A Guide To Visiting A Wedding Show & Fayre
A great way to get inspired when planning a wedding is to visit a national bridal show where you will have the opportunity to talk to dozens and dozens of suppliers under one roof.
A major show is also the place to check out the current wedding trends, deal with a range of vendors, sample everything from wedding cakes and chocolate favours, gaze at and handle beautiful wedding gowns, and potentially win prizes.
Wear comfy shoes
If you’re a newbie to the world of wedding shows, here are a few tips on how to tackle them and get the most from your experience by having a strategy in place.
Bridal shows can not only be busy but also tough going, so before going into battle, it’s important to ditch those heels for the day and wear comfy shoes, as well as dressing for comfort.
Take the A-team with you, one or two people who are on the ball, will ask the right questions and ease the burden of tackling a big show. It will also make the day more fun and they can help you carry the masses of literature and goodies you’ll be given – a huge tote bag is ideal for holding it all.
Pre-register before the show to save time on the door; early-bird tickets are sometimes discounted.
Before you go, print out name cards or adhesive labels with your contact details and the wedding date. Many suppliers will ask for your name, email address, mobile number, etc, and pre-printed cards with all your details will save you time – and suppliers will thank you for such efficiency!
Seek out inspiration
Try and visit every vendor as it pays to see what others are doing, and you may stumble on some good ideas you’ve not thought of.
Create a temporary wedding email account that you can tell suppliers about. It keeps everything separate from your personal account and protects it from their bombardment of offers and information.
Be organised: plan ahead and study the show layout; list the vendors you love the most and head to them first for a chat; draw up with a list of questions to ask; take notes while you’re there.
Stay focused and try not to get sidetracked by what’s on show – everyone’s after your business. Move on from any stands that you’re not interested in as it saves your time and the supplier’s. Only collect information from your favourite suppliers and spend time talking with them one-to-one to gain a better understanding of their company. You’ll be able to gauge how they can help you achieve your planning goals. When you do more research at home after the show, you can narrow down your potential suppliers to a top five.
Take advantage, where you can, of the show’s specials offers.
A great source of ideas
Walking around large bridal shows is fun but exhausting so it’s important to recharge your batteries by topping up with water throughout the day, have breaks by watching any fashion shows and stop for lunch.
Be prepared to use your credit card: some suppliers, such as photographers, can only do one wedding a day and the best get booked up quickly, so you might have to book them there and then.
Check your emails after the show and be proactive – don’t wait for the suppliers to contact you but contact them ASAP for a meeting.
Make sure your phone is fully charged because you will want to take lots of photos. If you see something you love such as a stunning floral display, check with the standholder first that it’s OK to take photos.
Large shows are a great source of ideas to help you achieve the look you want for the big day. There’s a lot going on at them so it’s very easy for brides to get stressed and overload themselves. Don’t fret if you can’t visit everyone. The experience should be fun and the perfect opportunity to get ideas or fine-tune your creativity.
Back home, put your feet up and take the time to read through everything; there may be time-sensitive discounts or show special offers that you need to act on. Going back over information will help make you start or move on to the next stage of your planning and decide which suppliers you definitely want to contact. The national bridal show seasons are autumn and spring. Good luck!