet that are not too happy with you at the end of the day if you wear heels. Wear comfortable clothes, keeping in mind that there will likely be photo booths, so you don’t want to just wear sweats! Look cute, wear flats, and be comfy. Another sidenote – if you have a heavy purse like I do, leave it in the car or at home. It will KILL your back by the time the day is done. At one bridal show I had a backpack. You get SO much information, they give you bags to put it all in! Magazines, brochures, and DVD’s add up pretty quickly and can get heavy. And one of my most favorite things from bridal shows – the chapstick! Awww yeah, some professionals have branded chapstick that is fantastic. Be comfortable, and be smart about what you will have to carry. You don’t want to be lugging around huge purses and bags and magazines and everything else by the end of the day!

4. Sign up for giveaways!

I always do giveaways at every single show that I do, and most professionals do as well. What can it hurt to sign up? It’s a lot of fun to win engagement shoots or pamper yourself baskets or other things. The more you interact with the professionals that are there, the more fun you will have in general. Especially if you stop by my table, we are always fun! ;)

5. This one ties right into number four… LABELS LABELS LABELS

When I was a bride, I was signing up for things left and right. And fortunately, I didn’t have to do all of that writing. HOW, you ask? I printed labels. This sounds SO silly and dorky, but I can’t even tell you how many brides told me they wished they had them. I used these very labels:

And now I bet you’re wondering what the heck do I put on these labels? Here is what I suggest:

Fiance’s Name
Wedding Date
Wedding Venue

And because I am a super geek, I had one of our proposal photos on it too. HEY, I was excited. Plus, it helped someone to remember me. And because you all are SO special to me, I have searched my hard drives high and low to find a copy of the label to show you, with names blacked out to protect the not so innocent.

It doesn’t have to be super fancy, just full of information. I promise you, this will CHANGE YOUR LIFE at bridal shows. Your hand and wrist will thank you, and all of the other brides will be watching you put your pretty label onto things while they spend forever writing.

I really hope that these tips help you, this is a crazy season of lots of shows! What is your favorite tip, or what would you suggest to someone that is going to bridal shows this season? Leave me a comment and let me know. :)

I will close this post with a picture of the most awesome ladies at the Lionsgate Bridal Show in October. Okay, there were lots of awesome ladies there. But we were near the top. Happy Bridal Show Season to all of you, and if you’re still looking for your wedding photographer, email me to see if I have your date available!

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