Wedding Planning: Expos And Conventions Explained

This article discusses the growing bridal expo fad and what a bride can expect from them.

In the first of the year, a young woman's thoughts turn lightly to thoughts of...bridal expos! These big events are becoming more and more popular, and offer a host of ideas, services and businesses, just waiting to take advantage of the bride-to-be's cash and favor.What are these expos all about and what can a bride take from them?

First and foremost, the expos are designed to allow local businesses to showcase their wares and services for brides and grooms. Businesses pay for space at the event, figuring to be amply recompensed by all the potential business opportunities walking by, looking for something in just their wheelhouse. It's a perfect match. The participating businesses are looking for the custom of a bride-to-be. Hundreds of brides-to-be are walking around, looking for ideas and potential services.

Often, the expos are co-sponsored by local media outlets, who give the events a great deal of advertising and may even have their local personalities emcee some of the events, such as the obligatory fashion show. This means that prospective brides all over the outlet's coverage area will hear about the expo and will be tempted to attend.

Many expos have attending brides call or e-mail for an "invitation." These are free, but give crucial contact information to the sponsoring businesses for later contacts. Some smaller expos charge a nominal fee, which usually entitles the bride-to-be and a couple of friends to a few freebies from the participating businesses.

At the big, free expos, the freebies are fewer, but it is guaranteed the bride will go home with a sack full of pamphlets and brochures, all touting wedding services.

Most expos have at least a couple of travel agencies participating. These agencies often have a honeymoon giveaway, so if the bride does nothing else, she should register for this prize. If she's a winner, she and her groom will probably have a wonderful honeymoon--perhaps one they could not have otherwise afforded.

Many businesses at expos have other giveaways, such as cookware, linens, kitchen gadgets and other items. Brides will have a chance to register for a lot of nice things at an expo.

Florists and photographers will usually be very visible at a bridal expo, usually with samples of their wedding work available for viewing.

This is also a good opportunity for salons and spas. Many will stress their services for the bridal party, such as facials, massage and spa days. They may even have a giveaway for spa treatments for the bride and her maids.

Bridal salons will have dresses to look at, tuxedos on mannequins, and samples for bridesmaids dresses.

Another fun feature of a bridal expo is the food. Many catering businesses will have tables set up, hawking their wares, with free samples of hors d'ouvres, punch, wedding cake and other goodies, designed to allow the bride to sample and remember who had the best food.

Local bands will also often play short sets, interspersed with party DJs, so the bride can listen to the local talent with the possibility of hiring them for the reception. Nowadays, many will have "audition" CDs they give away.

The focal point of most bridal expos is the fashion show. This is when the local bridal salons are able to show their stuff. Some expos in larger cities have big-time fashion shows directly sponsored by some of the leading wedding gown designers. Smaller ones will have local talent in gowns available in the area. These will be the latest arrivals, though, and usually feature guys in tuxedos and girls in bridesmaids dresses, as well.

At the end of the fashion show, the bride and her friends will go home tired, but happy, with a sack full of possibilities, wishes and maybe even a lucky ticket to paradise.

© High Speed Ventures 2011