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Surviving Bridal Expos!

Updated: Mar 16, 2019

As a newly-engaged bride-to-be, you’re probably excited to get out there and find inspiration for your wedding day! One of the best things to do to gather inspiration (aside from spending hours building your Pinterest board) is to attend a Bridal Expo or two in your area.

Bridal Shows or Expos can be great resources. This is where many local businesses and wedding professionals gather in one place to show examples of their work. You’ll be able to meet local vendors, ask them questions, collect business cards, be inspired by new wedding trends and get a general idea of pricing for services.

In general, you’ll find the following vendors and resources at a Bridal Expo: Venues, Caterers, Florists, Decorators & Rental services, Bakers, Stationary Services, Photographers & Videographers, Photo Booths, Bartenders, DJs, Bridal Stores, and of course, Wedding planners :)

When you go to a Bridal Expo, you’ll most likely collect freebies like tote bags, bridal magazines, and a variety of swag. You’ll get the chance to sample cakes and sweets, specialty beverages (sometimes boozy ones) and try samples from caterers. Many expos will host a fashion show, have contests and raffles, and some will even offer DIY Workshops!

As exciting as these activities may be, it can become overwhelming. I’ve seen it with brides that I’ve accompanied to these shows: that glazed look after they’ve hit information overload! You’ll either feel totally jazzed or extremely tired - or both - after a few hours at a bridal expo. This is what I’m here to help you with today! I encourage you to attend these awesome events, get as much information and make as many connections as possible, but be strategic about it. Here are some tips for surviving Bridal Expos:

Surviving Bridal Expos , Surviving Bridal Shows , Bridal Expo Tips

Bring Support

First, don’t go it alone. This can be such a fun day if you bring along the right person or people. With that said, I wouldn’t bring more than a couple people along with you. If your Fiance is up for this sort of thing, by all means, bring him along! This would be a great way for both of you to gather inspiration and get an idea of how much services are going to cost before you start planning. Just don’t bring him if you can tell he really doesn't want to go, you won’t enjoy yourselves if he isn’t into it. Your maid of honor (if you’ve already decided who that is), your sister, best friend, or mom are also great choices!

Create a Wedding-Only Email

I can’t stress this enough! This is one of the first things I tell my couples to do before they start doing any kind of wedding planning. Once you sign up for the Expo, every single vendor (whether you communicated with them directly or not), will have access to your email address. Don’t be surprised when you’re inbox gets full of offers over the next few weeks. You’ll also be giving your email address out directly if you’re signing up for any kind of contest, freebie, or just more information from a specific vendor. Having a wedding only email address will save your personal or work email from being spammed and you won’t have to spend hours “unsubscribing” from emails after your honeymoon.

Buy Your Tickets Online

You definitely have the option of buying your tickets at the door, but I always suggest buying online. You’ll typically get a discounted rate for you and your guest. You do have to purchase a ticket for a guest, but those are usually cheaper. Also, take the time to look for an online coupon - many bridal expos will offer $5 off your ticket if you purchase online by a certain deadline.

Have a Mission

Before you head off to enjoy all the attention of being a Bride, have a plan! Don’t step foot into that building until you know what your mission is. It doesn’t have to be a detailed plan, just make sure you AND your guests are on the same page as to WHY you’re there. Write them down or text them to each other. Here are some suggestions:

  • To find information about a specific type of vendor(s)

  • To find inspiration for your wedding style

  • To find specials and score deals

  • To get a general idea of pricing for your area

  • To simply just have fun - enjoy the freebies and taste the cakes!

Have a Wedding Date in Mind

The question that you’ll get asked at least a dozen times at a Bridal Expo is “when’s the big day?” You don’t have to have an exact date set in stone. You’re most likely at the beginning stages of your planning process when you attend a Bridal Expo, but you should have a general date in mind. If you know you want to get married in Spring, then just choose a random Saturday in May or June as your date. Make sure your guest is on the same page. Nothing is set in stone and if you do end up booking with one of the vendors you met, just let them know what the final date is when you sit down to discuss a contract.

Take Photos & Notes

Depending on your mission, you should jot down some notes and snap photos while your there. Bring a notebook, or have your note app ready-to-go so you can jot down ideas or the name and contact info of a photographer you met. If something inspires you, take a photo of it! You may be thinking: “DUH!”, but you’d be surprised how many times people will forget to capture a photo of a wedding dress, cake, or floral arrangement that they loved AND jot down where it was from.

Wear Sensible Shoes

I like to get all dolled up as much as the next girl, and if you’re a bride-to-be, that might be especially true when you’re going to events like these. By all means, dress the part and wear something that makes you feel pretty. However, skip the uncomfortable heels. There will be more walking and standing than sitting at these things.

Have an Open Mind

Last, but definitely not least, have an open mind. I've brought a bride along with me who wasn't feeling as bubbly and "woohoo" about being a bride. I brought her along in hopes to liven up that bridal side of her, and I think it worked. I know at the very least she got some floral inspiration and had fun tasting cupcakes and trying out a photo booth. This is (hopefully) the only time in your life that you'll be a "bride", so soak it up!

There are also those brides who just don’t feel like talking to most of the vendors because they just “know” they are out of her price range. I totally get it! However, don’t hesitate to chat with them. Many vendors prepare special offers for those who attended the Bridal Expo. You don’t have to commit to anything, and these are professionals who’d be happy to answer most wedding-related questions even if it doesn’t have to do with their specific company or service.


Ok, I think you’re ready to fly out to the world of wedding expos! Go online and find out where the next one is near you! You may even come face to face with an ad for one on a billboard or on the side of a bus since you’re now aware of them (they’re everywhere here in Sacramento). Some great resources for finding a Bridal Expo near you include:

  1. Google search (duh!)

  2. Here Comes the Guide

  3. The Knot

  4. Bridal Expos - Sacramento (Sacramento area)

Happy planning!

Your wedding planning BFF

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