Thursday, June 12, 2008

Get ready, get set, go bridal show!

Photo by Flickr's Schminktante

Bridal show season is in full swing, and I'm mulling the idea of attending the biggie one here in L.A. -- the two-day BrideWorld convention at the L.A. Convention center. I've been to one bridal show before (I know, right, weird for a wedding decorator), and it was not a good experience. I was a teenager, hanging around, taking pictures as my mom helped someone else set up for a show. I took pictures of a cool balloon display, and the owner of the shop the display belonged to made me take out my film for taking a picture of her display. That was inexcusably mean in my opinion, but people are people.

So trust me when I say bridal shows intimidate me.

So as I updated my list of L.A.-area bridal shows, I noticed an article about preparing so you can get the most out of a bridal show. I'm all about preparing, and I'm all about getting the most bang for your buck. So these tips really made sense to me:

Just as bridal fairs help you prepare for your wedding, you should properly prepare for the fair. Like a good general drawing up battle plans before engaging his forces, you’ll benefit from your own plan of attack—making a checklist of required services, accessories and design questions will streamline your efforts.

Pre-registering for these events saves you time at check-in, and often a few bucks. Don’t forget to print out directions before you hit the road. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes—you’re going to be doing a lot of walking. Bring a large bag, backpack, or even a carry-on with wheels: you’re going to be grabbing a lot of brochures and free magazines. Pack your checkbook and also some cash. There are usually special sales on items such as jewelry cleaner or cool accessories, and not everyone takes plastic. You’re going to be exchanging business cards, so have a case to keep the ones you hand out and collect. Pre-printed address labels or an address stamp are handy when signing up for mailing lists. Your PDA or appointment book makes for convenient scheduling. Micki Love suggests that brides who have already purchased their gown bring a color swatch along—useful when browsing jewelry, tiaras, and other accoutrements. And although you’ll be snacking at the fair, it’s a good idea to eat a small meal before setting out—it will keep you from wolfing down an excessive number of teriyaki chicken wings and mini-quiches.

The most important thing to bring with you is a companion, someone to bounce ideas off of or keep you from making an impulsive decision you may later regret. Pamela Noxon advises attending one show with a friend or relative, and another with your fiancĂ©. (Giving your husband-to-be the illusion of having input into the wedding will disguise the fact that you’re actually the one calling the shots!)

Read the entire article for more tips. Happy hunting!

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