This is a great time of year to attend a wedding show and meet vendors. It’s great to see their products and services first hand and really understand what they can do for you while comparing them to their competitors. Here are three things you MUST do before attending any wedding show to get the most out of the experience.
If you attend a wedding show without knowing what you are looking for you will leave overwhelmed and suffering from severe sticker shock. Check out the website of the wedding show you plan to attend prior to going. Review their vendor lists and visit the websites of vendors within the categories you would like to learn more about. Is the show an expo? A tour? How many vendors are participating? Can I come back the next day?
For example, the Seattle Wedding Show is HUGE. It’s the biggest and most established in the Northwest. More vendors means more options, but it also means more walking and more brochures to take home. Do yourself a favor and only visit booths that offer services you are interested in. Wandering aimlessly through the wedding show will only give you sore feet and a headache. OR if you are just at the beginning of your planning, do a tour. I Do Sodo takes you to several different venues. You’ll then meet planners and see great ideas of what they can do to help your wedding be a spectacular event! If you don’t need a venue this tour would probably be less helpful. There are also tours in Woodinville and Snohomish amongst others.
Ask About Specials and Consultations
Vendors often offer great deals during shows but if there isn’t a giant sign, you should still ask about discounts. That being said, just because a vendor doesn’t offer a “book now” rate that doesn’t mean that they aren’t the right vendor for you. Price is only one factor for choosing vendors. You should also book a consultation with key vendors to get to know them. This is especially true for Photographers, Officiants, Videographers, Coordinators, and others who will be with you a good portion of the day. During the show ask about scheduling a consultation. Then sit down with the vendor and see if they are worth the $$.
Bring the Right People
Only bring people with you to the show that are helpful. Now I know that sounds odd, but often your MOH, Mom, or your Fiance’ can be a hindrance instead of a help. If he/she isn’t 110% excited about spending an entire day talking about tablecloths and flatware they may not be the person to bring. Make sure the people you bring also have your best interest at heart. Basically, imagine you are on Say Yes to the Dress. If anyone you might bring with you would be the person causing trouble on that show, then they shouldn’t come with you.
Not all wedding shows are created equally. If you don’t like crowds- check out the smaller shows. If you don’t like rustic settings, a tour in Snohomish County probably won’t be a good use of your time. Choose the wedding show that fits your needs and don’t feel bad if you don’t attend them all. Do what fits your needs and helps you feel most comfortable. Remember, it’s your wedding. You can do it any way you choose!