It’s engagement season and for many of you, the kick off of the process, sending you down the exciting and often overwhelming process of wedding planning. Attendance at a wedding event may be your first endeavor into researching wedding-related services and potential vendors and can also be a really efficient, convenient and fun way to meet a wide variety of amazing wedding pros.
From The Cream in LA, San Fran, and Nashville, to The Bridal Bazaar in San Diego, to the National Bridal Market in Chicago, to Elegant Bridal Productions in New York, to the Bridal Expo in Vegas, attending wedding shows can become fun mini weekend getaways.
If you’re heading out to any wedding event, bridal show or expo, here are our top twelve tips to get the most out of the experience, from our team to yours!
1. Pre-register for the event to save time and money.
2. Make sure to wear cute but comfortable shoes as it may involve a decent count on your Fitbit including dancing.
3. Eat a light meal before attending as there will likely be some offerings but if there are lines or shortages, you don’t want to be too starving to focus on the task at hand.
4. Create a separate email address specifically for wedding related correspondence to help with organization and to avoid having your work inbox hijacked by all things “wedding”.
5. Do your research on which vendors will be exhibiting in advance of the event so that you can target the ones you’re most interested in meeting. Have a list handy inclusive of your top three questions for each…and maybe something really random to challenge them like “In 10 seconds or under, name your top 3 favorite movies: GO!”
6. To save time and avoid carpal tunnel, bring pre-printed labels with your name, email, and mailing address to quickly give to potential vendors and to enter into various giveaways and promotions that may be offered at the event…and remember who gave you this tip when you win that honeymoon to Bora Bora. I can tell you right now that my schedule is absolutely free to come with you – thanks for asking.
7. Have a calendar handy with your most current schedule, whether it be in a planner (if you’re old school like that) or in your phone so you can easily schedule site visits, tastings, or follow up meetings with potential vendors.
8. Take lots of pictures of things that interest or inspire – that’s what these events are all about! It’s also a great opportunity for blackmail if you happen to catch someone awkwardly dancing in a corner by themselves.
9. Bring a folder containing any inspiration images and details you’ve already finalized so that you can more easily communicate the vibe and tone you are envisioning creating.
10. Bring your fiancé or if you both cannot be there, bring a companion who knows you each of you and who you can bounce ideas off of and have cocktails together.
11. Bring a credit card, check book, and cash. Some vendors will have discounts that are only available at the event and may only accept one specific kind of payment.
12. Quickly contact your favorite wedding pros after the event as their calendars and dates may quickly fill up.
Most importantly – do your research when it comes to investigating resources! It’s important to know they are reputable and easy to work with, that they understand your vision and priorities and that you like them. You are going to be working with your team for a number of months so it is important to get a feel for their personalities and build a positive bond with those that you hire to be a part of your day. There are a ton of wonderful options out there, make sure you pick a team comprised of “your kinda peeps.”
Good luck and God speed.
(Photo by The Vondy’s)