Bridal Shows: Brides on a Mission

Because we have had such a long engagement, I’m very happy to report that the year 2014 will NOT require attendance of any bridal shows!  Yay!  Of course, this is just because 2012 and 2013 were the years of bridal shows.  Before we were engaged, I attended a bridal show with MOH PT.  We were on a mission to book a few of her vendors, and I didn’t really pay attention to anything for myself.  What I took away from the experience was the following:

  • Bridal shows are amazing if you have a specific goal in mind
  • You can get great deals by booking at a bridal show
  • If you are going “just to look,” you will probably end up horribly overwhelmed

Once Monsieur P and I were engaged ourselves, MOH PT and I bought tickets to go to yet another bridal show at their venue, the Fez, and this time, we were both registered as brides!  Our main focus was still on MOH PT for her upcoming wedding, but I did a little browsing for myself as well.  I picked up some material from some travel groups for our honeymoon planning, but that was about it.  I don’t like the crowds, and I feel awkward when I’m overwhelmed by people trying to sell me stuff, so it’s a little anxiety-inducing.

Even though part of me never wanted to set foot in another bridal show, I was talking to Monsieur P about needing to book a few of our last vendors, and mentioned that I thought going to another bridal show might be a good way to do it.  I jokingly asked if he wanted to come along, because I was realizing that he wanted to be more involved with the wedding planning than I originally thought, and he shocked me when he said sure!  So I bought tickets for yet another bridal show, this time, the granddaddy of bridal shows in Pittsburgh.

THE Bride Show in Pittsburgh / via Cavanaugh’s

I was excited to book this one as a bride, because I went with MOH PT in 2012, and I was jealous of the wedding planner binder that they gave to brides.  Funny how it seemed so appealing when it’s marked FREE, and yet, I’ve had it for a year or so and don’t use it?  Anyway… Monsieur P and I set off Sunday morning to go to the bridal show that practically every bride in Pittsburgh attends, where you’re bound to see a gazillion people that you know, and get bags full of brochures that you’ll never look at.

We went into the bridal show with a few missions, to find at least information on the following vendors:

  • Suits/tux rental
  • Potential rehearsal dinner venue
  • Transportation
  • DJ
  • Bakery

I’m happy to report that we were somewhat successful.  Monsieur P handled the crowds way better than I anticipated, and we were able to sample some cakes and other goodies, and look at a few other things.  We had one cake sample early on, and thought “okay, that would work.”  But then we had another sample, the one that I really wanted, and Monsieur P promptly agreed that it was his favorite.  BOOM – cake was a done deal!

Towards the end of our bridal show visit, we ended up passing a booth for a DJ, and one of my friends from grad school was there.  She’s friends with the DJs/owners, and obviously would vouch for their services.  We were pretty much sold immediately, after talking with my friend and Janet from Upbeat Entertainment.  Janet and Tim are a DJ duo – Tim does the actual DJ/emcee work, while Janet mostly handles the administrative aspects and acts as an event coordinator.  They regularly DJ events at the Mayernik Center, and are familiar with our wedding coordinator at the venue.  I couldn’t be more sold, honestly.  Having two seasoned event coordinators to tag-team the logistics of our reception?  Yes, please!  Anything that takes the headaches away from me is A-okay in my book.  Then of course, getting a discount from booking through the bridal show/through a friend, and there’s just no reason not to book them.  After talking to Janet at the bridal show, I checked out their website and saw a few people I knew from college had written testimonials.  If I hadn’t already been sold, recommendations from people I know would’ve sealed the deal.

So the bridal show resulted in two very easy decisions on cake and a DJ.  We weren’t quite ready to decide on the other things, but we did gather some more information and got a few new ideas as well.

Did you have any surprisingly easy wedding decisions?  Do you find bridal shows to be helpful, or overwhelming, or both?  Did your fiance/e attend a bridal show with you?


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