Wedding Roles: Who Does What?

Your wedding is the biggest, most spectacular party you’ll ever throw and there are quite a few moving parts—and people. Luckily, we’ve created a little cheat sheet to help you figure it all out. Keep in mind that most of these roles can be played by either gender or by multiple people, particularly for same-sex couples. At the end of the day, it’s your wedding and you get to make the rules!

 

Mother of the Bride

The mother of the bride often serves as a wedding planner and helps to oversee the guest list. Typically, she attends the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner before the wedding and steps into a hostess role at the reception.

Mother of the Groom

The groom’s mother can step into any duty that’s slotted for the mother of the bride. She also attends the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner, but her shining moment is the mother-son dance.

Father of the Bride

Traditionally, the parents of bride pay for the bulk of the wedding, but these days many families go Dutch and split the budget as they see fit. Additional father of the bride chores includesu\ airport duty, coordinating directions to the wedding venue, and of course, a toast at the reception for the happy couple.

Father of the Groom

In years past, the most important role for the father of the groom has been fronting the cost of the rehearsal dinner. Nowadays, that can be divvied up among the parents of the wedding couple. The groom’s dad is also a great help when you need to escort guests at the wedding, move tables, or offer support to the father of the bride.

Maid/Matron of Honor

The matron/maid of honor is the bride’s second in command during the planning process. She organizes the bridal shower and the bachelorette party and helps the bride get ready for the big day. She’s often the last attendant to walk down the aisle and traditionally holds the groom’s wedding ring if there isn’t a ring bearer.

 

Best Man

The best man is the groom’s right-hand man. He acts as a personal aide, advisor, and bachelor party extraordinaire. His duties include everything from getting the groom to the ceremony on time to holding the bride’s wedding ring at the altar. He’s also on the hook for a reception toast.

Bridesmaids

The bridesmaids are the bride’s most trusted entourage. These women (or men!) can be called upon to help with prewedding tasks, like creating bridal shower favors, addressing invites, or dress shopping. They usually pay for their wedding day ensembles and split the cost of the bridal shower and bachelorette party.

Groomsmen

The groomsmen will also pay for their tuxes and split the bill of the bachelor party. Their chief responsibilities include decorating the getaway car, moonlighting as ushers, and keeping the dance floor going well into the night.

 

Flower Girl

Flower girls, typically between the ages or 3 and 9, walk down the aisle before the bride, scattering flower petals. Afterward, they’ll sit with their parents during the ceremony.

Ring Bearer

Similar to flower girls, ring bearers are aged between 3 and 9 years old. They walk down the aisle just before the flower girls, carrying the bride and groom’s wedding bands. This is a great role for the wedding couple’s pets, too!

 

Need more assistance planning your nuptials? Find a Great Bridal Expo in a town near you!

 

10 Adorable Ways to Include Your Pet in Your Wedding

It comes as no surprise that more couples than ever are opting to include their pets in the wedding process. They’re just so darn cute! But, sometimes, logistics get in the way, especially if your venue won’t allow animals or you’re planning a destination wedding. Luckily, there are ways around it! Because your special day just wouldn’t be complete without your favorite family member.

 

PROPOSAL
If you’re about to pop the question and you haven’t quite ironed out your plan, consider including your furry friend. Tie the ring to its harness or hang a “will you marry my dad” balloon from its collar and you’ll have the cutest proposal story of all time.

PRE-WEDDING
Engagement photos and Save the Dates are prime for pet cameos. Talk to potential photographers about including your animals in the shots beforehand so everyone can plan ahead. You can hang a sign with a simple wedding date around its neck or brainstorm a message that fits your personality. Clever signs go a long way, from “our humans are getting married” to “he asked, she said yes!”

WEDDING CEREMONY
There are countless ways to bring your pet into the mix on your big day. If they’re well trained, think about dressing them up and making them a ring bearer. (What’s cuter than a dog in a tux?) Or have your flower girls walk them down the aisle on a leash. Another option is to carry your little one instead of a bouquet or ask your groom-to-be to do the honors. For animals that can’t attend, find places to add their likeness. For instance, keep a snapshot in a locket on your bouquet or order little bulldog cufflinks for your groom.

RECEPTION
One of our favorite ways to include animals in the reception is the photo booth or designated photo area. They make great props and they get plenty of love and affection while they do it! It’s a win-win for everyone. If you want to include your animal in the reception, but you’re not quite sure how they’ll handle all the commotion, add their silhouette to your cake topper or ask your baker to create a cat-shaped groom’s cake or dog-inspired wedding cookies.

POST-WEDDING
After the wedding, you’ll need to send out “thank you” cards for all the beautiful gifts you’ve received. What’s more adorable than a custom card with a photo of the whole family? These pictures can be negotiated as part of your wedding photo package, or you can use one of the official photographs to save on cost.

Want more ideas? Join us for one of our Great Bridal Expos where you can gain access to insider tips and tricks from bakers, photographers, wedding planners, and so much more. Click here for tickets to a show near you!

19 Clever Ways to Plan a Luxury Wedding on a Budget

According to a recent study conducted by Wedding Wire, a typical modern wedding costs approximately $36,000. On average, couples spend $5,000 on engagement rings, $27,000 on the reception and ceremony, and $4,000 on the honeymoon. Intimidating? We know. But here’s the good news. You can save thousands of dollars on your big day with a little bit of research and a whole lot of ingenuity. Luckily, we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you. Here are 19 clever ways to plan the luxury wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank.

TAKE YOUR TIME
A long engagement gives couples ample time to research, seek out deals, and book early. Be strategic! You may be able to pick up discounted silver or gold decorations after the Christmas holiday, or purchase lower-priced ring bearer and flower girl outfits right after Easter.

BE FLEXIBLE ON DATES
Choose your date wisely. A Saturday in June is going to cost you! Consider alternative days, like Thursday, Friday, or Sunday. This can save you 20-30%, especially if you plan on a wedding in November or between January and March. And, don’t forget, off-peak pricing extends to florists, photographers, and catering services.

CHOOSE A UNIQUE VENUE
It all starts with the venue. Choose a venue with character so you spend less on decorations. Think art museums, botanical gardens, and heritage homes.

THINK EXOTIC
Consider a destination wedding. This will trim your guest list, so you can allocate more money to activities, meals, and your venue.

SKIP THE SIT-DOWN DINNER
Sit-down dinners can add up quickly. Instead, consider an upscale cocktail reception with a small team of butlers offering hors d’oeuvres on serving trays. You’ll save on a full catering staff and total cost per person.

OPT FOR A BRUNCH MENU
If you know you want a sit-down meal, try a brunch menu. It can run hundreds of dollars cheaper than dinner fare! And sometimes you can negotiate the venue price in the early hours since the space would have been empty otherwise.

ADD GREENERY
One of the easiest ways to trim your floral budget is by adding more greenery. In lieu of large scale floral arrangements, think about sophisticated garlands and table runners. Silver dollar eucalyptus, myrtle, leatherleaf fern, and grevillea are just a few popular options.

KNOW YOUR FLOWERS
Almost every flower you’re eyeing for your nuptials has a doppelganger. For instance, if you love peonies, look into “vintage roses” or “cabbage roses.” They look similar, but they’re less expensive.

FOLLOW A COLOR SCHEME
Just about every beautiful luxury wedding has one common theme – a color palette. Select two or three shades, like white, champagne, and blush, and stick with them. It’s one of the simplest ways to bring a lot of moving parts together. Plus, it photographs well!

DIY, DIY, DIY
There are endless tutorials on Pinterest and YouTube for how to DIY just about everything on your big day, from wedding invitations to formal centerpieces. Hold little gatherings in your home and enlist your craftiest friends and family to help. After all, planning a wedding is supposed to be fun, right?

BOOK A MUSICIAN
Instead of hiring a band or a DJ for the full night, book a musician for the early hours of the reception and the first dance. Then, switch to a curated playlist that a trusted friend or family member can manage. This little trick can cut your entertainment budget in half!

KNOW THE DRESS MARKET
If you want to buy your wedding dress, bridal expos and sample sales can offer exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else. Sign up early for newsletters to receive updates on events and special deals. On the other hand, if you want to rent your dress, look into money-saving sites, like OneNightAffair.com for gowns or Adorn.com for jewelry.

NIX THE FULL BAR
A fully-stocked open bar comes with a hefty price tag. Skip the full bar and serve beer and wine instead. Or offer a signature drink that’s in line with the theme and color palette of the wedding.

USE TECHNOLOGY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
If you want to be eco-friendly and budget-conscious, email your Save The Dates. At the end of the day, it’s easier for you and your guests.

CAKE SWAP
When you want a fairytale wedding cake, but you just don’t have the funds, fake it. Ask your baker to create one real lower tier for you and your fiancé. The rest of the tiers can be made from Styrofoam and covered in fondant. After the cake cutting ceremony, have your catering team serve up sheet cake from the kitchen with similar colors and flavors. Your guests won’t notice a thing!

REPURPOSE EVERYTHING
This is where thinking outside the box really pays off. Lanterns, candles, or floral arrangements that decorate your ceremony aisle can be used as centerpieces at the reception, while ceremony arches can be repurposed for the sweetheart table. And bridesmaid bouquets can easily become tabletop flowers. The possibilities are endless.

USE CREDIT CARDS WISELY
If you’re sure you can charge a few things on your list and pay them off quickly, sign up for a credit card with cash back and 0% APR for one year.

NEGOTIATE WITH YOUR BAKER
Intricately designed fondant details on your wedding cake can be expensive and labor intensive. Ask your baker for more affordable options, like satin ribbon trims or real flowers.

BUY, SELL, TRADE
After your wedding, take stock of your inventory and see what you can sell on sites, like Tradesy or eBay, to make some of your money back. This goes for wedding dresses, table linens, reception décor, you name it. A little bit of work before and after your wedding goes a long way!

 

 

10 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips You Never Knew You Needed

Finding the perfect wedding dress is a little bit like falling in love. It takes time, patience, and a whole lot of trial and error. But the journey can be just as rewarding as the destination. It’s all in the preparation. Here are ten insider tips you need to know before you say “yes” to the dress.

 

PLAN AHEAD
Ideally, brides-to-be should start dress shopping 10 to 12 months in advance. Most salons require six to eight months of lead time for all made-to-order gowns. If you purchase your custom dress four month ahead of your wedding or later, it’s considered a rush order, which is often exponentially more expensive. Plus, planning ahead will give you plenty of time to schedule fittings. It’s custom for brides to have an average of two to five fittings.

BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET
Nowadays you’re hard pressed to find a bride who’s not on a budget. Typically, the wedding gown is 10% to 15% of the overall wedding budget, but that will vary for each bride. Be sure to factor in “hidden” costs, like your undergarments, shoes, veil, accessories, and, of course, alteration fees. An inexpensive gown with professional tailoring can look like a million bucks!

DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Research is imperative in the early stages of dress shopping. Before you step into a bridal salon, it’s best to know what type of wedding you’re planning. Is it a casual beach ceremony or a black-tie formal? Get familiar with the silhouettes you like, what color palette you’re working with, and the latest trends you’re drawn to. All of this information will help you and your bridal stylist select the gown of your dreams.

 

BOOK APPOINTMENTS
Most bridal salons are by appointment only, and some schedule six weeks in advance. Before you call, peruse their selection online. Do they have dress designs you like? Are there plenty of choices in your budget? If so, try to book an appointment for a weekday or weekend morning. The earlier, the better. That’s the time of day when the stores are the quietest. And try not to book more than two or three appointments in one day. Remember, this is supposed to be fun!

LIMIT YOUR FRIEND COUNT
Be selective about who you bring dress shopping with you. You don’t want too many cooks in the kitchen! One to three people is the standard. Any more and you’ll likely overwhelm yourself and the salon.

BE OPEN
Be open about trying on different styles of dresses. Often, the silhouette you never thought you’d walk down the aisle in will be the one that steals your heart. This is where a bridal consultant or stylist can really come in handy. Share all your research and let her choose a few things outside your wheel house.

KEEP IT MOVING
If you like a dress in the fitting room, practice sitting, walking, and dancing. Take note of places where the gown feels restrictive or doesn’t stay in place. You want a gown that can keep up with you all day long!

 

DON’T WORRY ABOUT SIZING
A typical size 6 or 8 in ready-to-wear clothing translates to a size 10 or 12 in bridalwear. DON’T get hung up on numbers, but DO make sure that the salon carries your size before you make an appointment. Focus on fit, and the rest will take care of itself.

CHOOSE YOUR UNDERGARMENTS WISELY
If you plan on wearing specific undergarments on the big day, like a corset or Spanx, bring them dress shopping. Undergarments can alter the fit drastically, so wearing them in the early stages will give you a better idea of how your dress will look when you tie the knot.

SHOP OUTSIDE THE BOX
Retailers and designers often host sample sales twice per year – usually in early winter and the beginning of summer. These sales are a great way for brides to shop designer dresses for less. The downside is that they’re often stocked with sample sizes, and every sale is final. But if you arrive early and keep an open mind, you might find exactly what you’re looking for.

Trunk shows are another option to explore. Call your local bridal salons and inquire about their upcoming shows. Events like this usually take place once or twice per month. They give brides the opportunity to meet the designer and talk about how they can customize your gown. Or, better yet, keep an eye out for a Great Bridal Expo in your area. Here you’ll find the latest styles hot off the runway and receive special discounts you won’t see anywhere else.

 

 

8 Wedding Trends You’ll See All Summer Long

It’s no secret that summer is the most popular time to tie the knot. But this season brides are turning up the heat with unexpected details and show-stopping surprises that could rival any royal wedding. Ahead are eight wedding trends you’re bound to see all summer long.

Pops of Color

Color is back in a big way, but don’t expect anything too matchy-matchy. Couples are foregoing tradition and planning their nuptials around a mood, rather than a color scheme, to determine the look and feel of their big day.

So, let’s talk palette. Pastels will always be considered classic, but high-contrast hues and moody jewel tones are going to take centerstage, from the floral arrangements to the bridesmaid dresses. After all, ultra violet is the Pantone Color of the Year! But brides are taking it a step further this summer. Pops of color are showing up on table linens, glassware, and even candles.

Dramatic Backdrops

Floral walls primed for photo ops dominated the wedding circuit in 2017. This season, dramatic backdrops are still on-trend, they’re just taking different form—namely, commissioned murals, neon signs, and Instagram-worthy escort card displays.

Transparent Décor

Heads up! See-through décor is making a major comeback, particularly in Lucite chairs and transparent cocktail tables. This nod to mod adds a touch of glamour without being too distracting. It’s a perfect choice for modern weddings or couples who gravitate toward a clean, Scandinavian aesthetic.

Interactive Food Stations

Food trucks are here to stay, but couples are upping the ante with self-service food and beverage stations at the reception. Think dessert tables, help yourself cocktails, and custom coffee bars. No bartender necessary.

 

Small Wedding Parties

Can’t decide who will be your maid of honor? You don’t have to! Some brides are taking a page out of Meghan Markle’s playbook and skipping the bridal party altogether, while others are enlisting one or two close family members and friends. If you’re on a tight budget, this is one way to save money on bridal party gifts and bouquets.

Nontraditional Venues

Summer is prime time for outdoor weddings, but ceremonies are moving indoors to nontraditional venues, like art galleries, industrial warehouses, and boxing gyms. (Yes, you heard that right!)

Crystals

If you’re going to a bohemian wedding, chances are you’ll run across healing gemstones in one way or another. New Age brides are creating crystal centerpieces, gifting gemstone jewelry to bridesmaids, and even donning crystal crowns. They’re sure to add a bespoke touch to ceremonies—and a little magic too!

Custom Guest Entertainment

Weddings are as much about the guests as the couple now. Traditional wedding favors are taking a backseat to experiential gifts, like cabaret singers, tarot readers, astrologers, and aerial acts. We’ve even seen theatrical performances. It’s the dawn of a new era.

Want to stay on top of wedding trends and be in the know about the next big thing for your nuptials? Book a ticket to the Great Bridal Expo in a city near you.

 

5 British Royal Wedding Traditions You’ll Want to Borrow

5 British Royal Wedding Traditions You’ll Want to Borrow

The countdown to the most anticipated wedding of the year is underway. Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle are just hours from tying the knot at St. George Chapel on Saturday, May 19, in what is guaranteed to be a lavish ceremony with a refreshingly modern spin. No matter how Americanized the royal wedding may be, there are still some time-honored customs that will likely be by the book, if only at the behest of the Queen. Luckily, you don’t have to be royalty to incorporate them into your own fairytale nuptials. Consider these British royal wedding traditions your “something borrowed.”

Tiaras

Tiaras are an emblem of the British royal family, and Queen Elizabeth II has on   e of the most impressive collections in the world. Typically, it’s under lock and key, but royal weddings offer us a rare glimpse of the crown jewels. Remember when Kate Middleton married Prince William in April 2011 wearing the Cartier Halo tiara, on loan from Her Majesty the Queen? It featured a whopping 1,311 diamonds! Rumors are circulating that Markle may don the Strathmore Rose tiara, the Lover’s Knot tiara, or Princess Diana’s Spencer tiara, which she wore during her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles.

 

If you’re going to invest in a bridal tiara for your own wedding, plan well in advance. The key is finding one that complements your dress and doesn’t compete with it. You’ll also want to consider the venue, the theme of the wedding, your face shape, bridal hairstyle, and even your height. (Yes, there’s a lot that goes into one little tiara!) Often, bridal shops or expo vendors will have a selection on-hand for you to try. If you’re worried about wearing the tiara again, there are variations that collapse and turn into brooches. In short, there’s something for everyone!

Morning Suits

In the States, “black tie” usually implies a tuxedo for men no matter what time the wedding festivities begin. But across the pond, men often wear morning suits for daytime formalwear. Expect to see many of the notable male attendees at the royal wedding in a cutaway tailcoat, a waistcoat (vest), trousers, and a 4-in-hand tie. Gloves, canes, and top hats are optional, of course.

A morning suit is a great alternative for formals when the groom and groomsmen are planning on renting. Because, let’s face it, a wedding is one of the few times a man can really get away with this.

Fruitcake

A fanciful fruitcake always takes center stage at British royal weddings. In fact, they’ve been a staple since the medieval period. Prince William and Kate opted for two cakes when they said “I do.” The pièce de résistance was an eight-tier fruitcake created by Fiona Cairns that was made with cherries, raisins, orange marmalade, currants, and brandy. A second dessert came in the form of a simple chocolate biscuit cake that was said to be a favorite of both Queen Elizabeth II and William.

Earlier this year, Kensington Palace released a statement that Prince Harry and Meghan were bucking tradition in favor of a more “Americanized” cake made with organic Amalfi lemons and English elderberry. This delicious confection was commissioned by Claire Ptak, of hip East London shop Violet Bakery, who will top it with buttercream icing and decorate it with fresh flowers. That being said, it’s still an English wedding. We’ll be shocked if there’s not a fruitcake of some sort hiding in the corner.

For your special day, we have two words for you: groom’s cake. And that takes care of that.

Elaborate Hats

British wedding etiquette dictates that women who attend the ceremony should wear hats or fascinators. The cardinal rule? Bigger is better. Back in the day, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie made waves for their over-the-top headwear at Prince William’s nuptials, and we’ll likely see more where that came from on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day.

If you’re planning a formal wedding, a garden soiree, or even a themed event, you may want to consider adding headwear to the dress code specifications. However, if you’re getting married in a church, be sure to check their guidelines before mailing out the invites.

A Sprig of Myrtle

According to Kensington Palace, royal wedding florist Philippa Craddock will be using locally-sourced foliage from native trees for the decor, along with seasonal plants, like white garden roses, peonies, and foxglove. No doubt a sprig of myrtle will also be on the docket. This tradition dates back to Queen Victoria, who received myrtle from Prince Albert’s grandmother and planted it on the grounds of the Osbourne House on the Isle of Wright. This same myrtle plant has provided clippings for the bouquets of royal brides, including Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Victoria, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, and Kate Middleton. Myrtle symbolizes love, luck, and prosperity.

Since royal decorum isn’t a factor you’ll need to consider, you can sprinkle in myrtle wherever you please. Perhaps you’ll want to use it in the groom’s boutonniere or your mother-in-law’s corsage. It’s also a sophisticated filler for garlands and tabletop centerpieces. The options are endless.

 

 

 

Want to Give Your Bridesmaids the best gift? Check out our list!

On your journey to plan the perfect wedding, did you remember to plan the perfect gift for your favorite women?

Although not “REQUIRED”, it is a super good idea to give your bridesmaid some extra love and pampering. After all, they are helping you make your wedding perfect, right? (hint: bridal shower, bachelorette party)

You can give your bridesmaid a gift during any phase of your wedding- bridal shower, bachelorette party, etc. In my opinion, the rehearsal dinner is the perfect time. Everyone is more relaxed and looking to have a good time.

If you are having trouble coming up with the perfect bridesmaid gift, check out our list. You might exactly what you want!

We have split the list into different categories for easier browsing.

 

Gifts to Pamper

 

 

  1. Silk pajamas, a comfy robe

  2. A gift certificate to a local spa, hair salon, or boutique

  3. Monogrammed set of bath towels

  4. A designer clutch, handbag or makeup ba

  5. A perfume gift set

Gifts that are Handmade

 

  1. Soaps or scented candles

  2. A photo album of the event

  3. Homemade desserts

  4. A framed picture, poem or something personal to you

  5. Something they can wear- knitted scarves, hats, gloves etc.

Gifts to Entertain

 

  1. A subscription to something they love

  2. Tickets to a show, event or sporting event

  3. Headphones in their favorite color

  4. A popular book

  5. An awesome bottle of wine

 

Hobby Gifts

 

  1.  A gift certificate for an introductory class like dancing, gardening or cooking

  2. Workout clothes/gear

  3. A new cookbook

  4. Tools or supplies for their favorite hobbies

  5. Subscription to a magazine dedicated to their hobby with a matching gift

 

Remember, they are your bridesmaids. You know them better than we do! Be creative with the gift, have fun with it.

If you still need help planning your wedding, or want more ideas, check out one of our Bridal Expos! They are located across the country.

For ticket information go here: /get-tickets/

 

Leave us a comment and tell us what you gave your bridesmaids as a gift. We would love to hear your stories!

Until next time!

~Sarah A.

 

 

3 Spring Wedding Trends You Need To Know!

One of the highlights of every Great Bridal Expo is the chance to check out new wedding dress trends, including a live fashion show where you can see models displaying some of the hottest new designs from the world’s best designers. So what can you expect at bridal shows coming up this year? Here are a few of the spring wedding fashion trends that you need to know.

 

The Meghan Markle wedding dress effect

 

If there is one event this spring that will change the look and style of wedding dresses in 2018, it will be the upcoming Royal Wedding between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. The name of the designer who will create the bride’s wedding gown has not yet been publicly announced, but the British media are reporting that the choice will come down to London-based Roland Mouret and the Australian-born duo Ralph & Russo (Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo), who designed Meghan’s absolutely stunning $75,000 couture engagement gown. You’ll definitely want to keep your eyes on Windsor Castle on May 19. Within days of the wedding, you could start hearing stories about “knockoff” royal wedding dresses hitting the market.

Romantic lace and floral prints from the new H&M Wedding Shop

 

If paying $75,000 for a couture gown is, well, a little out of your budget, how about the opposite end of the spectrum? Scandinavian fast-fashion retailer H&M, known mostly for its affordable fashion options, is branching out with a Wedding Shop. One of the highlights that the media is talking about right now is an affordable version of the wedding gown that the Duchess of Cambridge wore to her wedding – it’s a long lace dress with sheer lace sleeve and a low neckline. But the H&M Wedding Shop is not just for brides – there are plenty of budget-friendly options for bridesmaids and just about anyone attending a spring wedding, including a few romantic lace stunners and floral prints. H&M usually has its hands on the pulse of the fashion industry, so these dresses might give you a good idea of what to look for at the Great Bridal Expo.

 

Non-white wedding gowns are now on trend

 

This one might be a shocker, but fashion shopping site Lyst.com just released its 2018 Wedding Fashion Report, and one of the major trends in the report was the preference of women for non-white wedding gowns. And we’re not just talking about off-white or ivory dresses, either. Three of the hottest colors of the season are rose, red, and yellow. And if you’re feeling particularly fashion-forward, some of the world’s best designers – including the highly-acclaimed Reem Acra – are now showcasing black wedding gowns. Other trends noted by Lyst include white jump suits and pant suits for women instead of gowns.

 

One thing is certain: there is going to be a lot of change and innovation happening in the wedding dress market this year, and one of the best places to get ahead of those trends is by attending the Great Bridal Expo, where you’ll be able to meet some of the exhibitors who are showing up in bridal magazines and being featured on fashion websites.

 

4 Tips To Make the Most of Your Experience at the Great Bridal Expo !

 

Attending the Great Bridal Expo is a great way to start planning your wedding. For brides, attending this event can be a way to check out new wedding gowns all in one place, as well as a convenient way to find out more about parts of the wedding experience that they might not have even thought about – such as catering services or floral arrangements.

 

To make the most of your experience at the Great Bridal Expo, here are several quick tips!

 

Tip #1: Plan in advance which exhibitors you want to see first

 

When you first arrive at the Great Bridal Expo, you might be overwhelmed by all the exhibitors and all the events planned throughout the day – there’s a lot packed into each bridal show! As a result, you’ll want to do a little advance planning to make sure that you get to visit all the booths and vendors that you need to see. The Great Bridal Expo venue is divided into different themed areas (e.g. gowns, venues, catering, honeymoons), so it’s actually easier than you might think to come up with a general plan of attack. Just pick up a program guide for the Great Bridal Expo and highlight your “must-see” exhibitors at the event.

 

Tip #2: Ask plenty of questions

 

Each booth is staffed by a knowledgeable, friendly representative of a company, so why not take the time to stop by and ask a few questions? Most brides tell us that they learn more in a quick 5-minute conversation than they do by reading through the company’s promotional materials. This is your chance to get very specific, customized advice for your wedding, so why not take advantage of this opportunity? You don’t have to talk to every exhibitor, of course, because you won’t have time. Weddings are extremely personal, so it’s good to establish a personal connection with someone at your vendor of choice.

 

Tip #3: Treat this event like a show, not a convention or conference

 

The Great Bridal Expo is meant to be a fun, interactive experience. Throughout the day, there are different contests and giveaways, so make sure you enter at least one of these. And one of the highlights of the bridal show is the fashion show with live DJ – this is your chance to see the latest designs from the most famous wedding designers in the industry. You might walk away with a few great ideas for your bridal gown!

 

Tip #4: Keep an eye out for new trends

 

If you are attending the Great Bridal Expo with plenty of time before your upcoming wedding, this is a great opportunity to catch up with various trends in the industry. The more you start planning your wedding, the more you will see how weddings today are very different from weddings just a few years ago – not just in bridal fashions, but even in the types of venues that some people choose to celebrate their wedding. You might make a note in your planning guide of the different exhibitors who seem to be more traditional, and those that are influential tastemakers within the industry, pioneering new trends.

 

And one final bit of advice – if you are attending this bridal show with friends or family, you might plan to do a little “divide and conquer” that will let you focus on what matters the most to you, while still making sure that you visit as many vendors as you can at the event. By doing so, you’ll have everything that you need to plan the wedding of your dreams.

How To Transform Your Wedding Expo Booth from Good to GREAT!

 

 

The Great Bridal Expo offers an unparalleled opportunity to get your company’s products and services in front of brides-to-be and their families.

So why settle for “good” when you could aim for “great”?

Using these three simple tips below, you can stand out in a crowd and ensure that your exhibition booth is the “must-see” destination on the showroom floor of this year’s Great Bridal Expo.

 

Tip #1: Think vertical, not horizontal

Unfortunately, too many exhibitors think horizontally and not vertically. In other words, they focus too much on maximizing the table space that is spread out in front of them and not on the space that is above them. The reality, though, is that large vertical displays are much easier for brides to spot from across the showroom floor of the bridal expo. If your vertical display is visually attractive, then it will make your booth the must-see destination on the showroom floor. It will act like a magnet, pulling brides in your direction.

The easiest way to see this dynamic at work is by checking out the birds-eye view photos of recent Great Bridal Expo events (or any trade show event, for that matter). What immediately catches your eye when you are looking down on a show? Yes, that’s right – the big vertical displays. It’s the same dynamic at work for brides – they have a limited amount of time and can’t possibly see every booth, so why not visit the one with the big vertical display?

Tip #2: Optimize your exhibitor booth for social media

It’s time to update your exhibitor booth for the social media generation. After all, many of the young brides-to-be attending the show will be huge social media users, many of them with big Instagram, Facebook or YouTube followings of their own. So you want your booth to be Instagram-ready. At the very least, have at least one big focal item that could get phone cameras clicking.

This is where you can borrow a page from the marketing playbook of restaurants. Many of them are now re-designing their restaurants to be Instagram-friendly – from the wall decorations to the table decorations to the way the food is presented. They know that their guests are taking photos of their food, and they are now embracing the concept. You can use this same strategy in designing the look and layout of your booth. Is this something that you could imagine someone posting a photo of on Instagram? Visuals matter, and even more so for the social media generation.

Tip #3: Up your freebie takeaway game

It’s pretty much a given that every exhibitor or vendor on the showroom floor of the Great Bridal Expo will be giving away something – so you need to up your freebie takeaway game. Remember, your goal is to be great, not just good. And there are plenty of ways to be great without breaking the bank.

For example, one concept that works well at any bridal show is to provide the gift bag, but not the goodies inside the gift bag. It’s relatively simple to get high-quality, low-cost gift bags or canvas totes made these days. And brides will have plenty of other freebies to carry home at the event, so why not give away “the bag” that everyone has to have?

And, of course, everyone loves a good giveaway. Instead of offering 1000 items worth $1 to prospective brides, why not just offer one big item worth $1000? Same dollar investment, but much more bang for your buck. You can guarantee that you’ll get plenty of leads and contact information cards if you set up your giveaway properly!

 


There will be plenty of action on the showroom floor of the Great Bridal Expo, and you don’t want to lose out on any opportunities to meet new brides.

With these three tips, you can take your Bridal Expo experience from good to great!

Go out there and rock your booth!

~Sarah A.