Wedding Wednesday: A Bridal Expo

I don’t even know where to begin with this post.

I’ve heard of bridal expos and shows that feature a bunch of local vendors and businesses looking to make your dream wedding a reality. Unfortunately, I wasn’t impressed with the one I went to with my mom this past Sunday.

A few weeks ago, I received a notification in my email that Wedding Wire was giving out free tickets to the Dallas Great Bridal Expo. I jumped at the free chance to check out some businesses in hopes of getting a good feel of what I want.

I grabbed my mom and we headed down to downtown Dallas for an afternoon of giddy wedding conversations and a fun afternoon.

The Great Bridal Expo was held at the Fairmont Hotel, a pretty swanky hotel in the heart of downtown. After a quick valet parking job, we headed upstairs to one of their ballrooms. We reached the top of the escalator with a greeting from some friendly staff and a VIB sticker (The B stands for Bride). We were also greeted with a nice line and a registration form to fill out. Boo.

The line moved quickly and we finally got a grab bag and made our way into the expo.

The place was pretty small. I would say there was about five or six rows of vendors all looking to grab your attention. 90% of them were holding clipboards and glancing around the room. David’s Bridal was near the door and a representative was quick on my heels to begin her sales pitch. She mentioned a $50 gift card if I filled out a bunch of information on the clipboard. Information like address, phone number, email, wedding date, etc. No thanks. I wasn’t about to open up a flood spam and unwanted emails.

As we moved down the rows, I was disappointed to find that most vendors had this same approach. I approached a man who as at the Al’s Formal Wear booth. Again, he had a clipboard, but I was willing to overlook that. I was inquiring about renting suits and wanted his opinion on whether I should go the tux route or suit route. He basically said his sales pitch ignoring my questions and told me he’d give me more literature on the business if I filled out the clipboard information.

What a bummer! We moved through the room within 20 minutes. My mom noticed that the grab bag included information on a fashion show. She asked a staff member about it and she said there would be one at 2:30. Feeling pretty deflated, I just wanted to leave, but my mom insisted we check it out. She was pretty excited to be able to sit in the front row of a fashion show. We did drive down there, so we might as well make the most of it.

Truth be told, the fashion show was the best part. The MC was funny, the girls were pretty and one of the guy models really got the crowd riled up and excited. If anything, it got me excited to hunt for the perfect dress for myself. I found no dress that I really liked, but it was still fun.

I’m not sure if I’ll head to another bridal show. This one gave me a bad taste in my mouth. It made me feel like the wedding industry really doesn’t give a crap about your wedding. They just want your money. There’s no way I would hire any of those vendors in that expo. They were cold and just there to give a sales pitch and get my information. How sad.

The only time where I didn’t receive a sales pitch was when a bakery was handing out slices of wedding cake. I simply asked for more information on them and they graciously handed over some literature without making me fill anything out. I just wish their brochure included prices. How am I supposed to know if you fit in our budget if you don’t include your prices?

I have to say I really saw the ugly side of planning a wedding. I really walked into that expo hoping to get some answers to a bunch of questions and be given some great information on local businesses. What I got was cold sales pitches and unfriendly customer service.

The worst part was I was right about the spamming. Monday morning I received a phone call from a company called Royle Prestige. “Tiffany” left a voicemail saying I had won a bridal package from the expo I attended the day before. I was hesitant about this simply because the only time I gave my information out was when I registered before entering the expo. So I googled the phone number and found out it was a complete scam.

Here’s what one woman said about it:

So that was that. I wouldn’t ever fall for something like this, but what another disappointment.

If anything, I learned a lot about the bridal industry and that I’ll be doing my own research and word-of-mouth hunting for the right business. It’ll take a little more work this way, but it’s probably for the best. I hope this has helped any other brides out there planning their wedding now as well.

I certainly didn’t think I’d write a wedding post like this, but I thought you should all know the truth about such things.

I hope you all have an awesome Wednesday! See you guys on the flip side!

  1. At least you gave it a shot. I wasn’t interested in all the stuff either. I was the easiest bride though (if I do say so myself). I pretty much pick the first vender on the location, cake, and flowers. My wedding was in winter and they give you huge discounts if you have a wedding “off season.” I even found my dream wedding dress was going to be a discontinued style and I got the floor sample super, super cheap. When you find the right stuff you know it, you will have fun again. 😉

    • amberlb88 said:

      Thank you Megan for your advice! We’re looking at changing the date to some time in October next year simply because it’s off season and venues are so stinkin expensive. I’m hoping a lot of other decisions will be much easier.

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