We are in the midst of the busiest time of the year for the wedding industry. Not that there are a lot of weddings in Michigan, but January and February mark two of the highest months for new engagements and marriage proposals. Because of this, many bridal shows - like today's Bridal Celebrations Winter Bridal Show at the Palace of Auburn Hills - take place in an effort to cash in on this new crop of engaged couples.
What to expect from a bridal show like the one at the Palace? Well first of all, the Palace show is by far the largest bridal show in Michigan, so expect to be a bit overwhelmed. Think of a large trade show, where numerous vendors from every portion of the wedding industry have a booth set up, with hundreds and hundreds of attendees. You will find videographers, photographers, cakes, tuxedos, DJs, bands, jewelers, limos and much, much more. There is even a fashion show held twice during the show that will allow you to see the latest styles of wedding dresses and evening wear live and on female (and male) models.
Bridal shows are great to not only gather ideas for your upcoming wedding, but to take advantage of many deals that are offered by the vendors in attendance. Several vendors offer "Show Only Specials," and the smartest of brides go into these shows not to just browse around, but to shop and purchase.
- If you are a newly engaged bride and this is your first wedding, go into the show to get loaded up with ideas for your wedding. Be sure to stop and talk to the vendors that are offering services you are interested in. This is a great and casual way to get tons of information, without having to set up multiple consultations with each company at a later time.
- Bring address labels! You will be sorry you didn't! Why? Because the whole point of the show (from the vendors' perspective) is to get your information and hopefully your business. Nearly every booth will have some sort of prize raffle or drawing where they will ask you to fill out a form with your information. Instead of writing out the same information over and over again, prepared brides arrive with address labels, so they can just stick one on at each booth. Be sure to include your name, phone and/or email address, but most importantly your wedding date as well.
- Be sure to go in a group! Don't be afraid to bring mom or one (or all) of your closest girls. And if you can talk him into going? Even better. Going with others will help you bounce ideas off of one another while at the same time allowing you to cover more ground.
- Bring your checkbook! I can't stress this enough but I am saving you money, not making you spend it. So many brides go into bridal shows - much like you would going into any sales situation - with the mindset that you will not be "tricked" or "pressured" into booking. Many like to gather all of the info and come home, dump it all out on the floor and then try to make sense of it. However, I will guarantee you that if you are willing to wheel and deal with vendors in person at the show, you will end up getting the very best deals on a wide range of services. Many brides are just there to grab free handouts, but you will catch vendors off-guard when you approach them ready to barter. If you and your fiance can budget ahead of time, this is one of the best money-saving secrets in all of wedding planning.
The Winter Bridal Celebrations is happening today, Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 from 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Discounted admission tickets are available here.
Good luck at the show!