Bridal Show Boot Camp
By JENNIFER THOMPSON
Facchianos Bridal & Formal Attire
READY TO TOUR: Not all wedding shows are created equal. One of the best to visit with over 80 exhibitors is the Tulsa Wedding Show, which will be held this year on Sunday, Aug. 9 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel located off 71st Street and Highway 169.
When going to a bridal show you have to have a plan of attack, a sort of strategy to see as much as you can in the time you have. If you do not plan to be prepared it can become very overwhelming.
Bridal shows can save you time and energy when planning a wedding, especially when you are newly engaged and have absolutely no idea about weddings. I tell brides to plan ahead, find out by looking at the producer’s Web site to see who the vendors attending are, decide who you want to see, then map out your day.
Any good wedding show charges a fee to enter, so make sure you are prepared to pay at the registration desk. Sometimes you can pre-register at a reduced price. Figure out the game plan of what it is that you need, and then go to those vendors first. Prioritizing is the key: find who you need first, then look at the rest. It doesn’t make sense to visit with vendors in which you do not have a need. Don’t spend time watching the fashion show if you already have your gown; it will just confuse you. If you do need a gown, then plan on some time to take in a fashion show. There is always a lot to see so try to utilize your time wisely. Take some advice from the producer of the Tulsa Wedding Show:
“Strap on your comfy shoes, grab your wedding planner and your groom and come on down! A Wedding Show is unquestionably the most fun and efficient wedding planning tool out there. It’s invaluable to be face-to-face with wedding professionals and talk to them personally about their products and services. You’ll see things you hadn’t heard about and be able to compare services and prices. At a Wedding Show you can taste the cakes; you can smell and touch the flowers and sit in a limousine, not just see photos of them. And you do it without driving all over town using up every precious spare minute.” – Vicki Taylor
Another good idea is to bring your wedding planning notebook and your checkbook in case you want to make appointments or book some vendors right then and there. Some vendors may only have a few dates open and you may have to secure them with a deposit for your particular day. Some vendors may want to just set up an appointment to see them at their location. Come prepared with questions for the vendors you want to visit. It is also a good idea to have pre-printed labels to sign up for things at the wedding show. Lots of vendors have sign-ups for prizes. The show itself usually has a grand prize for the finale.
The fashion shows are fantastic if you are looking for wedding attire. It is much better to see a gown on a live model than in the pages of a magazine. Mark down the gowns you like and then plan on visiting the bridal salon after the show. It also gives you time to sit down and gather your game plan again for the next round of vendors.
The best thing about a wedding show is seeing many of the vendors in the same room, so you can decide who you like best and compare their services and style all at the same time. You can get ideas from some of the vendors on colors, flowers, centerpieces, and even new wedding trends. After the show you can go home and look over all your brochures and business cards, check out the vendors’ Web sites, and call them for appointments at a later date.
All wedding shows are not created equal; some are very random and have non-wedding related businesses attending. Do not bother going to those shows. They are not productive when seriously looking for wedding services. Facchianos only participates in one bridal show, the Tulsa Wedding Show, and it is coming up on Sunday, Aug. 9, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel located off 71st Street and Highway 169. Come see us and our fashion show, and “plan your day in a day at the Tulsa Wedding Show.”
For more information on the wedding show, visit www.thetulsaweddingshow.com.