I must say that a couple of the local shows have been a standout. Over the last few years, I have attended the show at the Hall of Springs and the Glen Sanders Mansion. Most vendors had a tasteful display and were very engaging with the perspective brides and grooms. Unfortunately though there are some that are so in your face and cheesy that they can leave you feeling a tad icky. But, thank goodness one or two rotten apples do not spoil the bunch.
I am still on the fence about participating in a show myself, as a vendor. However, I do think it is a good idea to attend at least one during your own planning. The best way to approach this is to do research ahead of time. Perhaps there are some photographers, floral designers, planners and DJs that you want to get a feel for before you reach out via email or phone. You have to be stealthy, just kidding - sort of. Many couples who responded to my Facebook post about how they feel about bridal shows said they do not like to go, because they are afraid they will become inundated with countless emails. Yes, follow up emails can get old quick (keep in mind you do not have to enter raffles/drawings) - but it is common practice. You can always send it to junk mail or respond with a polite email.
The winter is the most popular time to go to one. Maybe you will love it or run for the hills. Either way, it is a win-win because you will get a clear idea of what you like, and as I say, more importantly what you don't.
photo by Tory Williams Photography