The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, fashionistas have transitioned from grays and blacks to pastels signaling that we’ve come into a brand new season. With winter behind us you may think spring is the season I’m hinting about, but really I’m talking about Wedding Show Season!
With winter months being the most popular for engagements due to the many holidays where family and friends are gathered, spring is when brides come out in full force and start planning their weddings!
These days there are so many places to draw inspiration, with pinterest, wedding blogs and websites, but nothing compares to viewing the tablescapes, smelling the fragrant and lush floral arrangements and tasting the delectable desserts at a wedding show. Vendors pull out all the stops to wow brides and showcase all of the latest trends in hopes of booking their next wedding clients.
Since we are based in San Diego, I’ve been able to enjoy a few of the best local shows. If you weren’t able to attend, you are in luck because I’m going to recap some of the highlights. I’d also like to give you a few pointers on how to communicate with vendors that you may be intrigued with when attending your own local wedding shows.
Swoon 4 at The US Grant
This show was absolutely amazing and although I am prone to hyperbole, I’m not actually exaggerating this time. First of all The U.S. Grant itself is a wonderful venue. It is a Luxury Collection Hotel so their staff provides world-class customer service and the hotel itself it steeped in facinating history.
I’ve enjoyed this show the best because it had a coherent theme that allowed for a lot of creative freedom from the vendors. The theme was the 4 seasons and each ballroom was a different season. Each ballroom even had it’s own live band adding to the party atmosphere. Their show also occurred on 3 different levels of the hotel, which made it very clear when you were transitioning from season to season.
Registration started in the lobby, so when you walked in you were transported into a fun, burst of bright colors that could only mean summer. They had a custom dance foor with the logo of the wedding show prominently displayed. This is a great idea for brides who are thrilled at the idea of showing off a brand new monogram the day of their wedding.
In the Fall themed ballroom the hues darkened but the elegance and beauty of the displays remained. A lot of flower arrangements included bare branches and autumnal leaves. Desserts included pumpkin spice and rich flavors of fall.
While brides tend to avoid winter, I think this was my favorite ballroom. The most impressive display was Issari’s beachy winter display, that included shells, fur and other natural elements to evoke the theme.
Spring was an explosion of pastels and pale toned flower petals.
Wedding Party Bridal Show at the Hotel del Coronado
This wedding show also was quite expansive across the grounds of the Hotel del Coronado. Each new room had a different catwalk for a wedding dress fashion show. I know this show didn’t necessarily have a theme, but if I were to pick one for it I would say it focused on Bridal Fashions.
They even had Randy from Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta holding live “say yes to the dress” sessions that you could watch and participate in. A highlight was a display created by the hotel catering kitchen of a Hotel del Coronado tower made exclusively out of chocolate cupcakes!
The Dream Bridal Affair at the W Hotel
This show was such a perfect example of a intimate event, that specializes in showcasing boutique vendors. Sweet Cheeks, one of our favorite bakeries, was there with a lovely display of blue hued cupcakes.
Models showing off wedding dresses and tuxedo styles wandered among the guests of the show, allowing you to see how the fabric moved which is very important. My colleagues and I took advantage of the cool photo booth set up and snapped a few pictures because who can resist a photo booth!
Why Attend a Bridal Show?
You should not only attend a bridal show in your area but several as you can tell from my descriptions that each one is different! They are absolutely worth it for a few simple reasons.
1. Exposure to the best of the best
Vendors not only pay a premium to be exposed to brides such as yourself, but they compete for prime real estate at these shows. To impress the wedding show attendees they make sure they show you the best they can do.
This means the best products, such as top of the line photo albums from photographers, the most luxurious flowers for florist and most delicious appetizers from caterers. It can also mean showing off the latest trends and newest technology to make their displays stand out in the crowd.
2. See, taste, hear and feel in person
It is one thing to have a pinterest board filled with gorgeous photos or a several loverly boards corresponding to every aspect of your wedding. It is a whole other thing to see it executed in person. Seeing a model in a lace dress walk down the runway is a totally different experience than pinning a posed, edited photo of a model wearing a dress.
You actually get to smell the flowers in the bouquets and centerpieces. A fondant cake may look perfect in a picture but when you taste it, it may be too sweet. Wedding shows are a great place to really experience what a vendor has to offer before you have to commit.
3. Variety of vendors even if they are marketing the same type of service.
Not only are the vendors showing the best they have to offer but they are definitely displaying a breadth of different approaches to their profession. One photographer may be displaying their favorite candids from different weddings while others may have the perfect, classic posed pictures as the centerpiece of their booth. You can identify the different styles, right there in person and compare it with what you want for your wedding.
4. It’s Fun
I can’t tell you how much I enjoy going to these events. It is a great idea to bring your bridesmaids, mom, sister or any new in-laws you are looking forward to bond with. It really is a day of pampering as well. Tons of beauty care vendors offer free treatments.
Aside from the free treats and the shwag bag, which are great perks, it is actually the people in the wedding industry that I enjoy the most when it comes to attending wedding shows. Everyone is in this business because of their love of beautiful things and also to share in one of the most important days of someone’s life. Once you start engaging with a vendor you will find that they are super easy to talk to and passionate about their work!
How should I approach a vendor I’m interested in?
If you are interested in a vendor always approach them with openness. Although they are there to win your business, don’t feel like they are trying to pull the wool over your eyes in order to make as much money possible. Definitely start with a complement because after all you want to work with them because there is something you like about their display. I would also not just tell them about what you want for your wedding, but ask them what they like doing the best.
Often times that passion will come across in what they create for your wedding and make it all the more special. Don’t be shy about asking for pricing and also let them know what you were thinking of in terms of your budget. There are often tricks of the trade they can employ to create the same effect of something you like without the huge price tag.
Now we want to hear from you!
What has been your favorite wedding shows? Have you found any vendors you didn’t know about by visiting a wedding show?
Leave us a comment below!