Bridal Show Do's and Don'ts

Did you know that 70% of all of the engagements will happen on during the Christmas Holidays, New Year's Eve or Valentine's Day? Is it that the gentlemen are just lacking for originality, or maybe the romance of the season is just too good to pass up? The result of the 70% of those engagements is that thousands of newly (excited) engaged brides flood the bridal show market each year, which is why, in New England, we have these shows predominately from January - March.

A bridal show is the ultimate way to shop for wedding services. Unlike a magazine or web site, you can see, touch, sample, and question everything wedding related at these events! Now first and foremost, please remember that the vendors at these bridal shows have paid to be here! They can pay $2000 and more for a booth, just to have the chance to fight the other vendors to romance you for your business. The majority of vendors are outstanding but this fierce competition can lead to less than desirable behavior and at times the effect of these rare moments can make some bridal show attendees shy and unwilling to talk with the vendors. Big mistake!

Here are a few tips on attending your next bridal show:

Rule # 1: Talk with the vendors! The best way to find out whether or not a service is right for you is to always have a conversation. You will determine, usually in the first few minutes, whether a service is right for you. If a vendor is pushy or will not take “NO” for an answer, put down the literature and say, "Thank you for your time." Then move on.

Rule # 2: Look beyond the candy! Some vendors use the craziest things to lure you into their booth. Ask yourself, what does any of this have to do with the service the vendor is providing? Chances are that if the vendor has the need for gimmicks to get you into the booth, the substance of the product may be lacking. Don't fall for gimmicks. Look for substance.

Rule # 3: Trust the quality of the paperwork and the readiness to provide answers to your questions. This area might be the second best way to evaluate a vendor, after speaking with them one on one, of course. If you receive a handout that lacks information, then usually the service lacks as well. Look for the paperwork that is of quality. If it is well prepared, informative, and well presented, then chances are the service vendor puts the same care into their customers as they put into their paperwork.

Rule # 4: Beware the Bridal show specials! People love a deal. If you really think you are getting a deal at a bridal show, think again. Many "show specials" are fake. You think you are getting a deal, so you book. In reality, the vendor will give you the lowest level of service possible. "Small price = Small service.” REMEMBER... "You get what you pay for?" If a vendor does not negotiate price, that is usually the sure sign of a stable, quality, reputable business.

Rule # 5: If it looks and sounds too good to be true, usually it is too good to be true.

I would encourage any bride-to-be to get out and enjoy a bridal show. It is a big part of the experience of getting married. Just be careful and realistic when speaking with vendors.

We'll see you at the next bridal show.

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