Hey guys! We’ve put together this helpful guide of tips to refer to when attending a bridal expo! Take a look so you know what to expect (and what to prepare for) during the event.
Wear Comfortable Shoes!
Be you and make sure to dress it. But make sure your shoes are made for walkin’, ‘cuz that’s just what you’ll do… All-day long. Nobody wants blisters when planning their perfect day!
Samples aren’t lunch…Eat first!
SAMPLES ARE *NOT* LUNCH
Ever been to Costco or Sam’s Club on a date? I have. Twice. And you know what? I was still hungry. Eat before you Expo… Really. Please? And pack a lunch. 5 hours of walking will not be sustained on bite-size samples. Trust me, I’ve made that mistake…
Bring colored stickies or a few folders to help separate vendor information.
It will save you from a major headache later when you’re trying to sift through all the handouts you gather. Consider having a “favorites” section for the vendors you KNOW you want to talk to again.
Avoid a hand cramp– Bring stickers with your contact info! You meet lots of vendors and get to participate in awesome drawings for cool prizes at a wedding expo. It’s why you’re there! The downside is each of those drawings and vendors want your contact information which can add up to a lot of time and energy writing your name and number down. Save some time and avoid a hand cramp! Print some sticker labels with your name, address, email, and phone number on them. Then instead of writing it all out every time, you can simply slap your sticker on the sheet. Voilà! Problem solved.
Be an Early bird. Vendors speak to hundreds of potential clients at a wedding expo. That means they don’t have a lot of time to talk to each person. If you want them to remember you or want to get a better feel for which vendors you connect with, Get there right on time! Don’t wait til half way through the event when you have to compete with other clients just to say “Hi, My name is…” So set your alarm and get in line just before the expo starts. Then you can get to the best booths first and make sure you get your questions heard!
Make a friend- Want to work with someone who really gets you? Then get to know them! Don’t be afraid to chat up the vendors and ask questions. The great part about a wedding expo is that you can meet vendors in person and find someone you really click with. Make the most of that opportunity!
Bring a Friend-
You can’t get married alone, so don’t plan your wedding alone! Bring your fiance, friends, or family and make a day out of planning your big day! Just make sure whoever you bring is someone that won’t cause stress. Bridal show day is a day for friends and fun!
Bring a Checklist-
Do you know you really want a photo booth and aren’t willing to compromise on a good photographer? Make a list! Bridal shows are full of amazing opportunities to meet vendors, but with so many in one place, it can be easy to forget what you came for! Make a checklist of everything you still need for your wedding day and prioritize which vendors you visit. That way you don’t find yourself leaving with one too many free samples, and short of a wedding cake or florist.
Don’t Wait, Communicate!
Did you just love the florist at the bridal show? Did you really connect with the sweet lady selling desserts? Don’t wait to reach out! Don’t collect vendor information just to let it gather dust. Pick up the phone and call while your memory- and theirs- is still fresh! Remind them who you are and get on their schedule before they book out!
Bring cash and card–
Many vendors offer day-of deals if you register at a bridal show while others may offer goods for sale. Don’t miss out! Bring cash and a credit card to make sure all your bases are covered and you’re prepared to get the best deals!
Ask about discounts-
“It never hurts to ask” is an often-used phrase that couldn’t be more true than when trying to get a deal at a wedding expo. Vendors come to bridal fairs to gain clients and many are willing to make deals to do it! If a vendor seems a little out of your desired price range, or even if you’re just looking to save a few dollars, ask for a discount! The worst they can do is say “no” and give you the same great deal they are offering to everyone else!
Bring a bag…you’re going to need it. Bridal shows are known for swag. Some even offer little “swag bags”. But what if they run out? Or if the bag is too small, because let’s get real, there are a LOT of vendors in a tiny place all wanting to give you information sheets and freebies. And, if you’re human like me, you may need things like a water bottle, jacket, and snacks… Things you WON’T want to be lugging around all day while trying to plan your special day. So grab an oversized tote, or even a backpack to stuff it all in. Your arms will thank you later.
Know your budget. Vendors charge an array of fees for various services, so before you head to the wedding expo, make a budget! Know at minimum your overall number and your list of “must-haves” that way when you talk to vendors they can give you a more accurate estimate of what they can do for you and if it’s going to be a good fit or not.
Check the vendor list ahead of time.
One of the best parts of a wedding expo is that it’s sort of a “one-stop-shop” for planning your wedding. But that also means there are a LOT of vendors to meet in just a few hours. You may be surprised at how long you can spend waiting in lines to talk to one or how many steps you get in walking between them. A little forethought can go a long way. Many bridal shows publish a list of vendors and sometimes even a map for attendees. So take a look, star your favorites, and plot your course! That way at the end of the day you know you accomplished what you came for.
Have FUN with it!
Sure, you need to talk about budgets and get vendor contacts. But folks- it’s for one of the BEST DAYS of your lives!!! You’re planning because you’re getting married! Smile! Take silly pictures in a photo booth! Dance to the music the DJ is Playing! Strut your stuff down the aisles as the models are showing off the wedding attire on the runway. Grab your posse and make a day out of it. Weddings can get stressful, but your expo day doesn’t need to be.