The Cons and Pros of Wedding Shows

Photo credit: The Century House Elite Wedding Show

Cons:

  • Depending on when you’re there, it can get very crowded
  • Sensory overload: lots of music, smells, and sights
  • Could feel overwhelmed with the number and variety of vendors
  • Vendors might not have enough time to speak with you at length

Pros:

  • Everything is wedding related! How great is THAT?
  • Great opportunity to talk with many vendors and gather info on their services/pricing
  • Replaces “cold calling”…your first interaction with vendors is face to face
  • You can see examples of the vendors’ work
  • Free (and delicious) food and drinks
  • Discounts, package deals and coupons
  • Door prizes and giveaways

Tips:

  • Show up an hour after the show begins. You’ll avoid the huge push when the doors open, and you won’t miss out on anything, such as drawings for prizes, which are typically done at the end of the show. The vendors will have more time to devote to you as well.
  • As tempting as it might be to bring your entire wedding party and families, I suggest bringing only one person with you instead: someone who will carry your purse and the tote bag full of swag you’ll collect. Ask your fiancé…after all, it’s his day, too. A selling point on accompanying you is the free food and drinks. Some shows I’ve done have even had a separate Groom’s Room, where sports were playing on a tv and snacks of all kinds were available. If he really isn’t feeling it, ask your most laid-back friend to go with.
  • Wear your most comfortable shoes.
  • Bring a bottle of water and a healthy snack. You don’t know whether the foods being passed around at the show are ones you can or want to eat.
  • Tuck bottles of your preferred headache medication and antacid in your bag, because you never know.
  • Go with an open mind. You’ll see many kinds of styles, themes, services…some you think you’d never go for. You might change your mind when you actually see something up close and talk to the person providing the service.
  • Go with a list of vendors you still need to hire. It’s very easy to get sucked in to visiting every booth…SO much to look at! But the purpose of a wedding show is to meet the professionals you need. Use the vendor map you’ll receive at check-in and plot your course.
  • Bring a sheet of address labels that include your name, your fiancé’s name, wedding date, and email address. (Create a dedicated email account just for wedding stuff so your personal account doesn’t get clogged up.) You’ll be asked for this info, including when entering the many drawings for free stuff and discounts. Just slap your label on the entry and inquiry forms…easy peasy.
  • Be aware that you will be notified by every vendor to whom you’ve given this info. My suggestion is to limit sharing only with vendors you actually want to hear from.
  • When you get home, dump your swag bag and separate the info by vendor category. Then go through each group and visit each vendor’s website. Decide whether their style is what you’re looking for, toss the business cards of those who don’t make the cut and shoot emails to those who you want to meet for a private consultation. Mention that you got their info from the wedding show.

 

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