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Attending a wedding/bridal show is a great place to kickstart your wedding planning! These events, often held on a Sunday, provide the perfect opportunity to meet several vendors, of all types, at once. The vendors that exhibit at each show will vary, but you can often find venues, planners/coordinators, DJs and entertainment, florists, hair and makeup artists, caterers and bakeries, and of course, stationery designers, plus so much more! But all of this activity and information can be a lot to take in, so here’s a few tips on how to get the most out of your experience at a wedding show.
Tip #1: Organization is Key
From the moment you check-in at the event until you leave, you’re going to be handed a lot of information. Goodie bags, flyers, business cards, price sheets, notepads, pens, food samples – more things than you can imagine, and definitely more things than you can easily keep track of with everything else happening at the show. So, before you arrive: have a plan to keep things organized! My two recommendations for this are to either a) use two separate bags, put information from vendors you liked and want to follow up with in one, and handouts that you’re not interested in, or don’t really need, in the other, or b) with just one bag, mark the information you want to keep and follow up on (purposefully folding a corner is a quick and easy way to do this!), and leave the rest unmarked.
Tip #2: Share Your Information
Your name, email address, and wedding date are typically the three most important pieces of information for vendors to collect at the event. Some shows provide attendees who have registered in advance with sticker sheets printed with this information for you to pass out, but not all of them do this. If you’re able to print your own stickers to bring to the event, I definitely encourage you to do so. Vendors will receive this information in a leads list after the show, but that can take time, so providing the information directly to those you are interested in will allow them to connect with you quicker!
Tip #3: Have a Wedding Email
Speaking of sharing your contact information… Create a new email address for everything related to your wedding – and only for your wedding. Use this email when requesting quotes, submitting inquiries, or communicating with vendors. (Trust me on this, you do not want to have to keep track of and sort through wedding emails in your everyday inbox.)
Tip #4: Take Advantage of Show Specials
…but don’t feel rushed or pressured to sign anything if you aren’t ready! Many vendors offer show specials, including discounted rates or added services, that are limited time offers. For some (like me!) you just need to schedule an appointment while at the show, while others require you to book and sign a contract to qualify. If you find a vendor you know you want to work with, absolutely take advantage of their show specials, but please don’t feel like you HAVE to make an appointment or sign a contract – it is perfectly fine to just want to collect information, or take extra time to look at all your options, before making any decisions.
Tip #5: Have Fun!
Bring your partner, your parents, your siblings, your friends, your bridal party, whoever you want to include! Grab a beverage, sample the tasty treats, sit and enjoy the fashion shows – you can go all out with matching t-shirts for your group, or put on a headband with a mini veil, however you want to make this day special! It’s a lot to take in, but it’s also a lot of fun, so enjoy it!
Located in Southern California? Here’s a few of our favorite events!
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