We are starting to get back into bridal show season and I though I'd share a few tips on how to get the most of your bridal show experience and how to avoid "bridal show overload."
First things first, make sure to have a good breakfast or lunch before attending the show if it doesn't have a food function offered. Many times samples of cake or even champagne are offered, and these can wreak havoc on an empty stomach.
Bring a water bottle so you stay hydrated while you're walking around. Sometimes all that air-conditioned, recycled air can dry you out and leave you feeling fatigued.
Finally, make sure to wear comfortable shoes since you'll be doing lots of walking.
Use your show time efficiently! Make a few sheets of labels with your name, address, email, and wedding date if you want to avoid standing in lines to enter drawings or raffles. At the same time, remember that if you provide personal information, you'll probably receive mail and email from those vendors. If you provide a wedding date , most vendors will stop contacting you once your date has passed.
Understand the show timeline. Is there a seated food function, or seminars to sign up for? What time should you arrive in order to get a seat for the fashion show? Make sure you take a look at the program offerings; that way you get the most out of your admission fee.
Make a list of items you still need from your wedding checklist, and target those booths first. Otherwise you could spend precious time wandering the aisles! Also, bring notes or pictures to help your planning along -- for example, if you're looking for jewelry and accessories, bring a picture or swatch of your attire.
If you plan on hitting the gown sales, avoid wearing heavy foundation or lipstick, as products are bound to smear. You can always stop by one of the beauty vendors for a touch-up once you're done shopping!
Finally, Enjoy Yourself!
You'll probably receive lots of brochures and business cards. Try to sort through them as you go through the show, otherwise you could wind up with a heavy bag that just gets recycled!
In the end, be sure to have fun and enjoy yourself! Don't be overwhelmed by the choices; in the end you'll be sure to find some great ideas and hopefully, put together a winning team for your wedding day.
A version of this blog post originally appeared on February 22, 2010.