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March down the aisles of a bridal show

You’ll meet vendors, get design ideas and have a lot of fun planning your own wedding

June is the month for weddings, and January is the month for bridal shows, where you can start to turn your engagement excitement into wedding plans.  Bridal shows are a productive place to start, where dozens of prospective vendors are located all in one place. This is where the fun begins, and you can turn your girlhood dreams into your own wedding reality.  These events are the most convenient way to learn about a number of wedding options, from the most fashionista bridal gown to a photographer that fits your style and budget.  Rather than just research websites, you can smell the flowers, feel the material, taste the cake and hear the band. You can ask questions one-on-one with a knowledgeable vendor, who knows more about wedding planning than you do.  You’ll also have a chance to sign up for gift registries, nibble bites from caterers, play with fun bridal accessories and jewelry and learn about new themes and décor. Many bridal shows also offer a fashion show, where you can begin to decide your own personal bridal style.

 Here’s some advice about bridal shows from  TIP #1: Choose a show in the same geographical area where your wedding will be held, in order to meet vendors servicing that region.  TIP #2: Talk to recently married friends and find out which shows were the most helpful and interesting.  TIP #3: Plan to attend no more than three bridal shows. Otherwise, you risk bridal show burnout.  TIP #4: Plan ahead by making a checklist of services and vendors you might be interested in talking to.  TIP #5: Pre-register for these events to save you time at check-in, and you may also save a few dollars.  TIP #6: Wear comfortable clothing and shoes because you will be doing a lot of walking. Bring a large bag, backpack or carry-on with wheels to store brochures and freebies.  TIP #7: Bring your credit card and some cash to take advantage of sales.  TIP #8: If you’ve already selected your gown and bridesmaid dresses, bring a color swatch for matching with jewelry or other accessories.  TIP #9: Eat a meal before you go to avoid over-snacking at these events.  TIP #10: Bring a companion with you — someone you trust and can bounce ideas off of. One bridal expert suggests attending one show with a friend or relative, and another with your fiancé.  TIP #11: Make sure you get current contact information from each vendor, and find out the name and title of the person you’re speaking with at the show.  TIP #12: Notice which vendors listen to your needs and ask the right questions. Proceed cautiously before signing on with a particular vendor, but keep in mind popular vendors book early.  TIP #13: Only provide your contact information to vendors you are truly interested in.  TIP #14: Sort through your bag of goodies and contact information a day or two day after the event, after the excitement has worn off and you’re ready to make some decisions. UPCOMING BRIDAL SHOWS  • Jan. 29: Genesee County Bridal Alliance 6th Annual Wedding Marketplace, The Captain’s Club at Woodfield, Grand Blanc • Feb. 12: Michigan Wedding Info Valentine’s Bridal Show at Chemung Hills Golf Club, Howell • Feb. 19: Bridal University at Ford Field in downtown Detroit  For a complete list of bridal shows in Michigan, visit

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