How To Get The Most Out of A Wedding Show
No need to aimlessly wander the aisle of a wedding show - come prepared with a game plan on what to prepare and prioritize.
| Photos by Ksenia Vasenev Photography |
So you're engaged and now you're going to a wedding show! Congratulations! Wedding shows have been a key component of wedding planning for forever, and while we haven’t had them the past few years due to COVID, they are back in full swing and there are more showcases open houses than ever (and we're pretty excited about participating in them!) While wedding shows can be a lot fun, they can be overwhelming, too. Here are 15 tips to make your wedding show experience in the PNW success:
If you're looking for a few more showcases to attend, catch Your Perfect Bridesmaid and dozens of other Oregon and Washington based wedding vendors at these shows:
Charlotte's Weddings Open House, May 24
1. Pencil out the basic details, like date, budget and priorities.
Deciding on a date for your wedding, a tentative budget, and a rough list of priorities will help give you the base to have good conversations with vendors and venues that will be at the wedding show.
2. Come prepared with a list of questions to ask priority vendors.
Wedding shows are such an easy way to meet with vendors without having to schedule a sales call, and having a list of questions prepared will help with these conversations and knowing if they're a good fit for you.
To help with this process, we've crafted a our Guide to Vendor Consultations and questions to ask vendors before you book - and we want you to have it:
3. Research the Vendors Attending and Look at the Map
Take a glance at the vendor list for the wedding show you're attending. If there's any you recognize, write down their names or print out the map and circle their booth. Walking down every aisle is usually the way to go, but in the case that you start running low on energy, you know what aisles to prioritize.
4. Invite some of your “I do Crew”
Often wedding shows are called "Bridal Shows", but know that these are for everyone! Bring along your fiancé, wedding party, or family members for support. Having someone to help you make decisions and offer their opinion will make your experience more enjoyable.
Photo by Myrtle Creative Co
5. Dress comfortably
Wedding shows and open houses can be tiring and require a lot of walking, so it's important to wear comfortable shoes and clothing. If you plan to browse featured weddings dresses, be sure to wear something that's easy to change out and garments suited for a variety of styles. Don't forget a tote bag to carry all the brochures, literature, and samples you receive at the show. This will keep your hands free to take notes, shake hands, and grab a snack. I also recommend bringing in a bottle of water and some hand sanitizer.
Wedding Show Survival Packing List
Clothes to easily change out of if trying on dresses
6. Take advantage of discounts and giveaways
Many vendors offer discounts and giveaways at bridal shows, so be on the lookout for these opportunities. You can often save money on your wedding expenses by booking vendors you met at the show, which is why the Guide To Vendor Consultations mentioned above will come in handy.
I also want to make sure I give a cautionary tale here: I highly recommend running your list of favorite vendors by your coordinator. While we want you to save money we don’t want you rushing into a decision and booking a vendor who isn’t right for you or doesn't leave room for your other priorities.
7. Attend seminars
Look ahead at the wedding show website for any seminars or talks that are occuring and mark them on your calendar., and pay attention to what vendors are giving the talks! Seminars offer valuable information and tips for soon-to-be-weds, and even if you don't book any vendors onsite, you're sure to come home with helpful info and visit the websites of those giving the seminars later - they likely have a wealth of information there, too.
We are actually hosting three seminars at the Portland Bridal and Wedding Show so stop by our booth to get more info!
8. Keep an eye out for wedding planner booths.
If you don't already have a wedding planner or coordinator, make sure to stop by a few booths. We love giving insider info, like which vendors at the show are our favorites to work with, and we love meeting couples and hearing about your wedding plans!
9. Attend a fashion show
Most wedding shows will have a fashion show featuring the latest wedding trends and dresses. Attending these shows can give you inspiration for your own wedding and help you find a dress you love.
10. Use your camera
Take pictures of the vendors' displays, sample centers, and cakes to help you remember everything you saw and liked. This will also help narrow down your choices when you return home and give you ideas to add to your Pinterest Board.
11. Don't forget the food!
Bridal shows often offer samples of wedding food and cake, so make sure to try a few bites. This will give you a taste of what the vendor offers and help you decide on your own wedding menu.
12. Take breaks
Wedding shows can be exhausting, so take breaks to rest and recharge. This will help you enjoy the entire event and not get overwhelmed.
13. Be open to new ideas
While attending the wedding show, keep an open mind to new ideas and trends. You might find something you never thought of that would be perfect for your wedding. Many vendors put a lot of thought into their booth design or feature designs from past weddings, which can be a great source of inspiration.
14. Network with other couples
Bridal shows are a great opportunity to connect with other brides and share information and ideas. You might even make some new friends in the process.
15. Have fun!
Remember that wedding shows are meant to be enjoyable, so have fun while you're there. Take in all the sights and sounds of the event, and enjoy this special time in your life.