How to navigate Milwaukee Bridal Shows

It’s coming folks! In the wedding business the period after the holidays is often known as “Engagement Season”. This holidays are a time that people feel a natural sense of family, commitments and traditions.  If you’ve been dating someone you love for a period of time and you know friends and family will be in your travel plans or even in your thoughts it’s a natural time for many to propose so they can share the joyous news during the holidays when they know they will be seeing friends and family.

Because of this in the Midwest the early part of the year is rife with many bridal shows.  With less weddings on the books during the colder months wedding vendors plan to spend time at these shows as it truly provides a “one stop” place for brides and grooms to gather information and have some “face time” with vendors rather than emailing and calling for information.

So when it comes to  bridal fairs , here are some tips to keep in mind.

  1. Come prepared.Many companies will have giveaways and drawings so pre-printed address labels are wonderful.  Also realize that when you sign up for these promotions you are giving the wedding fair as well as the vendors permission to contact you.  TIP: Set up a separate  gmail account for your wedding like karenlovesjim@gmail.com to put on all of you wedding communications.
  1. The bigger shows here in Milwaukee can garner as many as 2000 newly engaged couples coming through in a single week end. And that’s just the couples, this count often does not count the moms and bridal party that comes along.  To say that these shows can be overwhelming is an understatement.  We’ve heard these shows described as “Cattle Calls”, “Disneyland lines”  and the like.  They can be busy, and they can be overwhelming if you are not prepared.
  1. Do your research.Check the vendor listings on the publications, visit their websites and narrow down who you want to meet.  Most of the major bridal shows such will give you a floor plan layout of where each vendor is.
  1. Do expect that vendors will want to talk to you and will want to book appointments with you. Wedding shows are a symbiotic relationship.  Vendors book space because they want to book weddings.  You attend bridal shows because you want to meet the wedding professional that is right for you and you are hope to find them there.   It’s normal for them to want to meet you outside the hubub of the bridal show booth, it’s NOT normal for them to pressure you with scare tactics.  If a vendor intimates to you if you don’t book at the show you will lose incentives etc, then walk away.
  1. Be respectful of the vendors. In most cases they’ve paid the equivalent of what they would earn on a wedding day plus expenses, and they pay taxes and are invested in their career. If when inquiring about their pricing they give you information that is well out of your budget range thank them and let them know it’s out of your range. You’d be surprised how this simple gesture will open a dialect and may result in great referrals for you, or even a custom package.
  2. If the show you are attending has a fashion show, get there early  and get a seat.  These seats book up fast and if you’re not in place you may find yourself having to stand.
  3. And the best tip ever….if the Packers are playing at any time during a bridal fair in Wisconsin, you can practically have lunch with any wedding vendor there.  If you’re not a sports fan, it’s a great time for one on one conversations!