If December is for engagements, then January is definitely for bridal shows. Newly engaged back in 2012, I only visited the first WedLuxe show with Wedding Obsession owner Melissa. This year, was a different story! This year, I attended not one but five bridal shows, as a bride-to-be, bridal blogger, wedding planner and an exhibitor. It’s certainly many hats to wear. I appreciate going to the shows for different reasons.
My first stop was Canada’s Bridal show in early January at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Holy cow. This is a biggy. Lots of exhibitors here! The larger convention centre style shows can be pretty overwhelming, even somewhat intimidating. I find some of the exhibitors can be a little aggressive. This show had your usual suspects, and some big names, but I also met some neat vendors like New Vintage Media and Paper Damsels.
I hit up the WedLuxe show again, and it did not disappoint. Even though this show features top of the line (aka, more expensive than usual) vendors, it is always an amazing experience. The tea room is a sight to be seen and the men’s lounge is great for the guys to hang out. Even if you don’t have a big budget for your wedding, go to take in the eye-candy and look for inspiration. I’m now obsessed with Bobbette and Belle red velvet cake. I also had a chance to stop by and congratulate Beth & Ty on their new launch.
Another gorgeous boutique style show is The Wedding Co. I was able to sample the Bobbette and Belle red velvet again, and Paulette’s Original Donuts. For a girl who claims not to have a sweet tooth, I sure had my share of delicious sugary treats at all the shows this season. I finally had the chance to meet Pete of The Electric Bus Company too. Another great show to visit for beautiful inspiration, even if you think the vendors might be out of your budget.
I was an exhibitor for the first time at the Hamilton-Halton and Burlington-Oakville shows this January as well. I had a chance to meet some really nice brides and local vendors. The smaller shows out of Toronto are great chance for GTA brides to meet vendors and venues closer to their area. I prefer to take the less aggressive approach and let my booth speak for itself. If someone likes what they see, then I let them approach me most of the time. I remembered how I felt attending as a bride.
It never hurts to visit the shows and meet potential vendors in person, as a lot of brides tell me it’s often a “gut feeling” when they meet wedding professionals and feel a chemistry that helps make their choice for booking when there are certainly plenty of options out there. You should be able to tell a lot about a potential photographer, planner, florist, what have you from their website, but even a quick introduction at the wedding show will often help you decide who you would like to consult with (or not).
Like I said, the shows can definitely be overwhelming. Try not to get sucked in by the contests, give-aways and the sales pitches. If a booth catches your eye, by all means, step right up and have a look. It’s free to window shop!
So, how about you readers? Did you attend many bridal shows this season or last season? Did you book vendors there? Did you even like attending?