Are you planning on attending one of the many Wedding Shows taking place this year? Now that things are finally opening up, there is no better time to attend a Wedding Show as a Bride To Be. Wedding Vendors are excited to meet all of you and help you with the planning your your dream wedding. I am here to help you prepare for your wedding show.
In this Blog, I will give you some tips and tricks that I have come up with after 11 years of being a Full Time Multi Award Winning Wedding Photographer on successfully attending and navigating your Wedding Show.
Attending a Wedding Show can be a super fun experience that you look forward to the moment you get engaged. It can also be an incredibly overwhelming experience at the same time.
This is normally your first time going to one of these and it may be hard to even figure out where to begin, who do I talk to? Where are the ones I need to talk to first? Vendors are not placed in categories all together on the floor, we are all over the place.
If this is your first wedding show, congratulations and have fun. Here are some tips to help you prepare and enjoy your day at the Wedding Show.
BEFORE THE SHOW
Create a Custom Wedding Show Email
Make sure you create a brand new email just for the wedding show. Use this for RSVP’s too. It keeps your main email spam free and protects your privacy as well. By creating a new email for the wedding show, you can track who you have seen, and you can use it for entering all the different contests each vendor will have.
Buy Your Tickets & Register Early
Do you like saving money and maybe winning extra prizes? You should Pre-register before the show. That way you have saved money on buying your tickets early, and you may be entered to win early bird prizes.
You may even be given VIB (Very Important Bride) Status and let in early before the main show starts to have first pick of the vendors, before they book up at the show.
Do Your Research
Get to know your Vendors by checking out the Wedding Show’s website to see who is there and where they are located. Check out the vendors you are interested in by looking at their websites and social media.
Look at the layout of the show and know who are the important ones to see first.
Pre-Print Your Labels
Prevention is the best medicine. Don’t want a sore hand after the show? Trust me you will, after entering hundreds of prize draws.
To avoid all of this, pre-print your labels. This will eliminate a sore hand, and your entry will be legible to read. Not all of us are gifted with perfect penmanship.
By pre-printing your labels, not only will it save you some pain, but you can send your Bridal Crew out ahead of you to enter all the draws on your behalf and come back with some solid vendors to speak to and to avoid.
This frees up time for you to speak with only the vendors you want to speak with.
Information you need to have on your Pre-Printed labels are:
- Your Name
- Wedding Date
- Extra Information that is good but not needed is:
- Wedding Location
- Your Mailing Address
I would not add your phone number for security purposes. Plus calls from people you don’t really want to talk to can become super annoying.
Eat Before You Go
Make sure you eat a light meal you go to the show. There will be so much food to eat and drinks to be had. This could lead to the dreaded “Sugar Crash” half way through the show. Bring either cash or a debit card for the concessions.
Things To Bring
There are a few things that you need to bring to any Wedding Show. In particular order, they are:
- Pen.-You will collect information from vendors. Write down any important information that will jog your memory. I always tell my Brides to bend the corners of business cards from any important vendors you are interested in.
- Planner-Use this to write down important information about your vendor, dates you may set up for meetings with them.
- Camera or Phone.-Take photos of any decor or cake ideas you like. Or of the Booth your Vendor may be in to jog your memory.
- Pre-Printed Labels.-See Above. This will save you a ton of time. And if the vendor can’t read your writing, you may miss out. On winning the booth prize, or missing out on booking them. The good ones book extremely fast.
- Your Bridal Crew, a Friend, Mom, Mother In Law, or a Pack Mule aka Fiance.-Let’s face it, you are going to come home with a ton of stuff. You don’t want to be the one lugging it around the show. They are great for second opinions. And can help you with entering prizes on your behalf, leaving you to enjoy the show.
- Colour Samples-These will help in picking out Flowers, Cake Colours, or even Bridesmaid Dresses. There always sales to be had on pretty much any category. Plus, this can help your vendor with giving advice and ordering your product.
- Comfortable Shoes-This should be at the very top of my advice. It is a long day and chances are you will be walking on hard concrete. Your feet will thank you for it. Trust me on this.
WHEN YOU ARE AT THE SHOW
Avoid Getting Caught Up In the Sell
Some of the Vendors will have things to buy that are only available at the show. Some will have a “Show Special” that is only available that weekend or day, this their “Call to Action”.
Sure, some of these sales can save you a ton of money and will make sense. If it does not, then, you need to walk away. Think about it before you put good money down on something you are unsure of.
Save Time And Avoid The Things You Don’t Need
When visiting a Vendor, ask them right away if they are free on your date. If they say no, move on.
Plan to find your seat at the Fashion Show at least 1 hour before the show starts. This way, you can get a seat at the front. If there are prizes to be won, those are the seats you want. This will give you time to go through the Vendor information, and rest your feet.
If you already have your dress, then skip the Fashion Show and go and speak to other Vendors. During the Fashion Show, it is usually a slower time around their booths. This gives you more one on one time with Vendors you are interested in.
Keep An Open Mind
Some Vendors you meet with will be booked the day of your wedding. It happens, the good news though, is there are a lot of other vendors out there to help you. You can also ask the “Dream Vendor” if there is any one they would feel comfortable to recommend..
Another thing to consider, is if you see a Vendor with some great give-aways or samples, make sure you you visit their booth. Most times they are limited to the quantity they have and can run out soon.
AFTER THE SHOW
Get Ready For A Lot Of Email
Literally within a day after the show, you will begin to get emails from Vendors looking to book with you. Some of these emails will have “Specials” or “Incentives” available to you.
Remember when we talked about creating a “Wedding Show Email”? This was for just that reason. Once you have found the vendors you want to work with & the wedding is over, trash that email account. You don’t have to worry about having to unsubscribe from the spam emails you never wanted in the first place.
Organize & Follow Up With Vendors ASAP
When you get home from the Wedding Show, you will have a huge amount of stuff to go through. Do yourself a favor and organize them. This way you know who you want to speak with while your memory is still relatively fresh.
Always remember, the Good Vendors always book up fast if you don’t act quick, they will be gone. If you have any you really like, contact them right away.
Good Luck & Enjoy Your Bridal Show
Just attending a Bridal Show can be an exciting adventure and a great experience for any Soon To Be Bride. And is a must for every couple or Bridal Party to experience. There are a lot of really great Vendors out there. And all care about creating the best wedding day experience for you, and it all starts at the Wedding Show. Have fun and good luck!