I had quite the wedding-filled weekend, topped off with my very first bridal expo! I have been intrigued with these galas of wedding goodies for a while now, but I haven't been seeking them out because, well, Chicago vendors aren't going to do much for my California wedding. But when The Knot sent me two free tickets to the Great Bridal Expo in Chicago, I knew the time had come to check one of these babies out.
I wasn't expecting much. Mostly, I went for the free food and stuff, the wedding dress runway show, and the chance to be surrounded by pretty wedding goodies. I was surprised to find that the expo was really helpful. Having done almost all of my research online so far, it was nice to be able to talk to actual, genuine people about their products. For instance, I've done a little bit of cake research, but it's hard to get a sense of how big of a cake you need to feed x amount of people, and I was able to talk to a vendor who showed me how big their slices are and about what size cake I would want for my small tiered cake plus cupcakes plan. There are some things that are just better discussed in person.
The biggest surprise for me though was that there were A LOT of honeymoon vendors which was great because them I can actually use. For some reason, I never really associate the honeymoon with the wedding. I think it's just too many things for me to think about when you add a vacation into the mix, but I'd say almost half of the vendors were honeymoon-related which was really helpful. I now have a very large stack of packets on Caribbean cruises and resorts to go through, and while I haven't looked through them all yet, several have given me hope of actually having a tropical honeymoon. There are quite a few all-inclusive cruises that we might actually be able to afford :).
So all in all, the Great Bridal Expo was definitely worth a visit. If it's coming to a city near you, I would definitely go check it out, especially if you take advantage of the free tickets from The Knot.