We’ve been doing bridal shows since 2010 and have had a lot of different booth looks and have learned a LOT over the past five years. Below is 9 different photos from some of our booths over the years. While I was rounding these all up I did some counting and we have did over 15 bridal shows in 5 years. Oh my goodness. I must be crazy. :o) If you’ve ever set up a booth a bridal show..you know just the planning and organizing is very exhausting. Then you have to set it up and take it all down..and then the actual show itself… Gosh! They are hard work! :o)
Enjoy looking at some photos from our booths over the past five years…under each photo I’ll tell you which show it was, a little about our booth, and things that we learned along the way. :o)
January 2010 :: This was located at St. Mary of the Woods and was the premier bridal show in Terre Haute at this time. At this point in my career we had just started shooting weddings 6 months prior and we had only shot four weddings total (two of them we were second shooters for) and just a handful of engagement sessions. Honestly, I look back now and think “whoa..you were way in over your head!” :o) I ended up booking quite a few weddings from this show. I went from having just 2 or 3 weddings booked for 2010 to having over 10 booked in the next few weeks. It was a very successful show and I learned a lot over those two days. I ended up doing four more bridal shows that year and continued to book weddings for 2010 and 2011.
Booth Information : To build our wall we used PVC piping that we purchased at Lowe’s…I think it cost me less than $20. I purchased the fabric on clearance from JoAnn’s or Hobby Lobby (I can’t remember), and the chairs and tables were from IKEA. I definitely think my booth was the most welcoming that year…and we had SO MANY compliments from brides and others walking by telling me I had the best booth at the show. Ha! I definitely doubt that..BUT it made me feel good.
PROS : It matched my branding VERY well. It was very welcoming and looked great! And…it looked different from what everyone else was doing. My goal that year was to stand out…and I definitely think I did that!
CONS : The PVC piping was NOT sturdy at all. They had another booth set up behind us and the people kept bumping into it and it was very close to falling over multiple times. The fabric was SUPER wrinkly and even though we had a steamer…we still could not get out all of the wrinkles. While the chairs/table set up looked nice…no one wanted to come in and sit down. If they wanted to look at any albums they had to bend down (which people did not really like doing) and I think they felt like they were in peoples way if they came in and sat down. A lot of people just passed on by…. :o( So…we ditched this design after this one show.January 2011 ::
This show was the same show above that was located at St. Marys just one year later. By this time we had shot around 18-20 weddings, 25+ engagement sessions, and had shot our first destination wedding in Florida. We ditched the crappy PVC piping and upgraded to a fancy backdrop system. We also got rid of that awful wrinkly fabric and used three chevron curtains that we purchased from Etsy. And…we had a fancy new sign that really showed off our work. I really liked this booth set up. Oh, and we also used a TV to display a slideshow of some of our favorite weddings/engagement sessions that we had shot.
PROS : The chevron curtain got a LOT of compliments…this was when the chevron pattern had just started getting popular. This was SUPER easy to set up and take down…and was SO much easier than hauling in chairs and tables like the year before.
CONS : People seemed to like to look at albums and actual canvas gallery wraps…things they can touch, instead of the TV. The TV was heavy…and a pain to have to carry in…and then when people didn’t really seem to watch it..it was a waste of time.
FALL 2011 :: The WVBS had a fall bridal show at The Ohio Building in the fall and we decided we wanted it to be a little bit more “rustic.” The burlap/rustic/pennant look was really starting to get popular…so we wanted brides to be drawn into our booth not only because they loved our work and was interested in hiring us for their wedding…but we wanted to draw them in because of the look of our booth. We also wanted it to show the type of clients we wanted to work with…and I love me some burlap weddings. :o) We also brought back the slideshow…but we chose to do it on the laptop so it was much easier to carry in and out.
PROS : I had LOTS of compliments on my booth..and again was told by multiple people I had the best looking booth there. *blush* :o)
CONS : There really wasn’t any cons to this booth….i’d say the only one I could think of is that vine that we used at the top of the booth was really messy and it “shed” a lot….so it made a mess around our booth and in our car. But..that was really it.
See more photos from this set up on its very on blog post here!
Winter 2012 :: This was at St. Marys in January of 2012. This was the first year that I upgraded to a double booth. In the past couple of years I always just did a single booth, but their tables aren’t normal size tables..so I always felt like I was trying to squeeze everything on it. So, I decided to make the additional investment and purchase the double booth upgrade. I’m so glad I did! Not only did I have lots of table room for my albums and the TV…I had LOTS of wall space to hang photos on. Again, I was told by multiple people that our booth was the best looking one there and the most eye catching. I remember one girl telling me that she already had her photographer booked…but that she had to come over just to look at this booth! :o)
Booth Information :: We built this booth by using five closet doors we purchased from Lowe’s. I can’t remember the exact dimensions of the doors..but it was not the largest ones they have..it was the smaller ones. We purchased those so that it would be lighter and easier to carry. All together this measured around 9 foot long. We painted them the same color as the walls at our studio and my husband used some brackets on the tops of them to attach them to eachother so it would all stay together and look like a wall. We also bought some brackets so that we could make legs to put on each end..but we didn’t end up having to use them because where our booth was, we were able to just prop it up against the wall and use our table to keep it from falling forward.
PROS :: A definite pro was that this stood out. It caught peoples eye and really got their attention. It was almost like bringing my studio…to the show. :o) The extra room was definitely a plus. I never had to have people lined up to get to my booth…there was plenty of room for 6-8 people to be in front of my booth, watching the slideshow, and looking at albums.
CONS :: Set up took a little while. We were used to set up taking like 20 minutes to put up a backdrop stand….this took a lot longer. We had to borrow a truck to haul the doors up there, carry them in, put them together, and then set up the table.
See more photos from this booth set up on it’s very own blog post here!
SPRING 2012 :: (iphone pic, sorry!) This was the Tribune Star show at Rose Hulman. This was actually the last year that we attended this show. The first two years (2010 and 2011) we had some pretty good leads from that show..but during the 2012 show they had a really low turnout (most likely because it was the same day as the colts playing in the Super Bowl) and after that show…we decided to no longer do their show again.
Booth Information :: We basically did the exact same set up from the January show I posted above. We only used 3 doors instead of 5 since our booth was smaller and we replaced the TV with the laptop. This was the first time we did the “door wall” for a one day bridal show…and after that we decided we would only do the door set up on two day shows. Setting up and taking down the doors all in a 6 hour period…was not fun.
PROS :: Same as above. Eye catching, conversation starter….etc. LOVE it!
CONS :: Having to take down and haul away the doors. And at this show we didn’t have a wall to prop it up against..so we had to use the leg stands on it.
Fall 2012 :: This was the WVBS Fall Bridal Show and it was located at the Holiday Inn. We decided to merge our “rustic” burlap booth with our cute “studio” booth. We set the table up pretty much the same. The chevron lamps, the laptop, etc. and we even hung the photos the same..but instead of the door wall, we used the backdrop stand with burlap curtains. I thought it turned out great!
PROS :: Fit our brand, looked great, easy to set up and take down, etc.
CONS :: The only con to this was we used clear plastic wreath hangers to hold the photos…and we taped ribbon on the back of the photos..the ribbon stretched and it was hard to get all 3 of the photos to be even. This is something that we struggle with everytime we have this set up…and I am hoping to have it resolved by this fall.
(Fun Fact : I was about 4.5 months pregnant with Emmitt in this photo.)
*photo by Connie Dawson
WINTER 2013 :: This was our fourth year doing the Bridal Show at St. Marys. We ended up not doing the double booth again because they increased the prices and it was going to be an additional $500 for it. I really wanted to do the double booth and had planned on it, but when I heard the price increase I decided that $500 could go to something different and more effective. When we attended the show in January 2013 we actually already had 21 weddings booked for 2013…so really we were advertising for 2014. While we did run into some 2014 brides..the majority of the brides that came by our booth was 2013…so while we did get a lot of great leads for 2014…we had to turn down a LOT of brides. :o/
PROS :: Same as above! Everyone complimented our booth and said it looked great! :o)
CONS :: Loading and unloading the doors.
(Fun Fact :: I was 8 months pregnant in this photo!)
*photo by Connie Dawson
FALL 2013 :: (iphone pic, sorry!) This was our booth last fall at the WVBS show at Idle Creek. Really the only thing different in this photo from the one above is all the albums. We ordered all new sample albums from our album company with updated weddings. :o) But..the booth set up and design stayed the same.
Winter 2014 :: (sorry, iphone pic!) This is the same set up that we had at St. Marys the previous year. The only difference was we had all new albums to show off with updated weddings. We were also in the same boat this year as last…at this point we already had 17 weddings for 2014 (and we were only taking 20 total) so we turned down a lot of brides. :o( You gotta book early! :o)
Well..that’s it! That’s the history of our Bridal Show Booth over the past five years! We are looking forward to the upcoming bridal show this fall and especially the bridal show next January at St. Marys! Since we sold our studio and no longer have the turquoise walls, we decided we are going to give the door wall a fresh coat of paint and mix it up a little! So be sure to keep an eye out for our new bridal show booth design!
Have any questions about our set up or what works/didn’t work at a bridal show? Feel free to post a comment below and I’ll do the best to answer your questions!