Planning a wedding on your own is no walk in the park. You have to search out the perfect dress and a venue, create invitations, hire workers, decide on a menu, and so on. Finding your dream gown and venue is hard enough without piling on all those other tasks. While it’s only natural to feel a bit nervous about this major life change, it should also feel exciting. Find out what a bridal expo is and why every newly engaged couple should attend one.
What Are Bridal Expos?
So what is a bridal expo, and what are the reasons you should attend one? A bridal expo is an exhibition for newly engaged couples. You get the chance to see what trends are popular, get planning advice, and win free prizes. Who doesn’t love free wedding stuff?
You’ll also get to see a bridal fashion show that can give you ideas on hair, makeup, and the style of gown you want to purchase. Essentially, bridal expos give you extra inspiration so you can make your dream wedding a reality.
6 Reasons for Couples To Attend Bridal Expos
Now that you know what a bridal expo is, it’s time to dive into why you need to attend one. These expos are great because you’ll:
- Meet vendors
- Get menu ideas
- View fashion options
- Note the latest trends
- Win free prizes
- Have fun
Planning a wedding is a lot of work, even with a professional wedding planner at your side. For example, you may not know what style you want to decorate the venue or the type of menu you wish to serve guests. Searching online isn’t always helpful, but attending an expo offers a firsthand experience. Below, we’ve detailed these six reasons you need to attend a bridal expo in your area!
You Meet Vendors
Searching online for vendors isn’t always the most helpful. Sometimes, you’re stuck playing phone tag, and when you’re planning a wedding, time is of the essence. You can meet people working for various vendors at a bridal expo and establish personal connections. Ask for business cards so you have a direct contact line if you decide to use one of the vendors you met.
Remember to verify their credentials online before saying yes to any of the vendors or planners you meet at the expo. See what past brides have to say about their experiences to ensure you only hire the best vendors for your big day.
Types of Vendors You’ll Meet
All sorts of vendors attend these events. Some of the common types include florists, DJs, photographers, cake bakers, makeup artists, and other key members of your wedding team. If you can think of a type of vendor you need to hire, they’ll be at this event.
Find Wedding Planners
Some couples get engaged with the hopes of planning everything on their own, but this isn’t always feasible. There are many advantages of hiring a wedding planner. One of these professionals can take a lot of the planning off your plate so you can focus on enjoying pre-wedding bliss. Many wedding planners have booths at bridal expos to connect with couples and discuss ideas for their big days.
Get Menu Ideas
This is also a great way to decide on a menu for your main course plus dessert; while you can serve wedding cake, it isn’t your only option. When planning a menu, you should also consider the drinks—alcoholic and nonalcoholic—you’ll offer.
Many bridal events have food for you to sample because this is an important part of your wedding. You need delicious options from cocktail hour to dessert, and searching online won’t cut it. Eating is an experience, and the only way to decide what you should serve is by sampling the food yourself.
View Fashion Options
Fashion shows are fun to watch, and at a bridal expo, you get to see what bridal dresses are in style so you can narrow your scope before hitting the shops. And when it comes to wedding fashion, you also have to consider your hair and makeup—styles trending in one season may change for another.
You can also use this as a chance to have bridal dress experts take your measurements or ask them about dress styles. For example, would you look best in a ballgown or mermaid-style dress? Every dress style accentuates different body parts, and knowing which is best for you is easier with help from a professional.
Note the Latest Trends
You’ll have to decorate your venue to look picturesque when guests walk in. Just like with fashion, decorating trends shift with the seasons. So the way one bride decorates for a winter wedding may differ from how a summer bride accents a space.
Bridal expos set up an example of how you can decorate your space depending on the style you have in mind. Take note of what you see and what you like so that you have a plan for decorating your venue.
Win Free Prizes
Some bridal expos raffle off prizes or giveaways for newly engaged couples to win. Other times, the businesses running booths have free giveaway items that they hand out to thank you for visiting their booth. This is a great way to score a few freebies for your wedding. And you never know; you could win a raffle for a dream honeymoon or other great deals if you sign up.
Finally, bridal expos are fun! You get to enjoy a bit of wedding cake and meet caterers, photographers, and other professionals who can find ways to bring the wedding you’ve imagined into reality. Attending this with your maid of honor or other bridal party members can make for a fun girls’ day. While you’re there, you can forget about the stress of what is probably the biggest party you’ll ever host.
Tips for Attending a Bridal Expo
Now that we’ve talked about what a bridal expo is and six reasons you should attend one, let’s go over a few tips to know before attending the expo.
Find One in Your Area
Look for bridal expos in your area or around the location you plan to get married in. If you plan to have a destination wedding, then attend bridal expos in the chosen location. You want to make sure you meet vendors that’ll work for your wedding to prevent wasting time. For example, if you live in Denver but want to get married in the Windy City, you should attend luxury bridal expos in Chicago.
Have the Essentials
As you prepare to attend an expo, there are a few things you should make sure you have with you, including:
- Labels: Create and bring labels with your name, wedding date, and contact info.
- Dress comfortably: Wear something you can walk around in for a few hours.
- Don’t go alone: Bring your partner or a member of the bridal party.
- Bring your phone: Take pictures of what you like so you remember for your wedding.
If you walk into the expo prepared, you can enjoy yourself by checking out the many exhibitions and talking to vendors.
Set Aside Enough Time
Typically, an expo will take up at least half of your day. The fashion show at a bridal expo takes around 45 minutes, and you’ll also want to visit the many booths to see what each vendor has to offer. In the end, most spend about four hours at an expo exploring all its fantastic options.
When you first think about your wedding, there may be a few details you know you do or don’t want. For example, you may love a specific design or floral arrangement, but try not to get too attached to these ideas before attending the expo. Doing this closes you off to other wonderful options that may look even better. Give everything a shot, enjoy those samples of wedding cake, and take notes so you can plan your dream wedding.