Bridal Show: 101 | Boise Wedding Photographer

Are you planning a wedding?  Still searching for a wedding photographer, DJ, caterer or maybe even a venue? Or… maybe you are so recently engaged you haven’t even thought about the details of your wedding day.

No matter what stage of planning you’re in… the first item of business you need to add to your agenda is :

I bet you are asking yourself…. isn’t going to a bridal show a waste of time?  I mean….I have Google.  

Although it may seem as if sitting in front of your computer and using the power of “Google”  is the way to go…. I assure you it is not.  Yes, you can gather a lot of great ideas and pin them to your Pinterest boards… but I assure you,  nothing beats the experience of meeting your potential vendors in person.  Plus, you get to smell , touch and taste all the different products vendors have to offer.  Think about it…..will your web browser let you sample a piece of wedding cake, feel that gorgeous silk linen you’ve had your eye on or touch a feel a wedding album that a photographer such as myself has on display?

antlers as centerpiece in wedding decor

In addition, attending a bridal show is a great way to gather creative ideas and to ask local vendors questions not only about the services they offer, but their opinions on other wedding topics.  Or even a recommendation to another vendor, such as a florist.  Attending a show is a great way to learn from the collective experience of the vendors.  We’ve been to a lot of weddings, seen a lot of DJ’s in action, tasted many cakes, and worked with many different coordinators.  Basically, we’ve seen it all and can give you our opinion on what does…. and what does not work.

wedding ceremony arch

OK, I’m in… when is the next bridal Show?

 Leap Photography will be at two bridal shows in the month of January.  I encourage you to come to at least one of them… if not both.  Some vendors are only in one show, and others you’ll have a second chance to visit.

The Boise Bridal Show

January 4, 2020 — 10 am – 5 pm
January 5, 2020 — 11 am – 4 pm

Location:  Boise Centre on the Grove

green and purple table decor at wedding

What can I expect as a bride?

The largest show here in the Treasure Valley is THE BOISE BRIDAL SHOW.  It’s a 2 day show which gives you the opportunity to go back a second time if you feel like you just couldn’t get through it all in one day.  There will be over 100 vendors in attendance plus a number of  fashion shows will be held throughout the two days.  You will want to budget ample time to collect brochures, talk to vendors, taste samples and watch the runway shows.  Make sure to give yourself enough time to get the information you need plus gather the verbal information you may need.  You don’t want to feel rushed. To see a list of vendors at this years show and to find out fashion show times…… click this link:  THE BOISE BRIDAL SHOW VENDORS

wedding photographers bridal show booth
Leap Photography’s Boise Bridal Show Booth Space.

How Many Bridal Shows are there?

  1. IDAHO WEDDING EXPERIENCE: Although the Boise Wedding Show is the largest show of the year, there are a few other shows throughout the area. The next largest show is the  IDAHO WEDDING EXPERIENCE. This one day show packs a lot of punch into 5 hours.  Although I’ve participated in this show in the past…. Leap Photography will not be in participating in the 2020 show. The show is slightly smaller than the one held in Boise earlier in January.  It will have over 50 vendors in attendance. Like the Boise Bridal Show, the Idaho Wedding Experience also has a number of fashion shows and is a great place to sample food and talk to vendors.  I suggest showing up earlier in the day so you can soak in the experience.
  2. THE CHOSEN WEDDING SHOW: A new show as of 2020 is the “CHOSEN WEDDING SHOW “. Leap Photography will not be participating in the show either. Since 2020 is the inaugural year of this show, like you I’m interested to see how it turns out. If you’ve just started planning your wedding day, it might be worth dropping in and checking out.

OK, I’m going to a bridal show. What should I take with me?

1)  Someone who you value their opinion. Ask your fiance to come along….but don’t fret if he declines.  Guys just don’t get as excited about wedding planning as we do.  I definitely suggest asking your maid of honor to come along with you.  It’s helpful to have a second pair of eyes.  Also if you have family members you would like to invite…do so.

 2)  A large bag to throw collected brochures and business cards into.

3)  A list of items you really need to look into for your wedding Like going to the grocery store……it’s easy to get sidetracked while at the bridal show.  If you’ve already done some wedding planning, you will want to bring a list with you to help keep you on track.

 4)  2-4 sheet of labels which include the following:       

  • -your name       
  • -address       
  • -phone number      
  • -email address       
  • -wedding date  

A number of vendors will be giving away door prizes.  You wouldn’t want to miss your chance to win something and you certainly don’t want to spend too much time writing this info down.

5)  A pen/pencil + a pad of paper. It’s helpful to write down notes about specific things you liked about one vendor or another or products you want to research more…. while you are in a vendors booth.  You will gather a large amount of information while at the show.  The notes you make while in attendance will help you remember specifics about vendors and products after the show.

6)  Your smart phone Take photos of all the cool ideas you find at the show.   You can come back to the images later when you need inspiration.

7)  A comfortable pair of shoes. The show is quite large and you will be doing quite a lot of walking.  Comfy shoes are highly recommended.  

8)  A check book and credit card  If you find a a must-have product or service and you want to book it immediately… you’ll need to have some form of payment with you…..and not everyone takes plastic at the show. A lot of first-rate services such as photographers, florists, and venues book quickly, so you may want to reserve their services with a down payment/deposit at the show. Some vendors also offer “show discounts”  if you book with them while at the bridal show.


Most Important Tip
Now that you have all the information on how to attend a show….  the most important advice I can give you is to have fun!  Planning a wedding can be stressful enough.  Don’t turn the show into a miserable experience.

The bridal show was designed to not only be a great way for you to gather all the information you need under one roof…..but to be fun as well.    So enjoy your day at the bridal show!  Taste the cake samples, the mini quiches over at “XYZ” catering and learn a new line dance with one of the DJ’s.  You’ll be glad you did.

gold charger plate with gold napkin

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