Attending a Wedding Expo

Thinking about attending a wedding show?  Expos are a wonderful way to get inspired for wedding planning!  Here’s a few tips to help you have a great experience!

Don’t go it alone!  Wedding shows are much more fun if you bring along a posse of people.  Make it a fun day out and bring along your friends, family and wedding attendants.

Prep your crowd.  Make sure your friends know information like your wedding date and what type of services you are interested in learning more about at the show.  They can help steer you toward booths you love and will make the experience much more fun.  Some brides and grooms even come prepared with custom t-shirts, buttons or nametags announcing their “bride- or groom-to-be” status!  Have fun with it!

Arrive at the show early.  Some expos can get crowded and you want to make sure you have a chance to check out all the goodies.  Purchase your tickets online ahead of time.  You’ll often save on the cost by avoiding buying at the door, and some shows have incentives like VIP bags for the first people who register.

Make a plan.  Did you just get engaged?  When’s the best time to attend a show?  Wedding shows typically host 50-100 vendors offering services from DJ’s to wedding cakes.  While a show can give you great inspiration at any stage of the planning process, you’ll get the most out of it if you attend early, when you haven’t booked many vendors yet.  Before you attend, sit down with your sweetheart and talk about your priorities for your wedding.  Check out the guides in my blog for help.  Focus your energy and budget on items that appear high on both of your priority lists.  Spend time at those booths and ask questions.

Do your homework.  Does the expo have a website listing the vendors that will participate?  Look into them ahead of time.  Make a list of the businesses that stand out to you.  As you look at their websites, do you have any questions you can ask at the show?  Check out my blog for questions to ask your photographer.

Print out labels.  Many vendors will offer giveaways or raffles.  To save yourself time at the show, print out address labels ahead of time, and bring them with you to the show.  Include your name, your address, telephone number, email address and wedding date.  If your wedding date is still up in the air, give the season and year that you are considering tying the knot.  You can peel and stick these labels onto the raffle tickets, to get more information or sign up for an appointment.

Give out wedding contact information wisely.  If you are worried about spam, you can open a PO Box and use that for your address, and start a new wedding gmail account.  Use these contacts when signing up for wedding information.  Vendors will send you postcards and emails, so if you want to receive information only while you’re engaged, these can be great ways to minimize spam.  Once you’re happily married, close the PO Box and gmail account.  If you give fake contact information, you might miss out on valuable deals, but you won’t need this information once your wedding date passes.

Know your calendar.  If you love what you see at a booth, vendors may ask if you’d like to set up an appointment to discuss your wedding in more detail.  Bring along your appointment book, so you can set up a meeting on the spot.  Remember, expos are like speed dating – you meet a lot of vendors and get a lot of ideas, but you might need another date before you move forward with a great match.

Bring your cards or checkbook.  It’s not uncommon to find crazy deals at wedding expos that you won’t see elsewhere.  If you know you found the perfect dress, photographer, flowers, etc, make a deal and put money down on your contract on the spot.  You might save a lot of money by purchasing at the show, and you’ll still get to compare between vendors so it’s not a hasty decision.  Other common purchases at shows: accessories, shoes, veils, makeup, groomsmen gifts, etc – you might even walk out with these items and save on shipping!

For a list of upcoming wedding expos, please contact Kristin.

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