Bridal Expos: Are they worth it?

The proposal happened and you are now wearing a beautiful ring announcing to the world that you are engaged. You can't wait to show if off and go through the "look at my ring" stage to everyone you come in contact with. After all of the congratulations there come's that dreaded question; "When's the big day?"
It then becomes very real that you are not only engaged but you have a wedding to plan. Most brides get married within 12 to 18 months from the time their groom to be gets down on one knee.

Wedding planning can be pretty overwhelming if you don't stop and breathe and ask for help. One of the first things I did after R popped the question was look up bridal events in my area. I have been in a few weddings at this point but somehow how never attended a bridal expo with any of the brides I stood with. After only being engaged for 11 days, R and I braved our very first bridal expo.  So let me answer this question for you; "Is it worth it?"

Me and R headed to Heron Hill Winery in the Finger Lakes for a small bridal expo. Small meaning there were less than 20 vendors. I had no idea what to expect other than the expectations in my head. I pictured a very pink themed expo with lots of overly excited women prancing around in boas. (Yes kind of like a bacherlorette party). Obviously, I was wrong about that. R and I arrived at the event and I was given a fancy "Bride" sticker accented with purple grapes and a ticket for a complimentary glass of wine (Score!). They had run out of "Groom" stickers so R had to brave the tent without a tag.

What a gorgeous view!
The tent was lined with vendors for everything wedding related. We stopped and talked to photographers, DJ's, caterers, bakers, florists, and dress boutiques. We had the chance to sample cake and play around in a photo booth, which is pretty hot right now in the wedding world.  Even though at times I felt very overwhelmed, I found everyone very helpful. I was able to ask questions and get an idea of how quickly I needed to get things booked. Because R and I just got engaged we do not have a date set in stone yet, so they vendors could not help me get stuff set up, but that's okay.

I really enjoyed my experience and was glad this was a smaller event. It let me get my feet wet without diving right in. I also realized I enjoyed bringing R. I hear most brides to be bring their wedding party, best friends, or moms with them, but R was very helpful. I turned around at one point after feeling like my head was spinning (or was it the wine?) and he was happily taking notes. He is a good egg that one and never complained once about being there. He enjoyed talking to the vendors and sampling the cake.

After my first experience, here are a few tips from me on attending your first bridal expo:

  • Start small if you can. The small venue was less crowded and gave it an intimate setting. I was able to speak with vendors without waiting in line or bumping into others trying to visit a booth.
  •  Bring a pad of paper and a pen. Even though you can get business cards from each vendor, sometimes the info you are looking for is verbally given to you. If you do not write these things down it can be hard to remember what information went with what vendor. 
  • Do consider bringing your fiance with you. You can also bring your girls but I found it really awesome to share this experience with R. We had fun and I felt like we were planning this wedding together. 
  •  Ask lots of questions. If you don't see what you are looking for, chances are someone can answer it for you. They are all there to help you.
  • Enter the giveaways. Most of the vendors were giving away something from their business. I saw photography sessions and free tux rentals as some of the giveaways. You never know if they are going to pull your name and that will be 1 less thing you need to worry about for your big day. (I haven't gotten any calls so I guess I didn't win :(
  •  Have fun! This is supposed to be a time to gather information and celebrate your engagement. I left the expo with cards, appointments, and lots of info. This made me smile and ensured me I could do this.
All in all I really enjoyed my first bridal expo. I feel more informed and ready to start planning my big day. It can all be pretty overwhelming at first but with time it gets easier. I will be attending a larger expo next month with my mom and best friend back in my home state of Pennsylvania. Stay tuned to see how that one goes for me. In the meantime come back every Wednesday for a wedding themed blog post. If there is anything you want me to cover in these wedding posts, please leave me a comment below!

Have you ever been to a wedding expo? How did you like it? Would you go again?

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