Last year I spent so much time at wedding shows that by the time the last one rolled around, I wanted to throw the delicious cake samples at people instead of eating them. If you take any message from this post, let it be “Have your cake samples and keep your cool too.”
Don’t get the wrong impression though, the wedding shows were each amazing, and helped make my wedding. The key to wedding shows is, like most things, when it comes to wedding planning, it’s all about the preparation. Without a little planning ahead, it can be overwhelming: the more options there are, the harder it is to make a decision.
(Unless you’re a wedding blogger) it’s impractical and unnecessary to go to every show. I suggest picking just one of the larger ones where you’re likely to find and book some vendors, and one the boutique ones too (like Hitch’d). It’s important to stick to any decisions you’ve made pre-show, and instead hone in on the next few to tick off. The shows shouldn’t overwhelm you, so read the below show-hacks and stay sane:
1. Take a pen and paper. Before the show, write down all the aspects of the wedding you’ve already checked off (e.g. mine were ‘venue‘ and ‘dress‘), and then write the three tasks you next want to achieve next.
2. Eat a good breakfast: Cake samples and champagne aside, just like a wedding a day at a wedding show demands a nutritious breakfast to power you through.
3. Take 1 or 2 of your best support crew members: Even if they don’t stick to your side all day it’s necessary to have a sounding board and someone to help deflect any difficult questions. I went to one show by myself, and really missed having company. If possible, though, take your bridesmaids, mother, or future mother-in-law, because a reluctant fiance won’t be helpful to drag along either – this is girls’ territory.
4. Be prepared for every vendor’s opening line: to be “When are you getting married”. Though it can be confrontational at times, it is useful to actually speak to the wedding vendors, rather than just picking up business cards and silently browsing. If you have a date set already, it’s a good time to ask if a favoured vendor has it free.
5. When a vendor approaches with said opening line: Stick to your list. If it’s checked, smile, say thanks and keep walking; if it’s next in line, cast your eye around their display and if it fits your theme, scheme, or wish-list, stop to find out more. If it’s not on the list and you love it anyway, ask for a card and come back towards the end of the day if you have time or look online later.
6. Enjoy yourself! Eat the cake, drink the champagne, go to the fashion shows, take the photo-booth pictures (again, good to have company) and enter some competitions!
- If you have business cards, take them, and save time writing down your details.
- You can buy coffee and snacks, but in case you’re too immersed in wedding chat to make it to level 16 or wherever they’ve hidden the cafe, take a muesli bar and bottle of water.
- Dress smartly but wear comfortable shoes, it may not have been 16 levels to the cafe but it felt like it after walking around for hours.
- If the show is run by a magazine it’s a GREAT day to subscribe – not to mention the amazing goodie-bags!