04 January, 2013

Lovestruck: Upcoming Bridal Shows and Tips For Surviving Them

Big, glittery, and illuminating. Just like a Bridal Show...
'Tis the season, once again, pets.  Bridal Show season, that is.  As such, I thought I might provide you with a list of what's coming up in the wee hours of 2013. I'm also including some quick tips for making the world of Bridal Shows a little more fun.

Okay, here we go.  Let's start with the events for the first quarter of 2013, shall we?

The Artful Bride
Milwaukee Art Museum
Cocktail Attire

2013 Bridal Fair
Washington County Fair Grounds

Weddings in the Ward
Historic Third Ward
(Don't forget to register at Swig...)

Milwaukee's Magnificent Bride
Pfister Hotel

Bridal Expo
Brookfield Sheraton

Take a moment to look at these listings and see which ones appeal to you.  Once you've chosen, I hope you'll be able to employ some of the tips listed below to make your experience a little more effective and a lot more fun.

1.  Do Your Homework. Take a spin through the social media surrounding these events.  Talk to friends that have attended previously.  Take a moment to decide which shows are speaking to you.  Take a look at the vendor page as well. It's nice to have some idea of which vendors you'd like to meet (and those you rather skip) before you get there.

2.  Be Your Best Self.  By this I mean, be polite and respectful to those you meet, even if you are not shown the same courtesy.  Let's face it, as much fun as Bridal Shows can be, they are at their core loud, gaudy affairs where vendors and brides alike are all clamoring for attention.  Wait your turn, ask questions nicely and remember, you don't get a do-over for a first impression.  No one likes to be snapped at.  Also, don't trash talk work you don't like.  It's ugly and classless.  You are neither.

3. Travel Light.  Limit your entourage.  This may not be the time for twenty different opinions.  Especially, if you and your honey are unsure of what you want.  You might find yourself spending time with vendors or considering ideas that just don't fit your vision.  This is a huge time waster and a big mistake.  If you must travel like an A-lister on Rodeo Drive, then be assertive about your goals for the event.  You might ask your group to take notes on things they see and hold them until after the event.  Consider a post-show snackie or cocktail sesh to discuss. 

4Pamphlet, Schmamphlet.  To quote the legendary Kenny Rogers: 'Now Ev'ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin', is knowin' what to throw away and knowin' what to keep.'  While this statement is most assuredly true for card games it is almost doubly so for bridal events.  People are going to be pushing so much paper your way, you'll think you were at H&R Block.  I suggest taking things only from vendors you know you are interested in.  Which brings me to...

5. Fear of Commitment is Encouraged.  The best piece of (unsolicited) advice I received whilst planning our wedding was this: Do NOT book vendors at Bridal Shows. Let me explain: At a bridal show, you are in a room with hundreds of other couples.  You will not get individual time with them without monopolizing them. This means you will not have time to ask all the questions you should.  There will be no undivided attention; only sales pitches.  More importantly, you will be overstimulated which means you won't have a clear picture of what you want yet.  This leads to budget disaster.  What you should do (and many vendors would agree) is make appointments.  Set a date to chat, uninterrupted. The show is the perfect time to introduce yourself, get one of those aforementioned pamphlets and make some notes.  Bring both a pen and a sharpie so you can write on anything handed to you. 

6. Get Fired Up!  Go to the show with inspiration in mind.  You will be surrounded by beauty.  Use it to your advantage.  Sketch things, write down ideas, talk to people.  Take time to look around you.  Attend the fashion show.  Participate!

7.  Don't Be Sneaky.  If you are going to take pictures of a designer's work-ask first.  Nothing puts a designer on the defensive quite like shady behavior.  You'll find they will be much less likely to share their ideas if you behave like the kind of person that steals them.  Let me put it this way-at every event I've done, someone has approached me and asked to take photos of my design.  I've never said no and usually end up booking an appointment with them.  There will be so many people behaving badly, don't allow yourself to get sucked in. Make the effort to be a better person.  Same goes for everyone in your party.  Guilt by association, you know.

8.  Don't Be So Serious.  It isn't heart surgery, is it?  So, enjoy yourself!  Take away what you want from the event and leave the rest behind!

1 comment:

  1. great tips and well thought out. Love that include number 8. It is all supposed to be fun.