Bridal expos and shows are a fun and effective tool in wedding planning! There’s no better way to shop around and compare wedding services, ideas, and inspirations than at an expo that has many wedding professionals in one place. With the ability to meet wedding vendors in person, as well as get insight and advice for your special day, attending a bridal expo is a “must do” in the wedding planning process.
As an added bonus, most bridal expos offer samples, door prizes, show discounts, free magazines, food tastings, photo ops, makeovers, and fashion shows. The options for colors, caters, venues, flowers and all other wedding details can feel a little overwhelming. Don’t worry. Take your time and keep an open mind, and your wedding will be beautiful and unique to you as a couple.
To help you make the most of these events, here are 10 tips to know before you go!
1. Create Your Wedding Email
Your first step should be to make a unique wedding email. This is the email you will use for all your wedding communications, so consider it carefully. Creating a wedding email address will help you keep all of your wedding planning information together in one account.
You will want this email address to be easy to remember and probably on the shorter side. You may get tired of writing or typing a really long email address. For example, try something like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Once in place, think about printing your name and email on small labels. This can save you a lot of time, and some hand cramps, as most booths at expos want you to leave your name and email on sign-up sheets.
2. Get a Wedding Journal
When you go to a wedding expo, you’ll want to bring along a wedding journal. As you visit booths at these expos and fairs, you think you will remember all the things that appealed to you, but after a long day of looking at all the different wedding ideas, it can be hard to recall.
Your wedding journal is also something you may have fun looking at several years down the line. Make sure it has a pocket to store business cards from the vendors that appeal to you. This wedding planner includes lots of helpful pointers, wedding planning tips and wedding budget advice. And this Kate Spade bridal journal is available in five different designs and features thick, high quality paper to help prevent bleed-through.
3. Take a Picture
Another great way to document the ideas you like is your phone. Take pictures!
You may see a combination of colors that catches your eye or a floral arrangement that stands out. These things may be hard to describe, and as they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” You can show them to wedding vendors to describe the look and theme you hope to achieve. Also, you might print them out to add them to your journal.
4. Pre-register and Arrive Early
By pre-registering for the wedding expo or buying tickets online, you can save time getting into the show.
With your journal and pre-printed email stickers in hand, head out to the wedding expo early. Many times, there are door prizes and handouts that are available only to a certain number of attendees who arrive first. You don’t want to miss out on any free goodies.
5. Make the Most of It
Once at the wedding expo or wedding fair, take your time and visit as many booths as you can. Many vendors will have sign-up sheets so you can enter to win prizes or receive discounts. Enter all you can. Someone must win. Why not you? And, with your pre-printed email stickers, entering will be easy!
6. Connect with Vendors
Having a positive relationship with the vendors you hire for your wedding is very important. If you see the work of a vendor you like, take the time to talk to them and ask questions. This is a great way to get a feel for the different vendors in your area all at once. Then, you can narrow it down to a few and set up a meeting with them.
You may like a photographer’s portraits, but if their personality clashes with yours, it can not only create stress on your wedding day but may affect your wedding pictures as well. Take the time to visit the caterer’s booths. They will often have items you can taste, and you can look over their menus.
Make sure the vendors you choose are ones you feel you connect with and will be positive and reliable members of your wedding team. These wedding vendors want to help you achieve your dream wedding by providing quality service, so their calendars usually book up quickly. If you speak with someone that you are interested in, be sure to follow up with them after the show to schedule an appointment for more information or to secure your date.
7. Discover the Latest Trends
Many brides dream about what their wedding dress and wedding décor will look like but keep an open mind and take a look at all the newest trends. You may find some dress details or décor themes that you had not considered before.
Wedding trends are changing all the time. You may have always thought you wanted a classic-themed wedding but change your mind after seeing some boho wedding designs. There are tons of fun and unique ideas to be found at wedding expos.
8. Dress for Comfort
Since you’ll spend most of the wedding expo on your feet, wear your most comfortable shoes. If you’re attending a wedding fair during a chillier month, ask in advance to see if a coat check service will be provided. If there is no coat check, plan to dress in layers and wear a light jacket. Otherwise, you’ll be juggling both a heavy coat and a bag of literature as you visit each booth!
9. Prepare Your Questions
Don’t just rush from vendor to vendor grabbing business cards and flyers. You could’ve easily just stayed home and Googled wedding vendors while binge-watching Netflix.
The purpose of a wedding expo is to get a feel for the personality of each professional you speak with. So, bring a list of questions to ask. An obvious question to ask is, “Are you available for my wedding date?” but other questions you may want to ask include:
- “Have you worked at my venue before?”
- “Will you be the person I work with? If not, can I meet them before signing a contract?”
- Can you tell me about three creative elements that you have recently done for your clients?”
10. Invite Your Fiancé
A wedding expo goes by many names, including “bridal show,” “bride expo,” and “bridal faire.” Since these names contain the word “bride,” many a groom-to-be may feel like it is not an event for them. However, your finacé can help you make decisions about wedding services such as invitations and flowers. He can also check out more “manly” wedding services such as tuxedos, DJs, honeymoon destinations, and photography.
Making the Most of a Wedding Expo
Most importantly, have fun with your wedding planning! Bring along some family and friends that you can laugh with and create fun and happy memories. Take the time to enjoy yourself, discuss your plans, and savor your upcoming day.
As Venue Manager for the Rough & Ready Vineyards, Tiffany has a genuine love and passion for planning and organizing weddings. She shares, “Being able to create memories that will last a lifetime for you and your guests is so rewarding. I enjoy making your dream wedding day come true!” Tiffany specializes in personalizing wedding services for each client and handling stressful event situations with grace.