Bridal Show Season- Which to attend?

The beginning of the new year- days are shorter, defrosting your windshield is a daily occurrence, the gym is suddenly crowded, and everyone is hosting a bridal show.  That's right, its bridal show season!  Of course, you can't hit them all, so how do you decide?  Well first, here is a run down of some of the upcoming bridal shows in the Baltimore area:

Chesapeake Bay Beach Club Bridal Show. Jan 7th. Stevensville, MD.
Great Bridal Expo. Jan 7th. Baltimore, MD.

Timonium Bridal Expo.  Jan 7th & 8th.  Timonium, MD.
Delmarva Bridal Showcase.  Jan 8th.  Salisbury, MD.
Baltimore Museum of Industry's Annual Bridal Show. Jan 10th. Baltimore, MD.
Here Comes The Bride... and Groom Wedding Expo. Jan 15th. Linthicum Heights, MD.

Eastern Shore Bridal Extravaganza.  Jan 15th.  Easton, MD.
Turf Valley's Bridal Extravaganza.  Jan 20th.  Ellicott City, MD.  
Baltimore Bride Magazine's Aisle Style.  Jan 29th.  Pikesville, MD.
Embassy Suites Hunt Valley Bridal Show.  Jan 29th.  Hunt Valley, MD.
Baltimore Bridal Show. February 4th & 5th. Baltimore, MD.
Winter Bridal Showcase.  Feb 19th.  Towson, MD.

So now that you realize its not physically possible to attend all the upcoming events in the Baltimore area (nor would you want to feel like a "bridezilla" for doing so), its time to make some decisions.  

Things to consider:

Location Location Location

If your venue is hosting a bridal show, you'll want to attend.  You will be able to spend more time in the space and experience a large event at your venue.  Also, most venues have relationships with specific vendors, especially caterers, so you will further get to know your vendors.  

You should attend a show in the area of your wedding.  For example, planning a wedding on the Eastern Shore?  You'll want to attend a bridal show across the bay.  Although many vendors provide services throughout the area, attending a show local to your venue will provide you an opportunity to meet local vendors whom you may not otherwise have the chance.

Do Your Homework

Remember, this is not only a way for you to discover new vendors, but also a way to do some one stop shopping.  Most event websites will list the vendors who will be exhibiting.  Think of the vendors you'd like to talk to and see which event will have the more of your perspective vendors.

Think about the sections of your planning left to do.  Have you planned the bridal party's attire? - Will this event have a fashion show?  Still considering a theme or color scheme? - Will this event have vignettes to inspire you?  And don't be afraid to contact the event host to get further details.

Size of Event (and You)

Maybe its just my background in psychology, but personality is something to consider (and not just yours, think of the family members and friends who may be tagging along).  Are you going to be excited or overwhelmed by a huge event?  Are you happy to push through crowds to find what you want?  Do you do better in intimate settings?  Would you rather have more individualized attention and compromise on the number of vendors?  It may seem inconsequential, but it can make a difference.  Sensory overload can be a real problem!

Use Your Friends

Have any newlywed friends?  Ask which shows they attended and what their experiences were.  Social media is another great way to get some advice.  Ask Facebook friends for some feedback and suggestions.  

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