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  • Writer's pictureKim Morril

How to survive a wedding show or bridal expo and save money on your wedding

No need to aimlessly wander the aisles of a wedding expo - learn how to attend a wedding show or expo prepared with a game plan on what to prioritize.


A person at a wedding show in Woodinville near seattle
Weddings in Woodinville - Venue Tour and Wedding Show



Wedding shows are a great way to survey the world of wedding planning - you'll get to meet vendors, meet venues, try-on, see or purchase wedding attire at a discount, or even pocket design ideas displayed at vendor booths. While wedding shows can be a lot fun, they can be overwhelming - especially if you're not prepared. 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 events:

OREGON


WASHINGTON

Seattle Wedding Show - January 27-28, 2024 (use code SWSYPB)

Weddings in Woodinville - February 4, 2024



 

1. Pencil out the details of your wedding basics, 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.


FOR EXAMPLE: The 2024 Seattle Wedding Show, they have a map of vendors and where they will be located. Avoid fatigue and make a map so you're not wandering aimlessly

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.


Wedding party next to bride and groom

5. Dress comfortably and come prepared

Don't underestimate the power of coming prepared. While it might seem a little extra, believe us when we say that wedding shows and open houses can be tiring and require a lot of walking, so do yourself a favor and 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

  • Tote Bag

  • Water Bottle

  • Folder

  • Notebook

  • Comfortable Shoes

  • Hand Sanitizer

  • Snacks

  • Clothes to easily change out of if trying on dresses


6. Take advantage of discounts and giveaways

Many vendors offer discounts and giveaways at these wedding shows, so be on the lookout for these opportunities. We recommend to follow any vendors of interest on social media, because if they're giving away resources, meetings, or discounts, you'll be after to hear about it first there.


Psst - we have a discount code listed on our Instagram for the Seattle Wedding Show, and we'll be giving away free Ask A Planner "Try Before You Buy" consultations at any of the above wedding shows if you schedule one at our booth!


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 occurring 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.


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.


Dessert By Lux Sucre

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.


Photo by Chase Frizzell Photography

You're going to crush your first wedding show if you prepare even a little bit. Planning can be fun - you just have to have the right guidance so you don't get lost in the overwhelm. Hope to see you at one of the upcoming events we'll be at!


With Love,

Kim Morrill


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