Fall is nearly here and that means wedding show season! If you’ve never been to a wedding show before, or you went to one but felt completely unprepared, we’ve got your inside information on how to get the most from your wedding show visit. So download your wedding planning app, grab those sneakers, and get planning!
Attend a Wedding Show during Early Planning…and Last Minute
We often get asked when the best time is to attend a wedding show during your wedding planning timeline. The truth is, anytime is a good time.
Attending a Wedding Show in Early Planning Stages
If you are able to get to a wedding show shortly after you’re engaged, or within the first few months, you’ll get a lot out of your visit. It’s a great time to get ideas for your wedding, take loads of photos for inspiration, not to mention start to meet quality wedding professionals. Even if you don’t have your wedding date (or month!) decided on, it’s helpful to have these early conversations with wedding professionals.
Wedding details such as your venue and caterer are among the first decisions you’ll need to make. You may be nervous to book a wedding venue sight unseen, but check with your wedding venue contact. They’ll often have a special clause where you can cancel within a certain time frame after you view the venue in person.
Attending a Wedding Show Mid-Way Through Planning
If you head to a wedding show mid-way through your planning, you’ll be set up to take advantage of the best deals that exhibitors will offer. You’ll know your wedding date, may even have your venue booked, and can make on-site decisions on your wedding professionals such as your photographer, florist and wedding baker.
Attending a Wedding Show Last Minute
Visiting a wedding show in the last month or so of planning is still valuable! You may have last-minute purchases to make, or find an item you didn’t know you needed. Even if there are only one or two wedding professionals still to book, you’ll want to know about their show specials.
Do Your Research
For most wedding shows, you’ll be able to look up the list of exhibitors prior to the wedding show. That means you can get some work done ahead of time to get the most out of your day.
The highest quality wedding shows will have these exhibitors sorted by wedding professional category, so you can easily search through your options. Make a list of the wedding vendors you still need and start browsing through which ones will be onsite during the wedding show.
Once you have your list, start your research. Get some essential information on your wedding vendor, like style and price range. Then you’ll be armed with the basics prior to attending the wedding show.
Some exhibitors will even book meetings during wedding show hours prior to the show. If you have interest in seeing a particular vendor, consider contacting them in advance to set up a time to meet during the wedding show. This means you can schedule face-to-face meetings with all your favorite wedding vendors without having to wait for them to be available.
To Squad or Not to Squad
Gathering up your posse to attend wedding related events like gown shopping and open houses is part of the fun of planning your wedding. You don your tiara and sash, your crew wears their personalized T-Shirt and you roll in in all your glory.
Heading to a wedding show with your wedding party can make the day extra fun. You’ll get plenty of opportunities for Gram-worthy pics in the beautifully decorated booths, and may even find some room for a Tik Tok.
From browsing wedding dresses set up by wedding gown stores, to tasting food served by caterers, your entire group will enjoy themselves and be able to provide you with instant feedback. Not to mention the best wedding shows have a bar where you can all grab a drink and regroup.
Still, all that feedback may be overwhelming. Wedding shows get busy. Maneuvering down the aisle ways with a large group can be tricky. And there may be one too many opinions on the right cake for your wedding.
If you’re early in the planning process, a day at a wedding show is a fun way to get inspiration, enjoy some time with your pals, and relish in being the bride or groom to be. But if you’re in the hunt for specials, and needing to make strategic decisions – you might want to cut down on your squad list. Grab your maid or matron for honor, your fiance, your mom and whomever else is closest to you that is helping to make decisions. Cut out the noise and plan like you mean it. You’ll thank us.
Follow the Girl Scout Motto: Be Prepared
Not only will you get most out of attending a wedding show by being prepared, you’ll enjoy it more.
Being prepared means being ready to get some steps in. Pull that hair back, wear comfortable shoes and don some breathable fabrics to stay cool and focused on the task at hand.
Lots of couples bring printed label sheets with their contact info and wedding date to share with the wedding vendors quickly and easily. Shows like the Bridal Extravaganza makes it easy to keep track of vendors and connect with them as well by downloading the app prior and scanning the QR code in each booth.
The average wedding show lasts 4 – 6 hours. That may seem like a long time to spend walking around a show, but many couples stay for the entire event. They visit the exhibitors, watch fashion shows and love winning door prizes. Consider this, if you’re meeting with even five wedding professionals face-to-face for a half hour, you’re already at two and half hours. That being said, the length you stay depends on how much planning you need to get done, and your overall pace.
You don’t want to walk around hungry. One thing couples love about wedding shows are the samples! Caterers and bakers show off their skills at wedding shows by providing samples to attendees, and it’s easy to fill up as you walk around. Additionally, many wedding shows have concession stands for food. And if you’re lucky, even a bar.
Need tickets to the upcoming Bridal Extravaganza in San Antonio on September 19th? Click here for tickets and show information.