How to Prepare for a Bridal Fair: A Bride’s Perspective

Sample displays at the Modern Luxury Weddings Bridal Event at the Ritz Carlton San Francisco.

The season of bridal fairs is coming up (January – March) and most of you have never been to one, unless of course you’ve been with a friend or were also engaged last year! The most obvious trait of these fairs is “overwhelming,” so I’d love to share with you some tips on how you can make your bridal fair experience less overwhelming and allow you to get more out of each one you decide to visit this year.

1. Choose which one(s) you go to wisely. Not all fairs are the same, and some (particularly ones with “expo” in the name) are dedicated more to getting as many vendors and as many brides in the same place than they are about quality and your experience. Research before you go and determine if this fair is hosting vendors you might be interested in hiring (not just getting a feel for), and what other things they might be doing to make your experience a good one. You don’t want to feel like you’re at a “cattle call.”

2. Get some basic ideas down about your wedding before you go.Even if you’re newly engaged, you will get more out of your discussions with vendors if you at least have some idea of when your wedding will be, where it will be and some terms in your head to describe what your wedding vision is. Don’t worry, things change lots during the planning process, so you’re not tied to anything just yet, but it will make your time more effective at the fair.

Sample displays at the Modern Luxury Weddings Bridal Event at the Ritz Carlton San Francisco.

3. Take a friend, mom or the future hubby. You’re going to have a lot of paper, information, conversations etc etc thrown your way and it helps to have a buddy. Besides, the best way to prevent getting overwhelmed is to have someone there as your buffer 🙂

4. Don’t rush and feel the need to visit every booth. If you buzz around quickly from booth to booth, sweeping up flyers and information, you’ll miss the most important part of choosing vendors – the personality and connection. I know it’s important to know prices before falling in love with a photographer four times your budget, but it’s much more important to get to know the vendor and know whether they are going to be a good fit for your special day. Every vendor at the fair will be around afterwards and would be happy to have a consultation with you – if you don’t make it to their booth and still want information, call them up later! Take your time and visit the booths that catch your eye or a vendor you’ve already researched and want to meet.

Sample displays at the Modern Luxury Weddings Bridal Event at the Ritz Carlton San Francisco.

All photos courtesy of Modern Luxury Weddings

5. Take a deep breath and put your wedding experience over your gathering of information. A fair is about celebrating your engagement and helping you get some wedding inspiration. You don’t have to make decisions right then and there. Breathe and commit if you feel ready, but know you have many more months to make decisions, or at least you certainly have a couple more weeks 🙂 Nothing needs to be done in the 5 hours a fair takes place so enjoy yourself and being engaged!

Good luck! If you’re going to the Modern Luxury Bridal Event at the Ritz Carlton San Francisco on January 8, come check us out at booth 202 – we’d love to talk with you more! Otherwise, after your fairs, if you do come away overwhelmed, contact us to set up a free consultation and we’d be happy to help you sort through things and take your next steps!