9 Tips To Maximize Your Time At A Wedding Show
Planning a wedding can be extremely fun or a completely soul sucking endeavor that will leave you questioning relationships. Sounds fun doesn’t it? HaHa Believe it or not, whether it’s the latter or the former is up to you. Going to a bridal show is the same way, it can be a fun day of making memories or a miserable exercise in futility. With these helpful tips you will be ready to rock any wedding show and leave it with your planning headed in the right direction.
Bring Team Bride Having your closest friends with you will not only be helpful but also fun. You can even delegate some duties to them. Assign one friend to be your “cake assistant” and another to be “photographer assistant.” You will quickly reach information overload so having them help keep things straight will keep you stress free.
Dress Comfy Prepare for lots of walking & standing. There is rarely any place to sit so comfortable shows are a must. Layer up, especially in the winter. Conference rooms are generally frigid when the shows start but quickly heat up when filled to capacity.
Create A Wedding E-Mail If haven’t already created a wedding planning only email address do it before attending a wedding show. Most vendors will offer special offers or giveaways for the sole purpose of getting your email address and details. Trust me, they will use that information and your inbox will be slammed after the show. You will be very happy you did this.
Two Bag System Many vendors will give away tote bags, get at least two of them as soon as you get to the show. Use one bag for literature you aren’t interested in, the other for the stuff that you want to look at again. You will likely be overwhelmed with all of the literature, keeping it separated when you get back home and are ready to go through it. While you’re at it, a third bag for all of the fun swag you will receive is good to have as well.
Meet Vendors, Don’t Hire Them Wedding expos are fast paced, time limited opportunities for you to meet as many vendors as possible and for vendors to meet as many potential clients as possible Contracting with and paying one vendor.can be very time consuming and cost you both the chance at meeting others to work with. Use the show as an opportunity to simply meet the various vendors you are interested in. Get a feel for their personality and style. Do they suit you? Great! After the show reach out to the ones you liked to schedule consultations with them. Hiring them is a big, and often expensive, decision. Rushing into that decision during the hustle of a wedding show isn’t wise. If they are offering “show only” specials don’t be afraid to ask if they will honor that if you schedule a consultation. If they are really pushy about booking on the spot you will have to make a personal decision on working with someone like that.
Make A List/Have A Plan Most show organizers will provide a list of exhibitors prior to the show. Spending a little time before the show researching them will save you lots of time at the show itself. For example: You need a photographer, there are 15 on the vendor list. If you spent 10 minutes with each of them, that would be over 2 hours just talking to one type of vendor you need. Instead, do a quick google, facebook or instagram search of each one. Eliminate the ones whose style doesn’t match yours. Look at their reviews and read their blogs, do they sound like someone you would enjoy being around all day long at your wedding? Try to narrow your list down to 3 to 5 photographers you want to meet at the expo. Do this with every type of vendor you need and BAM time saved. You will also be saving yourself from the migraine that comes with information overload. If you are given a map of the show floor you can even highlight where the vendors are located before you get there.
The Road Less Traveled When they wedding show doors are opened all of the lemmings follow one another to the right, then work their way up and down the aisles right to left. I’m sure there is some psychological reason for this, I’m a photographer so I have no idea why but it does happen. Don’t be a lemming, go left and work your way right. When you finally meet the masses somewhere in the middle you can then go to the far right aisle and work towards the center.
Kid Free Zone I’ve yet to see a happy kid at a wedding show, including teens. It’s a long day and very boring for them. Leaving the kids at home or with a sitter will be a win win for you, the kids, other attendees and vendors.
Know Your Wedding For vendors to accurately talk to you about the options for your wedding they will need to know a little about. Example, if you are planning a wedding with 50 guests the baker doesn’t need to tell you about their pricing for 5 tier cakes that feed 300 people. If possible, the following information is good to know in advance…
-Wedding Date -For Availability
-Venue -For Logistics
-# Of Guests -Service Needs Will Vary
-Your Vision -Low Key vs Rockin Party
-Intimate or Huge
-Rustic or Modern
Bonus Tip HAVE FUN! Having fun is a state of mind and a conscious decision. Decide that the wedding show isn’t going to just be about making vendor decisions. It’s a day to hang with those closest to you and plan your wedding celebration!