Wedding planning season has arrived! January and February are very popular months for couples to begin planning their dream wedding day. Due to the cold weather in the midwest, many wedding vendors are in a “slower” season of work right now and planning to attend some sort of bridal showcase, wedding show, or wedding vendor event. As a bride or groom planning your special day, these events are a great way to make big wedding decisions. However, they can also be extremely overwhelming if you come unprepared.
This article will detail all you need to know on how to prepare for and navigate bridal shows.
Depending where you are in the wedding planning process, you may be needing every wedding vendor still or are only on the hunt for a few selected wedding day necessities. Make a list of the vendors you want to talk to at the show and avoid talking to any vendors that will give you purchase regret. These shows are overwhelming as is, so don’t confuse yourself by talking to another DJ if you’ve already booked a DJ for your wedding. Stick to the list you’ve created of vendors you still need to book. Some shows even have a list of vendors that will be attending the event. You could print off that list and highlight the vendors you want to chat with on the day of the event so you don’t miss anyone.
The most common place to find wedding vendor shows to attend is by following vendors on social media. If the vendors are going to be at a show, it’s likely that they will share about it on their social media. Additionally, you may find shows to attend by following bridal Facebook pages or searching for events in your area on Facebook. You could also ask your booked vendors if they know of any shows in the area. It’s most common to find wedding vendor shows in the winter months in the midwest, as this is when vendors generally have time to attend them.
There’s nothing I like more than when a couple comes up to me with a list of questions to figure out if I’m the right fit for their day. Here are some of my favorite questions: What style of photography do you lean towards? Do I get the rights to print my photos? What does the wedding day experience look like? Are you available on my wedding day? What is your price range? Having an idea of what you want to ask the vendors will give you more clarity on the ones you will want to book after the showcase.
Don’t just stick to questions about your wedding. Get to know the personality of the human behind the business. Do you actually want to spend your wedding with these people? Ask about their family, what they do for fun, and if they do this as a full time job. Just as much as we want to get to know you, you should want to get to know us. It’s kind of like the first interview in the job hiring process.
There’s absolutely no way you will remember each vendor you chat with at the wedding show. That’s why I recommend you take a handout (ex. business card, brochure, etc) from each vendor you talk to and make notes on the pamphlets as you walk around the show. When you get home from the show, instantly sort through the handouts. Make three piles: (1) don’t want to reach out (2) will reach out (3) want to book ASAP. Then find each vendor’s contact form from the second and third piles and fill it out as soon as possible.
Can I give you a money saving tip? Many vendors will offer booking discounts if you met them at a wedding vendor show. So when you are inquiring, mention that you met them at the bridal show and ask if they have a bridal show booking discount. Once you hear back from them, do not wait to book them. As I mentioned at the start of this article, vendors are booking tons of couples this time of year. If you sit on a decision too long, it’s likely that another couple will take your wedding date. Once you’ve come to a conclusion about who you want involved on your special day, get on their books as soon as possible.
I’ve seen many couples extremely stressed and overwhelmed at bridal shows because they’ve come unprepared. They are timid, shy, and unsure of what they are looking for. Bridal shows can be an extremely helpful tool for couples wanting to get their wedding day planning on track. By using these simple steps, you can be prepared to meet the wedding vendors of your dreams at the next local bridal show in your area!
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