Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bridal Fairs: Go Early In Your Planning Process

This past weekend my mom and I attended the San Francisco Wedding Fair at the Four Seasons in downtown San Francisco, which was recommended to me as the best fair in the Bay Area. It was a very lovely event, with tons of yummy food and drinks, as well as some serious eye candy, but altogether, not really that useful to me.

Which is why I'd highly recommend that if you plan on checking out a bridal fair, go early in the planning process!

For me, being five months out, I've already decided on every vendor except for our transportation. My invitations are designed (I'm starting laser cutting them this weekend!), registry is done, and I'm pretty much just getting down to the nitty-gritty of executing all of my planning for the past nine months.

But I can see how attending a bridal fair would be very useful for newly engaged ladies, as there is a wealth of information to be gathered from one: vendor pamphlets, an easy way to ask direct questions, and the opportunity to see work samples in person, without having to make separate appointments. And so for those of you who haven't attended a bridal fair yet, here's a peak at my visit. It wasn't quite as crazy as Miss Rainbow's experience though!

There were definitely lots of crowds and lines for food and drinks:

Some GORGEOUS tablescapes to drool over (my favorite part of the fair!):

Beautiful cake displays (some of which you could sample...although I was a good little dieter, and only had one bite of cake, and one mini cupcake from Sibby's Cupcakery...since we're getting our cupcakes from Sibby's, I could justify it!):

There were lots of pretty invitations to look at, and it was great to be able to feel the quality of the paper on the spot. We spent a while in the Hello Lucky booth, where they had a photobooth you could use too:

And of course there were dresses being modeled:

Florists were there, showing off some pretty bouquets. I finally got to hold some bouquets, to see which size I liked best, but man, I didn't realize how heavy they were! This one below is 13 inches across (yes, my mom whipped her mini tape measure out of her purse!), and so thick that it was hard to hold with just one hand:

And then there were some more, uh, exotic vendors. This one in particular, although I was too astounded to actually figure out which company was promoting a peacock or wing-like belt that held champagne glasses!

(the model looked like her back hurt, and there wasn't even any liquid in the champagne glasses)

And finally there was the many drinks and food! Champagne, champagne martinis, champagne cocktails, champagne in my hair--er, what? Yeah, that's right, I got splashed by a waiter trying to squeeze through the aisles with a try full of drinks. Not as bad as the girl on the other side of the aisle though, she got champagne all down her back. The horrified look on the waiter's face was classic though! Anyway, on with the food:

All in all, I thought going to a bridal fair was an enjoyable experience, if only for the wedding eye candy, and picking up pamphlets (uh, for, you know, if I ever want to go into the wedding biz). I can see it being so much more useful for ladies further away from their wedding date though, so I would recommend attending one, if only for the experience! But make sure to do your research as to which is the best one in your area, since they can be expensive (this one was $25 each at the door), and I've heard that some don't even have cake to taste (which we all know is one of the reasons we want to go! ;) )

Have you attended a bridal fair in your area? What was your experience, and did you find it useful to your planning process?

(all pictures in this post were taken by my mom or I)


  1. I love the gold and chocolate tablescape. That champagne peacock thing is just weird, though :) Looks like this bridal fair was FAR superior to the one I attended. I agree that it's best to go early.

  2. Fun! I know what you mean about it being more helpful earlier in the process, though. I’m going to a couple fairs in my area this month, even though I’m getting married across the country, to get ideas and inspiration for other couples I’m helping plan. I’m especially excited about the yummy treats!