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photo courtesy of the Wonderful World of Weddings

With a slew of newly engaged couples hitting the wedding-planning scene, winter is undoubtedly bridal show season. Is your first one marked on the calendar? Below are the best ways to make the most of your experience.

1) Make a mental checklist. Before you get to the event, take stock of what you want to accomplish. This way, you can economize your time and skip the booths that are offering services you’ve already booked, suggests Kiara.

2) Pack a few things. This includes a notepad and pen. Recommends Jennie, “There is so much information, it tends to be a little overwhelming, but having something to look back on will really help you take the most from the show.” A bottle of water will help you cleanse your palate after cake tastings and keep you hydrated, says Jameson.

3) Research the timeline and vendors ahead of time. Know what scheduled happenings you need to make time for, such as a fashion show or other type of presentation. If you’re in a time crunch, you’ll know which exhibitors you want to touch base with, Kiara says. “And time literally flies by at these things!”

4) Prepare to brave the crowds. “There is a lot to take in and a lot of people, so bring your patience,” say Jameson and his fiancee, Jenna. “Wear flats!” adds Kiara.

5) Keep your budget in mind. Or better yet, come armed with a copy. If you’re planning to book a vendor on the spot, you’ll want to make sure you don’t accidentally overspend. Plus, Jennie says, you can talk specifics with multiple exhibitors from the same field and come up with more concrete ideas.

6) Enlist a partner-in-crime or two. “It was nice having my mom and best friend there to get immediate second opinions,” says Kiara. “They also helped me catch everything and carry all the info.”

7) Ask questions! The exhibitors are there to chat, so don’t be shy! “It was fun to get to know different companies and what they can contribute to my future wedding!” Molly says. Adds Jennie: “I also loved the fact that I was able to talk one-on-one with different florists and find out how they could help me find specific floral looks, all while staying in my budget.”

8) Collect DIY ideas. “I’m planning to do as much DIY as I can, so it was great to see actual samples and designs,” Kiara says. She also snapped a lot of photos.

9) Take advantage of samples. Doing this allows you to compare on the spot. “One thing is for sure: Red velvet cake is on trend!” says Molly. “You were able to sample the flavor at several booths.”

10) Watch for a connection. “Since we are in the early stages of planning, we wanted to have a chance to meet local vendors face-to-face,” say Jameson and Jenna, who hoped to feel a “spark” with their future vendors. “It was fun to get a feel for all of the different personalities and see where we would have the best fit.”

Psst! Don’t forget to check out our calendar of events on the right-hand sidebar. We share info on wedding events, bridal open houses, fairs, trunk shows and more, all across Southeastern Wisconsin.

What other tips do you have? Share below!

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Ellie Martin Cliffe Ellie Martin Cliffe (104 Posts)

By the end of high school, Ellie Martin Cliffe was completely enamored of journalism, so she chose the most logical college major possible: anthropology. Disappointed by the minimal emphasis on writing and editing, she changed tracks and earned a comm degree from Carroll College. Ellie has since tackled many facets of the field including books, magazines and the Web at places like The Knot and Reader's Digest. She now works full time in book publishing, and is thrilled to get her wedding fix with WedInMilwaukee.com. When she isn’t wielding her (red) pen, Ellie can be found in the garden, at any concert that showcases a fiddle, playing pub trivia or in the kitchen. She and her husband live in Riverwest with their hedgehog, Guinness, and grapefruit tree, Sprout.



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