Are Bridal Shows Worth It? (For Brides Part 2)

Bridal Show Photography Booth

Preface:

Welcome back to Part 2 of this Bridal Show Series. This is the second post in this series specifically for brides who keep asking the question if it’s worth it to fight the crowds & attend a local bridal show? Today we are looking at the other side of the coin or namely “the cons”.

If you haven’t read the first blog post in which we give an overview of Bridal Shows & look at the Pros of attending one, then I suggest you take a moment & read that post first! No sense starting with the negative in any situation.

See the first post: HERE.

If after reading these 2 posts you still have some questions about bridal shows or you would like some more information about our services, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us by phone or email. We are always here to answer any questions you may have even if you’ve already hired another photographer & are just looking for help! Reach Out.

Tulsa Wedding Show

Cons:

Like anything in life that has Pros, there are always some Cons. (With the exception of being married to my wife Ashley, she’s my perfect world!) Even though we are a part of the Bridal Show family & participate in 5 – 8 Bridal Shows every year with some amazing companies, (their information is listed below), we have spoken with many brides about their concerns & issues with Bridal Shows & the reasons they were contemplating not attending.

Because we consider this our exhaustive study of Bridal Shows, & because we want you to be informed & have all the information so you can make the best possible decision for your day, we are going to list the top things that our brides have told us were factors for them. I will, however, also be giving a snippet of advice of how to avoid these cons to give you the best Bridal Show experience possible. Yes, you’re welcome!

1.) Some Vendors Can Be Pushy:

Yes, let’s talk about this. As a vendor I know I’m going to get some push back from my fellow wedding professionals, but this post isn’t for them is it? Ha ha. It’s for you the bride aka our client. We have another post coming up soon for vendors where I will answer questions for them in regards to Bridal Shows so please feel free to read that one as well to see the advice we give other people.

It always amazes me when we go to a Bridal Show we will see at least one vendor who looks less than thrilled to be there. My thoughts are this: where else can I find in one room 200 to 1500 of my client walking around looking for me?! Yes we need to filter through the brides who may already have a Wedding Photographer, brides whose budget may not match our Premier Collections, or brides who don’t resonate with our style, but that still leaves enough brides to fill my calendar for the next 2 years!

Are Bridal Shows Worth it?

On the other side there are those vendors who act like if you don’t book them right then, then the world will end! Now understand from a salesman standpoint, the average interaction with a bride at a show is about 17 seconds. That’s not a lot of time to make an impression, stop her entourage, or get her to chat more. 17 seconds! What can you say or do in 17 seconds? Not much other than swipe right like 10 times! Ha ha. So as a vendor, I’m trying to connect with a potential bride very quickly!

Trying to connect with a bride isn’t difficult, that’s why we have our work displayed. You cannot walk to our booth & not immediately get a sense for our style of Wedding Photography.  It’s pretty clear because we shoot for a specific style & look. We want the bride to see herself in the Canvas or wedding album at our booth. So I don’t have to convince you I’m a photographer or that my work is beautiful, you will judge that within 3 seconds. Now let me just say, this is from our perspective as Wedding Photographers, other Wedding Professionals such as a venue might be slightly different because you may already know about them & head straight to them to chat. However, there are also 20 other venues that would love to host your wedding, so they want to show you what makes them amazing as well.

My wife will tell you that I love to talk to brides. She says I try to cram a 30 minute consult into a 3 minute conversation, which isn’t far from the truth. We are not pushy by any means. I believe in asking to set up a coffee meeting to chat more because it’s really hard to get a sense of who we are & what you want for your day in a 3 minute crazy setting, but I also am not a big fan of pushing someone to make a decision if they’re not 100% sure it’s what they want. (Enter the criticism from other vendors ;0))

The term in car sales, buyer’s remorse, is simply that. Car salesmen know that if you leave their lot, even if you promise & intend on coming back, you are 95% guaranteed not too. The same is true for vendors. You get that bag that is weighted down with a landfill of papers that will most likely be dropped on the table at home or thrown away & never looked at again. Why? Because you will call or hire the vendors that you made connections with.

Tulsa Wedding Show

It’s always a risk to let someone walk away. We have had countless brides love our work & want to hire us, but walk away & someone else snatched them up. Do I feel bad? Yes & no. Our goal is to make your day perfect & if you find someone to do that, then I’m excited for you! Many vendors will disagree & probably tell me we’d have more success or book twice as many brides if we were a little more pushy, but to that I say, no thank you. We are not about numbers of weddings, we are about the people in those weddings! Our brides love us! Our brides value their Photography sometimes above many other things in their wedding. They know their wedding album is their first family heirloom & they want to make sure it’s perfect! We don’t have to be pushy to find those brides, they find us! We work with so many amazing vendors that feel the same way!

You are not just hiring a DJ, or a cake designer, or a photobooth, or a wedding photography team, you’re hiring the people who do those jobs! You’re hiring personalities, people who love what they do & want to see your wedding be the best day of your life! Yes there are some pushy people at Bridal Shows, there’s pushy salesmen in every walk of life, but don’t let that deter you from finding the people you want to work with. You can simply say, “No Thank you,”& walk away.

As I said in Part 1, you need to connect with your vendors face to face & you have the best opportunity to do that at a Bridal Show.

2.) Lots of People:

This one isn’t really a big concern in my opinion. If you’ve ever shopped an electronic store the day after Thanksgiving or the mall on Christmas Eve, you know about lots of people. The nice thing is people aren’t pushing & shoving at a Bridal Show! Everyone there has the same goal, to find what they want for their personal fairy tale. Many times you can find having lots of other brides there a benefit because they might ask a certain vendor a question you didn’t think to ask.

One of the biggest issues we’ve encountered with having a ton of people at a Bridal Show is simply having multiple people asking for the same dates. This happens quite frequently. This is one of the risks you take if you happen to walk away & not book a vendor or leave a deposit for your date. There are 50 other brides who want that October wedding date & might be more willing to make a decision.

When we started almost 10 years ago I thought, “This will be easy! There’s 4 weekends in a month so 4 weddings each month, no problem!” Yeah, it wasn’t long until we realized not everyone gets married on Saturday! There are Thursday, Friday, & Sunday Weddings also! We’ve even done Tuesday night weddings! Brides will make anything work to get the Venue & Photographer they want! Keep these things in mind as you prepare to attend the Bridal Show which brings me to the next con:

3.) Spend a lot of money really fast:

The biggest reason for this being an issue is if you fail to plan. Yes, like we said above, some vendors can be overly pushy, but hopefully you can politely calm them down so you’re not writing checks you will regret the next day. With that being said, it’s always wise to try to pre-plan what you’re going to pay for or not.

My biggest advice is to have a plan. Sound simple enough, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. Remember what I said above, lots of brides want the same date, so if you know you need a photographer or venue, even if you haven’t chosen a specific one yet, plan on having a budget for those things & money set aside to pay deposits or part of them. each different business has different requirements to book a date so it’s always smart to over plan, but most will work with you if they see your committed & able to give them at least a portion. What we tell our potential brides is we don’t require you to book at the show, though I’m not going to turn anyone away who is ready too, we usually set up a coffee meeting or facetime meeting a few days later to make sure they’ve had time to think about it & chat with their fiance’ if they didn’t come. (See our next post about if it’s worth it for your groom to attend a Bridal Show)

4.) Already Have everything except a few small details:

We have heard this one alot! You’ve already booked your “Top 4”, (See our post about the 4 Most Important Wedding Decisions), so with only a few details left there’s not really a need to go to a Bridal Show. This may be true if you’re doing a very simple wedding, but like I said in part one, there are so many little things you may not have even thought about for you wedding that you discover at the show. It’s always worth the price of admission to see what you may have missed. Even if you find one thing, isn’t it worth it? I would say a resounding yes! Maybe you find a different shade of lipstick, maybe plateware, maybe you win that free honeymoon giveaway!! Yes please! Even if you go & leave without anything else, the shear inspiration & excitement that will rekindle in you for your wedding is worth it!

 

Conclusion:

In case you haven’t realized it yet, we are big supporters for Bridal Shows for both vendors & brides! If we can help you make one less decision or check one more thing off your already long wish list, then we at Bridal Shows are a success! We hope you choose to attend at least one upcoming Bridal Show in your area! To see what Bridal Shows we attend & the amazing companies we work with, click their links below!

We hope this 2 part post has answered your questions & given you new excitement for attending your next Bridal Show or fair to help find all you want for your day! Be sure to see our next post which is geared towards your fiance’. Most guys don’t attend Bridal Show in fact, less than 3% of men go to one. So, our next post addresses the need for men to go with you & support you. So make sure to “force” him to read it or share it to his social media page so everyone else reads it & comments! See you soon!

OK Bride (We have worked with OKBride for a long time. They host the largest Bridal Show in Oklahoma)

Oklahoma Magazine

We would love to chat with you about your upcoming wedding day! We are here not only as Premier Wedding Photographers, but also as educators & helpers. If you’d like to reach out just click below to call , text, or email us with any questions you have or to setup a time to meet! Reach Out

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Like what you see here? We’d love to work with you to make your Wedding a time you’ll never forget! Get in touch today to inquire about (limited) availability for your day. Our best dates go fast, so don’t wait!

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Thank you so much from Vesica Piscis Chapel!!! This is such valuable information for our brides and grooms. We like you are not pushy but do want their special day to be one they will never forget! We also think wedding shoes ( yes those too, wear those flats) shows are very valuable for vendors and brides. If they only get one idea or find one vendor, it is worth the effort! They may leave a little overwhelmed but also a sense of excitement that they have an array of choices that are available to them! Thank you for your blog!!!

    1. Judy, you are so right! WE meet brides & grooms at many different stages in their wedding planning! Some are just starting & some are almost done! Even that one last inspiration can make all the difference for them! :0)

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