How to... Get the Most Out of Bridal Shows in Pittsburgh

Part of our "How To" Series of Wedding Ideas

How to…Get the Most Out of Bridal Shows in Pittsburgh

Attending a Bridal Show? Read on to Get the Most Out of Bridal Shows in Pittsburgh. The two best reasons for attending a Bridal Show are still tasting as many of the wedding cake samples and dipping into the chocolate fountain! This is a given. However, there are a million other great reasons to go.

Tips to help you collect what you need, meet the right vendors and plan the wedding of your dreams

  1. Find a complete list of local area bridal shows, such as Bridal Shows in Pittsburgh and Surrounding Areas, listed on this website.
  2. Choose bridal shows which best suit your schedule and wedding time frame. You may want to attend more than one show and it’s really never too early to get started. Be sure to include your maid/matron of honor, your mother and future mother-in-law. (Take your fiancé; however, make sure he wants to go!) You’re going to need some help carrying literature, as well as someone to offer objective third party opinions.
  3. Visit the website of the Bridal Show(s) you will be attending. They will most likely encourage you to pre-register and offer coupons to discount the cost of admission. There are typically special drawings in which you will be entered by pre-registering, as well.
  4. Take a page or two of pre-printed name and address labels. This will save you the time and hassle of filling out your information over and over again for numerous vendors through-out the day. You can make them yourself using Avery labels (Avery 5160…30 per page, should work). You will be asked for your name and address often to enter the various giveaways and promotions.
  5. Bring a camera or camera phone. A picture is worth a thousand words when trying to explain the details of that beautiful gown or amazing floral arrangement you loved at the Bridal Show. This will also help you remember what you really liked and help sort out the inevitable ‘information overload’ of the show.
  6. Bring your date book so you can schedule appointments with various wedding exhibitors.
  7. Bring a pocket size note book. You may want to jot down some of the creative ideas that caught your attention and take notes on oodles of available information.
  8. Wear a hip pack and keep your personal items in it, instead of lugging your purse around all day. This will give you the ‘hands free’ opportunities you need to try on rings, taste the food and just be unencumbered in general.
  9. Bring a canvas shopping bag or some type of carry all. Many vendors offer bags in which to carry all the information, but if they run out before you get one, you’ll be glad you came prepared.
  10. It may go without saying: Wear comfortable shoes! We don’t want you to go home sooner than you’d like, because of tired feet!
  11. Time your visit so you can see the Bridal Fashion Show, if offered. This is an amazing opportunity to experience the dresses in motion and really get some great ideas for your bridal gown, your attendant’s gowns, mother-of-the-bride ensembles and even the flower girl. Tuxes are usually showcased, as well.
  12. Already have a gown? Skip the fashion show and visit vendor’s booths during that time period. Vendors will be eager to speak with you and give you some undivided attention, since most everybody will be watching the fashion show. At the larger shows the crowds at the booths are greatly diminished during the fashion shows, and it can be much easier to move around. At smaller shows the vendors will REALLY pull out the stops for you, as they will have some free time to spend with you during the fashion show. Take advantage of this!
  13. Eat a sensible meal before heading to the show. They may have samples of a few catered items, but it’s a good idea to have some real food in your stomach to counteract all the sweets and chocolates in which you may indulge!
  14. Realize when you put your name in for a drawing, you may not win a prize, but you’ll most certainly be on every wedding-related mailing list for the next year! Go ahead and register, and think about taking advantage of the following:
  15. Rent a P.O. Box if you really hate receiving “junk mail”, however, you want to receive as much information as possible and participate in the drawings and giveaways. Give the P.O. Box address to all bridal show vendors with which you sign up. Then all the wedding related material will come to the P.O. Box. After the wedding simply cancel the P.O. Box and voila! No more junk mail.
  16. Create a bridal e-mail address on Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo. When filling out contest entry forms and inquiry sheets use this address. When the wedding is over, simply cancel the account and avoid any further wedding related e-mail. Reserve your main e-mail address for vendors you actually contract with.
  17. Bring swatches of material or ribbons with your wedding colors on them. This will help bakers, balloonists, and florists make appropriate suggestions as to what they can do for you.
  18. Bring some bottled water to the show. In some cases there are no concession stands from which to purchase drinks, and at other shows the cost is rather prohibitive.
  19. Make sure all members of your entourage have cell phones with them in case you get split up. Make sure their cell numbers are in your cell phone book!
  20. Don’t expect to walk away from the show with signed contracts in your hand. A bridal show is a place where you make appointments to discuss your wedding in depth. While there are times when you might want to book something at the show, (such as a limited availability and your date is still open), if at all possible, wait for a calmer time when you can talk one on one with the vendor and make sure they will be able to fully meet your needs.
  21. Prepare for information overload. When you find a vendor you would like to follow up with, take a pen and write what struck you as appealing about them on their business card or literature. When you get home and are faced with brochures from 14 different photographers, your note may be the only thing you have to remember which vendors you liked and why. Also, write down any good tips they might give you on THEIR literature to help you remember who was knowledgeable and helpful.
  22. Have fun! These shows are put together for you, the bride-to-be! Everyone is essentially there for you! So enjoy the opportunity to be lavished with samples, ideas and be totally pampered, as you are Queen for A Day!
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