Engagement season is officially upon us, which means that wedding shows are popping up every time you turn around. While you may be jumping at the opportunity to register for giveaways and sip on champagne all day, there are a few key tips that can make or break your wedding show experience.
Pre-Register for the show. Y’all, weddings are expensive, and the more money you can save along the way, the better. 90% of the time, you can save money by buying your tickets in advance. Even if you decide to go at the last minute, buy your ticket online so you don’t have to wait in the long line to register at the door.
Make a plan. Typically, the vendors that are going to have booths at the show will be listed on the event page or website, so it’s always a good idea to look at the list ahead of time and see who will be there. If there is someone in particular that you are hoping to meet, make an effort to find out where their booth is setup, so you can stop by and introduce yourself or ask them any questions you may have.
Create a wedding email account. If you haven’t already, create an email address that can just be reserved for wedding purposes. This will come in handy when wedding pros start to flood you with offers, and all of a sudden you can’t make heads or tales of your inbox. Just remember to give your wedding planner and photographer your real email as well, so that they’re able to easily contact you in the months after the wedding.
Let your fiance stay at home. Your fiance loves you, he’s excited to spend the rest of his life with you, but he’s probably not excited to follow you around collecting business cards all day. So unless he is incredibly patient and uncharacteristically enthusiastic about who your florist may be, let him stay at home. Your Maid of Honor or mom will undoubtedly have more fun and will be more equipped to handle the large amounts of estrogen in the room.
Wear comfy shoes. Particularly if you are attending a show at a conference center or large venue, you’re going to be doing a lot of walking. While you want to be ready for cute pictures with your bridal party to commemorate the day, give yourself some grace and stick with sensible shoes.
Bring address labels. Most vendors are going to have giveaways or other raffles that you’re able to enter throughout the day. Bringing address labels can save you tons of time, and can free up more time to chat with the wedding vendors themselves, rather than just standing around a small table trying to fill out your contact information for the 100th time.
Take pictures. Wedding shows can be overwhelming, but they’re also a wonderful resource for wedding inspiration. By taking pictures of booths throughout the day, it’ll help you to remember who your favorites were days later when everyone starts to email you. (It’s also helpful if your fiance stays at home and there is something that you think he would really like!)
Root through the loot. Wait a day or two, and then go through the undoubtedly huge pile of business cards and flyers that you gathered days before. While it may have seemed like a good idea at the time, you probably don’t need to hang onto the information for 30+ venues, particularly if you’ve already made a decision on where you’re getting married. Most vendors will begin to follow up with you the week after the show, to see if you have any additional questions or you are interested in their services. If they are not a good fit for your wedding-- tell them. The last thing you want is more spammy emails to go through, and the last thing they want to do is bother you unnecessarily.
Have fun! Most importantly, remember to take a deep breath and have fun. There are so many stressful aspects of the wedding planning process, that it’s so important to take the time to enjoy the pampering and VIP status while you have it!