Photo Courtesy: Anar Party Rental 

8 Pro Tips for Surviving a Wedding Show

Wedding shows can be a fun and bonding experience either with your betrothed or your wedding party, and you can get so much checked off of your to-do list. It can also be a bit overwhelming. If you’re planning to attend the San Diego Bridal Bazaar or the Wedding Show Weekend at El Camino Country Club be sure to read these pro tips first!

#1 – Wedding Email. Create an email address specifically for your wedding so you can keep all wedding related messages together. At wedding shows, you’re going to be signing up to win prizes, receive additional information, or make follow up appointments. Tip: Never use your work email.

#2 – Address Labels.  Print out small address labels with your name, mailing address, email address and wedding date or approximate wedding date. Phone number is optional. This makes signing up for the free offers go much faster. Sign up for everything, at every booth, as long as you want/need what they’re offering. (Don’t forget to check your SPAM folder a few weeks later in case there is a prize notification hanging out in there.) Many vendors will send everyone that signs up a special show discount so don’t skip this step. 

#3 – Go with a plan. What is your goal while you’re there? Do you want to just “experience” the Bridal Show as a rite of passage or do you meet vendors that you’ll want to hire?  If the latter, then come ready with a list of things that you need to book (cake, caterer, stylist, etc) and questions that you’ll want to ask. When you first arrive, you’ll receive a show booklet listing the vendors by category, their locations, and a map. If you’re short on time, use the map to plan your rounds. Don’t expect to book vendors onsite, but do plan to make follow up appointments so have your calendar at the ready.

#4 – Colored Stickers. It’s going to be tough remembering everyone you meet.  You’re not going to have a lot of time to make detailed notes.  Have three colored stickers to quickly add to the marketing material that you’re given.  For example: Green (Loved them, set appointment), Yellow (Liked them, need more research). Red (Not for me).  Make any notes or observations on their literature. This will greatly help when you empty out your bag of stuff when you get home. You won’t have to rely on your memory.

#5 – Have your camera ready.  Take photos of displays that you like or color combinations that catch your eye. Make sure you ask the exhibitor’s permission. Photos are a great way to remember whose work that you liked best. Also, be sure to tag vendors and the show when sharing photos to your social media streams. They’ll appreciate the love.

#6 – Prepare yourself. Wear comfortable shoes, dress in layers, bring water and energy bars. You’ll be given a bag to hold your goodies, but if you prefer, bring your own backpack or tote bag. There is usually food to purchase but the lines tend to be long and it can be pricey. Less and less caterers are bringing full samples so that probably won’t fill you up, unless you plan on sampling all of the cake and desserts.

#7 – Try and find a sitter. I know how tough this can be and of course children are welcome, however stroller navigation is very tough in crowds and tight aisles and older kids will get bored pretty quickly. They will also want to try every sweet tasty thing being handed out which can have disastrous consequences.

#8 – Arrive early. The shows tend to get busier as the day progresses.  If you want to sail on through, arrive at the show opening and start in the BACK and work your way forward. Note: If you want get a complimentary up-do, make up, or lashes, hit those first. They usually have a sign up sheet with appointment times throughout the day and those can get booked up pretty quickly. 

Don’t forget to Relax and Enjoy! This is the fun stuff!

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Published: November 18, 2018

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