Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bridal Show Shocker!

Today, I received in my inbox some startling news from my friend Becca Carter, wedding insurance agent over at the Wedding Protector Plan®. The first quarter of the year is when some of the largest bridal shows happen, so I wanted to pass this information along...

Boston police say thousands of brides-to-be and wedding vendors have been scammed by a web site advertising a fake Boston bridal show. More than 6,000 individuals and vendors have paid and signed up with the web site, promising all that a large, elegant wedding show provides. Vendors discovered it was a scam after they tried to contact the convention center, asking when they could set up their exhibits for the show. The FBI is now involved and the web site has been taken down. Read more about this tragedy from The Boston Globe.

How can you make sure that a bridal show is legitimate?

Tips for Musicians:
Never sign up to exhibit at a bridal show without talking with the producers on the phone. Ask them the following questions:

1. Have they produced any other wedding shows or is this one of their first events? Get statistics of how many brides have attended past shows so that you’ll know how many bookings may be possible for you.

2. Where is the show located? Exhibit at shows in areas where you’ll want to travel to perform.

3. What are the dimensions of the booth? Can you fit your entire ensemble into that booth?

4. What’s in the contract? Yes, you need a contract! Find out what the promoter will guarantee to you, in writing.

5. Use your gut feelings to decide if you want to work with a particular bridal fair producer. If they come off like a slimy used car salesman with a hard-sell attitude, run in the other direction.

6. What is the total fee that the producer will charge to you? Take into account all the extras that might not be included in the standard booth fee: electricity, linen rental, extra chairs or tables, etc.

My book, “The Musician’s Guide to Brides”, contains an entire chapter about getting the most out of bridal shows. It’s available wherever Hal Leonard Books are sold: music and bookstores, and through online retailers including,, and of course, at my website at Celtic Harp Music by Anne Roos

Tips for Brides, Mothers-of-Brides, Event Planners, And Anyone Attending Bridal Fairs:

In my upcoming book, “The Bride’s Guide to Musicians: Live Wedding Music Made Easy and Affordable”, I’ll be devoting an entire section to successfully navigating around bridal shows.

To avoid spending money pre-registering for a bridal fair that is a scam, make sure that the show is well advertised. If a promoter is spending good money advertising the show in your local paper, on billboards, on radio, and even on TV, the show is certainly legitimate. A con artist is not going to spend money that they stole from people to advertise a fake bridal fair.

You can also contact the venue where the show is to take place. They can verify that the show will indeed go on as planned.

And if something still doesn’t feel right and you are in doubt about the legitimacy of a bridal fair, don’t register online. Simply show up at the appointed time of the show. All bridal shows allow you to pay admission at the door if you have not pre-registered online.

Bridal shows are great places to find all your wedding vendors in one shopping trip. Don’t let this one horrible incident prevent you from attending bridal shows in your local area.

Please stay in touch, write and comment. I’m looking forward to reading your stories and feedback.

Anne :-)