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How To Survive A Bridal Show

So I’m getting ready to show my stuff at the Sioux Empire Wedding Showcase in Sioux Falls on January 31st.  While I’ve become quite the veteran at these things, I keep in mind how overwhelming a bridal show can be to newly engaged brides.


It generally goes down like this: excited brides walk in the door ready to mix and mingle, and leave several hours later looking confused, overloaded with information and desperately in need of wine.


It got me thinking. What kind of advice would I give these brides BEFORE the bridal show to make their experience as fun as they thought it would be? I present to you Simply Devine’s Bridal Show Survival Guide…consider it an early wedding gift from me to you.


1) Think ahead. If you’re going to a bridal show just to window shop and eat free cake samples, enjoy. But if you’re going with the intention of marking items off your wedding to-do list, it’s best to have as many details figured out as possible—the big ones being your budget, your date and your guest number.  Decide what objectives you want to accomplish and visit those vendors first. And if you are overwhelmed just thinking about all this, what can I say? A great wedding planner (hi there!) is a perfect option for you.


2.  Create a wedding only email address. You are going to be asked for your email address all day long. Unless you want your work or personal email bombarded with feedback, you should really create a “wedding only” address to give out. This will keep all of your wedding related conversations in one place so you can keep track of who you talked to, what you talked about, and then eventually where your vendors can consistently communicate with you.  Think about using your last name and your fiance’s last name in the address. Awww. Don’t you love the way that sounds?


3)  Embrace your inner Type A. If you want to take my second piece of advice to the extreme, go pick up a pack of return address labels.  Then, go home and print your name, wedding date, email address, and phone number on a couple sheets.  When all those vendors ask you to write down your info, you can just peel off a sticker and hand it over. It will save your tons of time at the show and will make all the other brides-to-be think you are a genius. Which, of course, you are.


4) Bring a friend. Take someone who is as nearly excited about your wedding as you are–your fiance, your mom, your maid of honor—so you can bounce ideas off them and have a more enjoyable experience. However, this is not the time to bring your whole entourage. The last thing you need is twelve people dragging around behind you. One or two people will be just enough to help you navigate the show and make the most of it.


5) Stay organized. So as you go along, you’ll be given tons of literature to carry around. As you talk to various vendors, you’ll probably get a feel for the ones you want to call back after the show. Keep their information separate so you don’t lose it in the chaos. Think about bringing a special tote or binder just for your “keep pile.” Trust me—you think you’ll remember everything when you get home, but most brides suffer from information overload. Take notes and keep the good stuff separate.


6) Be comfortable. You can spend hours at a wedding show, all of it standing and walking. Do yourself a favor and dress comfortably, starting with your shoes. You might want to consider a water bottle if the venue allows it. And honestly, a backpack is not a bad idea for carrying all the goodies you’ll gather.


7) Remember why you’re here. You are PLANNING YOUR WEDDING! Keep things in perspective and set out to have a great time. If you start to feel overwhelmed and crabby, take a break. Grab a snack. You don’t need to conquer everything in one day. If you find just one gem (hi again!) in your whole day, it was worth it.


Now go get those free cake samples!




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