I participate in one bridal fair every year, in January and that pretty much jump starts my bridal business for the year. Oh, I also get a lot of referrals and internet business but the bridal fair is a great way to meet brides-to-be in person and show them what you can do for them.
In our area, there are only two fairs a year so it’s not like there’s a big choice but if brides want the “one stop shopping” experience, bridal fairs are the way to go. You can meet vendors and see if you have a rapport with them. You can see pictures or samples of what they do. You can taste samples of what they do (my favorite part) and you’ll leave the fair with lots of ideas.
I pretty much let my work speak for itself. I drape my table with fabric samples and my paper portfolio. I dress my mannequins with samples of my workmanship. And, of course, I’m there to answer their questions and concerns.
One question I get asked a lot is, of course, how much can a bride expect to pay for alterations. Unfortunately, that is something I can’t answer without seeing the gown on the bride. Because every dress has such different construction and design, each dress must be priced individually.
Some brides only need a hem and a bustle; some, especially petite and plus-sized brides, need more work. Just remember that alterations are priced individually so a hem, a bustle, dart alterations, taking in (or letting out) a bodice are all separate prices. So the more alterations you need, the more it will cost. This is especially important to keep in mind when you are buying a sample dress. It may be a good price initially but if it doesn’t fit you, you will sometimes spend more on alterations than you did on the dress.
For more FAQ’s about bridal gown alterations, check my next segment!