So, you’re going to a wedding expo!? Here’s 5 tips to make it easy as pie… or cake!
Create a Wedding-Specific Email Address
This tip is #1 because it’s probably the #1 thing to make your post-wedding-expo experience a little more manageable. Create an email address that is easy to remember like your name + wedding date and provide only this email address at the show - then sign up for mailing lists! This way, you’ll not only be sure to have all of your information in one spot, but you’ll ensure you’re not missing out on important events or specials that your vendors send out after the show. Next time you check your wedding planning e-mail, your inbox will be full of potential vendors for you to review and reach out to after the hustle and bustle of the show in the comfort of your own home (maybe even dressed in PJs)!
2. Know the Basic Details of Your Wedding
No, you DO NOT have to have it all together and perfectly planned to attend a wedding expo; that’s why you’re there! But if you’re ready to get to general details, the number of guests, the style of your wedding (modern, rustic, vintage, etc.) and an idea of your venue will be helpful information to provide whomever you’re going to meet at the expo. But the BIG question will be: “what’s your wedding date?” - this is a crucial piece of information that your vendors will need to know so they can figure out if they can work with you based on their availability. If you have a dream vendor in mind and can’t envision your wedding without them, keep this date flexible and you’ll have a wedding day that is true to your vision. If you have a date in mind that you must have, or you’ve already booked your venue, then this will be a great way to weed out the vendors who aren’t available for that date!
3. Bring a Friend Who Has Recently Gotten Married
Unless your career is as a wedding planner, then bringing a friend who has done it before will not only be a fun experience (because life is better together), but it can be SUPER helpful. They will make you feel more confident and help ask the right questions - and when appropriate, they’ll prevent you from making an impulse decision you may later regret. Plus, having an extra hand to carry around all of your promotional materials may be needed in a big expo!
4. Get Ready to Get to Know Your Vendors
Of course, choosing the right vendors for your day is absolutely CRUCIAL - but you won’t be able to if you’re only asking for price lists and brochures - or even the giant list of ‘must-ask’ wedding questions. Simply cozy up and chat with your vendors about what EXCITES you; share the story about how you met your S/O, talk about the vision of your wedding day, show them pictures of your pets, etc. Do all that and you’ll be able to see if you guys truly vibe. Try to make connections with the vendors you meet in a very real way, and you’ll be able to get an idea for what they are like to work with. And then, once you’re set on who they are, look at their REVIEWS!!! This is the most honest feedback you’ll get and is worth way more than what looking at a brochure can give you.
5. Bring a Notebook - and Take Notes!
Prepare yourself for information overload by bring a notebook - and actually taking notes! No, you’re not going to remember what the name of that amazing flower a florist told you about or the vintage rental place the event planner recommended you look into when the hustle and bustle of the day is done. So bring a pen and paper and quickly jot down notes as you’re adventuring booth to booth! Better yet, if you’re a techy, use your smart phone and notes app to capture all of the information you need. This will help you sort through the information easier after the fact, and may even give you the perfect vendor referral for your dream vendor.