Bridal Faires (aka Wedding Faires or Bridal Expos) are a great way for newly engaged couples and brides-to-be to see the latest fashions and trends in the wedding industry and start thinking about ideas for their own wedding. Anything you could possibly want or need for your wedding can be found at a bridal faire!
I highly recommend attending at least one bridal faire for the experience alone if you are a new bride. Grooms-to-be are welcome to attend, however the majority of attendees are women. Many new brides enjoy sharing this experience with their mother, mother-in law-to-be, sister, friend, or wedding planner. Typically they are held in a large hotel ballroom or hosted by a wedding venue. They usually last somewhere between 3-4 hours and there can be anywhere from 50 to 200 vendors lined up in highly decorated booths with table displays showcasing what they have to offer. Many are there to offer show attendees discounts and promotions and usually have some sort of gift bag or take away that includes their business information and small gift as a thank you for stopping by.
To find a bridal faire in your area you can do a search online. Many are posted to social media such as Facebook and Twitter, however Here Comes the Guide, Wedding Wire and the Knot are all wedding based websites that list bridal faires across the country. You can usually search by state or zip code to find one near you. If you are thinking about attending a bridal fair, here are some tips that will help you navigate your way through it all!
1. Dress comfortably! Wear comfortable clothes and shoes! Comfortable walking shoes are a must as you will be walking and standing for hours. If you are like me and tend to get warm when there are crowds of people in one room, dressing in layers is a good idea. No heavy coats or sweaters! You will get too hot and all that extra material will weigh you down as you are trying to maneuver your way through the crowds of people.
2. Bring a bottle of water and a snack! Keep your energy up, you will need it! You’ll be so excited and anxious to see everything you won’t want to stop to find food. I definitely suggest eating something before you go and always bring a piece of fruit, trail mix or protein bar and bottle of water to get you through the day. It may be a while before your next meal. Most of the time however, caterers will be there with samples of their food for you to try so always take advantage of that when possible! You may end up liking one of the caterers so much you’ll book them for your wedding!
3. Take a friend! Bridal faires are great for newly engaged couples but often times the grooms choose to stay home. No problem! Grab a friend, sister or your mom and enjoy an afternoon of wedding planning together! Make a day of it and plan to have a nice breakfast or lunch before or after.
4. Take lots of pictures! Bring a camera or take pictures on your cell phone of anything you want to remember later. You might see some flowers you are considering for your bouquet, table centerpieces or maybe a certain table decoration. There will be a lot to look at and absorb so take as many pictures as you need to. This will allow you to go back later and remind yourself of everything you saw.
5. Stay for the fashion show! Most bridal faires have a fashion show where you can sit around a runway and watch men, women and children model the latest fashions for wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, tuxedos and children’s attire. This is a great way to see what kind of gown you might want to wear or to pick your wedding colors for your bridal party. It’s also a chance for you to take a break and sit down after all the walking you just did!
6. Collect information! The bridal faire organizer will usually hand you a bag when you arrive. As you go around collecting business cards, brochures and goodies that the vendors will be handing out, put them all in your handy dandy tote bag so you can be hands free all day! Collect as much information as you can. You won’t have a lot of time to read through everything right then and there. Take what you want and go through it later.
7. Sign up for raffles and prizes! Bridal faires are a great place to snag wedding deals on just about anything from flowers, cakes, gowns, tuxedos and even a honeymoon! Sign up to receive discounts and prizes whenever possible. You never know – you could be the winner of a dream dress or trip to Hawaii!
8. Ask questions! Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. The vendors are there to help you decide how you want to plan your special day from beginning to end. Take advantage of the one on one time and find out what they have to offer you. The more information you have, the better decisions you will make!
Photos courtesy of Adobe Stock
Image: Danielle Honea Phototography
Brenda Cali is a professionally trained Wedding Consultant and plans a variety of social and corporate events.