For the Bride and Groom
With the excitement of an upcoming wedding and an overwhelming amount of decisions to make wedding shows are a great way to meet some key local vendors and jumpstart the wedding planning, they are also a fantastic opportunity to become extremely overwhelmed and stressed out. I have attended wedding shows a number of times for a variety of reasons. I have been an event planner looking to network, a vendor representing a full-service venue, a bridesmaid and a bride. I have attended a variety of shows in a number of cities and have come up with a few tips and tricks to make sure you have the best experience when attending. Decide ahead of time if you are looking to have a few glasses of wine, walk around with your girlfriends and take in the experience or if you are going there with a specific goal and need to get stuff done.
Steps to narrow down which vendors you NEED to speak to at the show
- Work with your wedding planning team to decide what is still left on your wedding TO DO list
- Print off the vendor list of everyone who is attending the wedding show
- Highlight each vendor in the different categories (Example: Blue for photographers, Red for officiants, Yellow for venues etc.)
- Cross off the vendors you don't need to talk to and begin your research on the remaining vendors
- Make a final list of those vendors you want to talk to and a list of questions you want to ask
You don't have to have a full list of questions but a wedding show is a great opportunity for you to meet the vendors in person without booking a consultation with each one. Remember, you want to get along with the vendors and you want to ensure your personalities click, so don't get caught up in the small details and questions - focus on first impressions and how they present themselves and their company.
FAQ's Frequently Asked Questions for attending a Wedding Show
1. How many people do I bring?
Don't attend a show alone, but don't show up with an army...
If you are newly engaged or your wedding is right around the corner, wedding shows are a great way to have a fun day out with your girls. Decide early if you are attending the show to get inspiration and take some cute photo booth pics, or if you are on a mission to speak to very specific vendors and ask very specific questions. Having a lot of people attend the show with you can be distracting and you may leave feeling like nothing was accomplished.
2. Should bring my fiancé?
If you are in the brainstorming phase of your wedding and are still looking for inspiration, bring them. A wedding show prompts conversation and facilitates you and your fiancé to talk about various components of the wedding. If your fiancé has a short attention span, hates crowds and is okay with you taking the lead on the planning... leave them at home.
3. What do I wear?
Your engagement ring, comfortable shoes and a light jacket. Wedding shows are very hot and there are a lot of people walking around, wearing shoes that hurt your feet, a bulky coat or forgetting your engagement ring are not ideal. Bride shirts are also super cute and saves the vendors from asking "Who is the lucky bride?". Check ahead of time if the show has coat check, and definitely take advantage of that upon arrival. Don't bring a bulky purse and wear something with pockets ( if possible) to keep your phone accessible.
4. BYOB (Bring your own ballots)
Almost every vendor at the show is collecting information, therefore they will have some sweet draw prizes up for grab. Save yourself time and create your own small ballots to put in the boxes. Include your name, fiancés name, email, phone and wedding date.
5. Know the basic details of your wedding
The number of people in your wedding party, the number of guests you are anticipating will attend, the venue (or at least geographic location you are considering), even the date itself will be helpful information to provide to each professional you meet with. Also, bring material swatches and ribbons, as they are helpful when speaking with florists, bakers, planners, etc.
6. Speak to vendors during the fashion show
The majority of everyone attending the show will be excited to watch the fashion show. A the lights flicker everyone will rush to their seats to be sure to get the best view of the show. This is your opportunity to rush in the opposite direction... take this time to talk to vendors one on one as the booths will be less busy
7. Eat before you go and bring a bottle of water
The worst thing you can do is be hangry at a wedding show. There is a lot going on and you will be engaging in a lot of conversations with many different people. Have a bite to eat ( and maybe a glass of wine) before you go to help get you through the day. The concession stands are also expensive and the line ups are usually quite busy.