The Prenuptial Project: Get the most out of bridal expos by being prepared
The Bridal Expo.
For new brides-to-be, expos can be overwhelming or even scary. Going to my first expo was a whirlwind of people trying to convince me where, when and what I need for my wedding. To be honest, it felt like sensory overload at times, but it gave me a ton of great ideas when it comes to planning my big day.
Depending on when you go and what stages of planning you are in, there are different things to look for at expos.
For example, when I went to my first bridal show, I spent most of my time focusing on ceremony venues and caterers. However, going to an expo after having my venue booked, I was able to pay attention to things like shower locations, registries and transportation.
So, what should you know when heading to a bridal expo?
It’s okay not to have all the details yet.
When I attended my first expo, I didn’t have a wedding date (or even month) picked out. I felt almost guilty about it at first, but it really leaves you in a position to take in as much information from a wide variety of vendors.
Don’t go alone.
I am a firm believer in strength in numbers, and heading to bridal shows is no different. I went with my mother, future mother-in-law, sister and one of my bridesmaids, and not only did it help me feel more relaxed (and enjoy myself), it offered multiple perspectives and opinions on venues, cakes and other vendors. And hey, if your fiance wants to tag along, there’s info on tuxedos as well!
Bring a bag!
This is a big one. When going to expos, you will get a lot of papers, brochures and free stuff. It’s best to make sure you have a bag big enough to store all those things. I suggest a canvas tote so it can handle the weight of all the goodies.
Advice from the vendors
I recently spoke with some vendors about the advice they would give to brides going to expos for the first time as well.
“Bridal expos are super important,” Rachel Tollett, of Sand Springs Golf & Country Club, said.
Tollett’s No. 1 piece of advice?
“Pick your venue first,” she said. “And be flexible with your wedding date if possible.”
Tollett said people book venues early on in the planning process, so having a few dates in mind can be helpful, and to book a date and venue before anything else.
Jade Goodrich, customer care specialist at Tuxedo by Sarno, said expos are a good starting point for brides when planning their weddings.
“You get a lot of good deals and prices,” Goodrich said.
Expos are held throughout the year in the area. Mohegan Sun Arena will be hosting the American Bridal Show from 6 to 9 p.m. July 16, and there will be another American Bridal Show on July 20 in Allentown.
No matter what stage you are in planning, expos provide access to vendors and give brides options when choosing the elements of their wedding day. And hey, if all else fails, you have the chance to win some cool prizes.
Reach Brigid Edmunds at 570-991-6113 or on Twitter @brigidedmunds
Editor’s note: Brigid Edmunds is the digital coordinator for the Times Leader. When she’s not working, she’s busy planning her upcoming nuptials to fiance Mikey Lawrence.
If you’re a bride-to-be, recently got married or a vendor and would like to offer advice for brides, email her at [email protected]
Her column, The Prenuptial Project, will run twice a month in Weekender.