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How to Shop at Bridal Fairs

How to Shop at Bridal Fairs

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What is the first thing you do once you become engaged? After you spread the happy news you head straight for the nearest magazine stand and pick up as many wedding magazines as you can lay your hands on. Next, you hunt out the next bridal fair to attend!

Bridal fairs can be great fun. They are a great place to see sellers from just about everything imaginable as you begin planning the wedding of your dreams. Nowhere else can you browse so many vendors all in one place offering everything from invitations and flowers to cakes and avenues to things you never even thought of as being wedding related. To get the most out of your visit, consider these bridal fair shopping tips.

Buy tickets in advance. Often you can go ahead and register online prior to the fair date. There may be ticket discounts to be had as well so do not delay. With your name and address on file you will begin receiving information from suppliers in your area if you choose to. Encourage those you are attending the show with to go ahead and buy their tickets too.

Plan ahead. Start now by making a notebook and writing down questions you need answers for. At bridal fairs you will find experts in wedding planning ready and willing to answer any wedding related questions you might have. Begin now jotting down your list of questions and organizing them by supplier. If you have particular vendors you know you are already interested in, make a divider tab with their information included so you can be sure and stop by their table.

Never shop alone. Shopping is always more fun with others to bounce ideas off of. You can drag your fiancé along with you or your mom, a few friends, or any combination of people you would like to help you in planning your perfect wedding. For a bit of fun and so you can keep track of everyone, consider dressing your group in matching t-shirts. As the bride, make yours extra special or add a crown or veil to your outfit!

Wear comfy shoes. Bridal fairs can be huge and as they are normally in convention size halls you know you'll be walking on thinly carpeted concrete floors. So, be sure and wear shoes that are comfortable to walk in. You are not there to impress anyone so think comfort first.

Contact information. Many bridal fairs provide you with labels that contain your contact information. These are great for leaving with vendors you want follow-up information from. They also save you the time and effort of signing territories and entering raffles at the fair. If you are not sure they're provided, make your own in advance and bring them with you. You will be glad you did!

Take your time. There is much to see and do at a fair. Allow plenty of time so that you do not miss any opportunities. Beside walking the aisles you will want to see the various fashion runway shows and talk to those sellers you find interesting. If participating vendors are listed when you sign up for tickets, make a list of their names and booth locations so you do not miss them while walking the floor. Plan a logical approach so you are not racing from one end of the convention hall to the other. If you go up and down each aisle you are subject to run across some interesting suppliers that you had not previously thought of or items that are out of the ordinary that would really make your wedding something to remember.

Budget. Now is a great time to set a budget for your event. You are sure to be tempted by everything you see and hear but a bit of realism should also come into play before you get off track. Bring your checkbook or credit card just in case there are discounts offered that you would not want to miss out on. But do not be pressured into thinking you have to commit on the spot. Vendors realize you are shopping and they are hiring to lock in your business as soon as possible but you are the customer so gather your facts and regroup when the time is right. Often vendors will honor discounts after the show if you ask politely.

Hunt and gather. A bridal fair is your opportunity to hunt down the best providers for all the things you need for your perfect wedding day. From wedding invitations that set the tone for your day to wedding announcements that share the news after the event, compare quality, pricing and customer service in person.

Ask questions and touch and feel what is being offered as you may want to later place your order by phone or online. From flowers to wedding cakes, personalized napkins to wedding favors, use this opportunity to do your research and keep accurate records to refer to later when you are ready to place your order. Gather all the pamphlets, reading materials and business cards you can, adding notations to each to help you remember them later on.

Enjoy the experience. You are the bride and everyone there should be catering to you. Enjoy the attention and experience as you visit with vendors, see what they have to offer and weigh the pros and cons for each. Keep your wits about you and dream realistically. Ask many questions and let the sellers "sell" you on the special features they have to offer. Taste the cake samples, smell the flowers, listen to the string quartets and feel the quality of the wedding invitations. This is your opportunity to enjoy being the customer.

Bridal fairs are fun but can be overwhelming. Use the experience to learn all you can so there are no surprises later. It is much easier to shop under one roof but that does not mean you can not continue to shop after the fair as there are bound to be good suppliers who simply chose not to participate. Ask your friends for their opinions, follow-up with those companies you found of interest and use what you have learned to plan the perfect wedding that will make your dreams come true!

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Source by Linda Cress Dowdy

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