Attending a wedding expo as a bride
Well hello there and congratulations on your engagement! So you may have seen flyers or events on Facebook about bridal shows or expos near you, and you are thinking "should I go"? "What can I expect"? And "what do I need"? upon so many other questions. I have put together a list of tips on how to get the most out of a bridal expo as a bride, so I hope this helps you!
First off if you are questioning should you go. My answer will probably always be yes. Especially if you are just starting off planning your wedding. Bridal expos are a great way to meet local vendors. Obviously not every wedding vendor can be at the show due to size of the location, but this gives you a great idea who is out there and their price. So here are my tips, tricks and knowledge all about attending a wedding expo as a bride.
1. Make labels or wedding business cards.
Now you may be thinking uhm what?! But I am here to tell you this is actually a very good tip and here is why. Most of the wedding vendors will have a giveaway at their booth and instead of taking up your time to fill out your information you can just drop your card in. It's really that simple. A lot of times vistaprint.com has a promo offer for 500 business cards for $9.99. Granted you most likely will not need that many but they still do have great deals on business cards. But you can always make your own wedding business cards with regular paper. This method just takes time cutting all of them out. When making your wedding business card (as a vendor I am telling you this) include your first and last name, your fiancés first and last name, your phone number, email address, and wedding date. You can also add your address or the venue city as well.
2. Make a wedding email address.
Again you may be thinking why, what is the need? Most vendors may try to reach you via phone first and then reach out through email. Instead of cluttering up your personal email with all these vendors, making a wedding email just makes sense. Also on another note having a wedding email makes it easy to have all of your vendors in "one place" you can categorize the emails and look back at them for future reference, and when your wedding is over you don't have to use it again.
3. Wear comfortable shoes!
This could be a given but please wear comfortable shoes. The vendors are not coming to you, you are coming to them so you will be walking around and standing a lot that day. Some expos are as long as four hours. I will never go to a expo in heels because I am always standing, so I want to make sure I can last that long. Plus you can still look your best in some flats. And really you don't have to impress us by wearing heels.
4. Bring someone with you.
If you can get your fiancé to go I highly suggest bring them that way they can meet the vendors too. Also lets say you were really looking for a DJ because that is one of the last vendors you needed to hire. Both you and your fiancé can talk with them and you might even hire someone on the spot. The advantage this way is some vendors have show discounts. If your fiancé cannot go or really does not want to go, bring your mom, maid of honor or bridesmaid. This is a good tip because most of the time expos give you a "swag bag" now add that on top of all the papers, flyers, brochures, business cards and sometimes books you will get. As bad as it sounds it's nice to have someone carry all of this for you. But you can also make this a fun day as well. If I am going to tell you to bring someone I am also going to tell you, don't bring too many people. Ideally two to three people is really enough. If you add more people or bring all eight of your bridesmaids you may miss important information.
5. Stay together!
Bridal shows especially big ones can be overwhelming so you may think to yourself split up to cover more ground faster, but this is actually a terrible idea. If you send your bridesmaid over to my booth to get information personally I give out this whole speech and interact. I don't just hand out my pricing brochure and business card so chances are your bridesmaid that you sent over is not going to repeat my whole speech. And even if you hear my speech you might not remember it, however when you go home that night and look at everything you have you might remember some of it.
6. If possible don't bring chidren.
I don't say this because we don't like children but because they WILL get bored fast. I have two young children and I cannot imagine bringing them, dealing with them and trying to get important information. If you have to bring them make sure you have snacks, entertainment and someone else to watch them at the show.
7. Know the basic details about your wedding.
When talking with vendors its good to know the basic details about your wedding. The size of your wedding party, estimate of guests, venue location or at least the city and even the date if you have one. This is important because, some vendors may not have your date open, some may not travel to your venue location and some may not serve your guest list size so why bother wasting your and their time talking with them.
8. Bring a list of questions to ask each type of vendor.
It is always a good idea to look up questions to ask your wedding _________. Whether it be photographer, baker, DJ etc.. When speaking with the vendor asking these questions will save you time contacting them later. Also note that they may not have time to answer all of your questions.
9. Make appointments with the vendors.
If you are possibly interested in hiring a vendor make an appointment with them. Personally I prefer this rather than spend time with you at the show. I know that sounds bad but hear me out. Your wedding day is very important me because you are hiring me. So I want to make sure that instead of spending 10 minutes with you at super busy show I can talk with you one on one with no other interruptions. I also hope that brides respect my time at the show because this boss-mom needs to hustle too. As of right now it is just me at my booth so if I spend 10 minutes with you I have a 50% chance of a sale but I also lost out on a huge number of other brides.
10. Take notes.
On top of bringing questions to ask it is also a good idea to bring a notepad and a pen to jot down notes. Vendors have little time to give you a ton of information. And although the handouts they give you hopefully have the information you need it is always a good idea to have a notepad and pen just incase.
11. Enter the giveaways!
Even if you don't win, some companies will contact those who didn't win and give you a special promo. But there is always the chance that you will win so enter them!
12. Don't wait to talk to the vendors after the show.
For the big wedding expos you have to understand there may be at least three to five other brides that have the same wedding date as you, who are also interested in the same wedding vendor. Its best to contact them right away after the show to make sure you get them to save YOUR date.
Most importantly have fun and enjoy the cake samples! I hope this helps you for the next bridal show you attend. If your a Michigan local looking for a wedding planner or wedding coordinator head over to my contact page and fill out the contact form. I look forward to chatting with you about your wedding day.
Owner | Planner | Coordinator of Lavender & Lace Weddings