January 05, 2018
Guide to Surviving the Wedding Show Expo
Congratulations to all of you newly engaged couples out there! As you set out on your wedding planning journey, one of the first things you might do is attend a Wedding Expo/Bridal Show. It’s a great way to check out your local wedding venues and vendors. Plus, it’s a fun day out with your best pals—food tasting, cake sampling, décor ideas, entertainment, champagne, prizes, wedding fashions—yes please!
This Sunday, January 7th, we’ll be participating in the Wishful Wedding Showcase hosted at the new Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa. This started me thinking about what a wedding show can be like for the couples visiting them. These events are exciting, but, you might be surprised to find that they can also be a little overwhelming with the whirlwind of people and activity.
As a South Florida Wedding Planner, I’ve seen it all from behind the show booth…the confused couple, the skeptical bridesmaid, the pushy vendor, the battle for a chair at the fashion show… So, today I’m sharing my tips for helping you make the most of your wedding show experience. This is a little longer than my usual posts, but it’s full of insider info that I hope you’ll enjoy.
Get a good night’s sleep the night before. You’ll be at the show for hours and it can be mentally and physically draining, so make sure you arrive well-rested.
Bring someone with you. Going as a couple is best so you can see everything firsthand together. But if you prefer to go with friends, one or two people will be just enough. Too many opinions can cloud the ideas of what you really like.
Eat something healthy before you get to the show. You don’t want to wind up with hunger pains and a headache. There will be food sampling there, but, not enough for a meal. It’s also a good idea to take a bottle of water with you. You’ll be doing a lot of talking and will need a sip every now and then.
Pack some aspirin to have on hand for unexpected aches and pains and some antacid tabs for your tummy. Food samples can be high in grease or sugar.
Dress in your usual style and wear comfy shoes. You never know if the room will be cold or hot, so, bring a sweater that you can peel off or put on if needed. I also recommend a small purse that won’t slip off your shoulders as you bend to look at things. (You’ll receive a larger bag at the show to put all of your free goodies in.)
Be prepared to sign up for lots of great giveaways! You’ll need to supply the same info for each drawing, so, save time beforehand and print up a sticker label with all of the following info: Your Name, Address, Phone, E-mail, Wedding Date
Don’t miss out on information. When you’re putting those labels on vendor prize ballots, be sure to read them for questions you’re being asked. Blindly sticking your label there could make you miss out on something you may want because you didn’t check it off. And, for the same reason, don’t have someone else sign up, on your behalf.
Keep an open mind and take it all in. Don’t just blast through a booth to put your name in for the prize drawing. If you do, you’ll miss an opportunity to see the options that are available to you. A quick chat with a vendor is a chance to find people who are the perfect fit for your personality and style. Sure, everyone with a booth at the show wants your business. But, it’s in your best interest to take a look at what everyone is offering. You may come across a service you hadn’t thought of before.
Remember that you don’t have to book your vendors that day. Many vendors will offer incentives to book their services at the show. Instead, I recommend that, at the show, you book future visits with the vendors you’re interested in. This will take the pressure off of you to book someone before you’ve had a chance to really learn about them. Chances are, if you ask nicely, they’ll honor the incentive if you schedule a meeting and book them within a short time after the show.
Chat up vendors when the show is the least busy. I find that the 3 least busy times are: Early when the show first opens; During the fashion show; The last half hour of the show. If you meet a vendor you really like, those are good times to go back to talk to them and schedule a future visit.
Bonus Tip: Take a break with ME because wedding shows can be crazy! Be sure to stop by our Dreamday Weddings booth. I’ll be there, waiting to happily greet you. Check out our creative decor display, look through our wedding photos, and chat with us about your upcoming wedding. (We’ll be doing an EXTRA give-away you won’t want to miss.) And, if you need a little guidance at the show, I’ll even point you in the direction of some of my favorite vendors. Just think…you’ll be one step closer to your wonderful wedding day!
Author of this article: Christine Terezakis is an award-winning South Florida Wedding Planner, Event Designer, and owner of Dreamday Weddings, with planning studios located in Palm City and West Palm Beach. Specializing in the planning of luxury weddings, Florida destination weddings, and social events. For inquiries about your wedding or party planning, please contact Christine by email: Christine@DreamdayWeddingsFL.com or by phone: 772-285-9147. www.DreamdayWeddingsFL.com