How to Pick Which Wedding Shows to Attend – Not All Bridal Shows are Worth Your Saturday!
Have you seen neon colored cardboard signs posted on a chain-link fence along the freeway off ramp shouting “Bridal Expo – Convention Center!”? Just keep driving.
This is my opinion but I want to save your precious Saturday for spending time with your precious fiancé or pets, not wasting time getting overloaded with unrecyclable handouts you won’t use. As a Los Angeles Event Planner for 15 years I have displayed at or attended the whole circuit of shows so let me just save you some time! The smaller, upscale bridal shows showcase local, specialized and boutiques vendors which is the style my brides prefer.
The large “Expo” bridal shows do have a wide variety of vendors but many are national brands and chains like Men’s Warehouse, Laser Skin Centers, Michaels Craft Stores, Resorts and Tourism Boards. They are usually held in convention center or large hotel ballrooms and can be cumbersome to get to and wade through. The fees at these shows tend to range from Free to 12.00. If you choose to go to an expo-type show please wear comfortable shoes and just do a quick walk through stopping only at booths you that you are interested in.
Look for the smaller shows which offer local caterers, planners, letter press stationers, stylists and unique venues with a just a few of the larger brands. These tend to be in boutique hotels or clubs. Prices can range from 25.00-50.00 but you will receive a quality goodie bag when you leave.
This is the fun part – graciously accept your goodie bag then rush home and spill the contents all over your bed to discover the surprises inside. Here Comes the Guide has a list of Los Angeles Wedding Shows, check them out here.
This week I enjoyed the Wedding Salon at the London Hotel in West Hollywood. It was a quality show, more like a cocktail reception. I met sculptor Margi Wray who creates custom cake tops that are the spitting image of the couple getting married! I was impressed by this one-of-a-kind treasure. One of the most interesting attendees I met was a pug named Phoebe Rose dressed in comfy loungewear, she and her writer guardian Sheila were ducking into a fun photo booth by Magnolia Photo Booths. I tasted tray passed epicurean delights by event caterer Deuce with Chef Trevor Zimmerman at the helm.
Here are a few things to help you make the most of the wedding show:
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Be selective with whom you give your contact information. Vendors will use your contact information to advertise to you. It is a good idea to set up a wedding info Gmail account and reserve your main e-mail address for vendors you actually contract with.
- Bring a friend or two along who is involved in your wedding. Don’t bring the fiancé if she/he is not interested, it will be a joy-kill for both of you.
- If you already have a gown, skip the fashion show and visit vendor’s booths during that period since most everybody will be watching the fashion show, the vendors will be free to give you more personal attention
- Bring your own water. The better bridal shows offer something to sip on but sometimes there are no other options or snacks and water is will be offered at an outrageous price
Enjoy any show you go to and always hold close the real reason you are having this ceremony and celebration!