Wedding Show 101 – some advice to get the most out of going from another bride-to-be

With the annual influx of wedding shows and expos well underway, there’s some serious planning going on. Wedding shows are a great way to get lots of planning done and plus a goody bag or a few freebies! But they can be a bit overwhelming. I spoke to Megan from www.shesaidyes.co.nz to get her tips and ideas on getting the most out of attending wedding expos.
wedding show

Wedding Show 101

For the newly engaged, Wedding Shows are a rite of passage.  They may be the first foray into the wonderful world of weddings, where brides-to-be can fawn over flowers and talk tiers over cake and champagne – heaven, right?

Well, yes, absolutely – it should be – but it can also be absolute mayhem, without some advance planning.

It’s a good idea to know what to expect of the show – believe it or not, they’re all different: large and grand, small and boutique, general, specialised, vintage etc.

wedding expo

Your Wedding Show Plan of Attack

Knowing where you are going and when is a great start, but you’ve got a little more prep to do before hitting the showgrounds.
  1. Arm yourself with a show-ready bag: large enough for pen and paper, brochures and business cards and a water-bottle and snacks (and if you’re lucky, chocolate and cake samples!).  If you have them, it’s also a good idea to take your own business cards, to save time writing out all your own details for vendors.
  2. Pre-show, write down all the wedding preparations you’ve already done, e.g. venue, photographer, dress, and below that, the next three preparations you want to achieve and/or book on the day, e.g. invitations, cake and wedding favours!
  3. Fuel up! While it’s nice to snack on cupcakes and champagne, you can’t make smart decisions and careful consideration on sugar and alcohol alone.  The show will be packed with interesting and talented vendors, many of whom you’ll be stopping to chat to, you don’t want to get hungry and exhausted midway through.
  4. Bring a plus-one.  Your maid-of-honour is the ideal choice (that’s why you chose her, right?), but if not, take a bridesmaid, your mother, future mother-in-law, even your fiance if he’s happy to help – but an unwilling fiance is not a good sidekick.  You need someone to deflect some of the difficult questions and drag you away from the dress which is way out of your budget.
  5. Consider the three next preparations to achieve and make them a priority – seek out those vendors, have a chat about your needs and expectations, take advantage of show-specials and get booking.
  6. Once you’ve solved those next top three, if you have time, do one more lap to pick up business cards and brochures – but don’t worry if you run out of time to sort everything out at the show.
  7. Have fun! Everyone is there to help, and chances are they’re just as excited about weddings as you are about yours – that’s why they’re in the industry.

Final tips

  • Get up close and personal with tactile elements of the wedding, things like invitations which will be arriving in the hands of all your guests – you want to handle them yourselves, and the show’s a great time to do so.
  • Take advantage of show-specials, both offered on the day and often extended to show-guests who book later – every little helps your wedding budget.
  • Take photos (with permission from vendors), or you might find that the whole show blends into one big sweet, pink blur in your memory (especially if you’re indulging in the champers).
  • Wedding Shows are a great time to meet with celebrants.  Celebrants are one of few vendors you’ll actually spend time with on the big-day, so you want to ensure you feel comfortable with them.  A 5 minute chat on show-day is a great start.
This article is subject to Copyright law and is provided with permission from She Said Yes – Wedding Website & Blog at www.shesaidyes.co.nz

10 thoughts on “Wedding Show 101 – some advice to get the most out of going from another bride-to-be

  1. Thank you so much for the tips! I’m getting married this fall so am in the midst of wedding planning. I’ve been to intimidated to go to wedding shows thus far, since I heard they can be overwhelming. Your tips will be the road map I need to tackle the shows!

    xx Jean

  2. Fantastic tips! I went to a few wedding shows while planning our wedding and I must admit, I was NOT ready. It was soooooo overwhelming that it was hard to think straight about what exactly I was looking for. Instead I came home with a bag filled with flyers and not enough information about what I was actually looking for. Great post to PLAN PLAN PLAN your time, understand what you are looking for and ask questions.

    1. Yep, it’s really overwhelming – kind of like going to the supermarket without a shopping list (which I do waaaay too often!)

    2. Thanks Soraya x You get your money’s worth when you have a good plan of attack as you don’t wander round aimlessly, silently freaking out 😉

  3. Great tips, Amanda! I love the idea of taking some photos (with permission) to help jog your memory about what you liked and who you want to follow up with. All the suppliers do seem to blur into one a day or two later. 😉

    1. Yes absolutely – lots of people grab business cards but put them straight into their goody bag, which contains… lots more business cards :O

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