January 23, 2020
If you’re reading this, you probably recently got engaged, and you’re about to go to your very frist wedding expo (wedding expo, open house, bridal expo — they’re all basically the same thing). We are so excited for you! Your engagement is such a special, beautiful time — enjoy it!
Not sure what to expect?
Not sure what to bring?
Not sure who will be there?
Just not sure?
Don’t worry, we’ve been there too!
Let’s start by talking about why I love expos…
See lots of vendors all in one place
This is pretty much the only way to meet with vendors face-to-face all in one day. You can get a feel for the business, what they have to offer, and sometimes even discuss pricing. Note: There are amazing vendors who don’t go to wedding expos, or that won’t be at that particular expo — they’re often a large investment, so don’t count out a vendor just because they weren’t at the show you went to.
Compare similar vendors
Book vendors you know you want to work with
Expos are a great chance for you to grab your girlfriends, or your mom, or your fiance and spend a few hours together talking and laughing and gathering ideas for your wedding! Even if you have every detail planned, I’d still recommend going to expos, if for no other reason than to have fun!
Okay, now that we’ve covered that — let’s talk about what to expect and how to prepare yourself…
There are a few ways you can make the wedding expo experience more fun and fruitful for yourself!
Wear comfy shoes!
It’s a long day, lots of walking, and not a lot of time to sit down. I know it’s fun to wear heels to your wedding appointments, but trust me — you’re going to want tennis shoes for this day.
Again, long day — you need to stay hydrated! You’re going to be talking a lot — to your friends/family, to other brides, and of course — vendors! (Plus, it’s winter, and it’s just so dry during Iowa winters. Stay hydrated—stay healthy!)
Get a good night’s sleep the night before!
If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a hundred times — It. Is. A. Long. Day. Don’t let yourself get crabby because of a lack of sleep!
Eat a light meal beforehand!
There will be food to sample from caterers and bakeries, but don’t expect to fill up at an expo. Eat a light meal, then go binge on some wedding cake.
Bring address labels!
You’re probably thinking, “What? Denise..I was tracking with you until you got to this one.” I’m serious about this!!!! BRING ADDRESS LABELS. Let me explain…print out a sheet or 2 or 3 or 4 (depending on the size of the event) of sticker address labels with your name, wedding date, location, your home address, phone number, and email address. There will be so. many. sheets. to. sign. Most vendors will have a sheet to sign up for their emails, or to get a promotion, or to enter in their giveaway. If you don’t want to fill it out 100 times in one day, print off address labels with all of that info, stick it, and move on!
Bring a list of vendors you still need to book!
If you don’t briing a list, you will feel overwhelmed with all of the vendors who are there. If you know you still need to book your day-of coordinator, photographer, DJ, and baker – then you know you can skip over the vendors who you’ve already booked. It is the key to not feeling overwhelmed. Go in a with a plan, stick to your plan!
Get flyers or business cards from everyone!
Even if you don’t think you’ll ever use them, it’s helpful! You might decide later that you want custom invitations, even though early on in your planning, you thought you’d order online. If you have their card or flyer, then you know who to contact — easy peasy.
Bring a credit card or a checkbook!
Some vendors will be running specials where if you book that day, you’ll get a discount, or maybe you’ll just know that you want to book them, and don’t want your date to get booked before you have a chance to book it. Either way, bring a method of payment!
Know your budget!
Know your budget, bring it with you! Know exactly how much you can afford to spend in each major category. Don’t get so caught up in the excitement of the expo that you forget that you’re also trying to stay within your monetary limits.
Schedule a free consultation with our certified lead planner (ME!!)
We can help you sort through all the craziness that just happened at the expo, and get your thoughts organized.
And of course, HAVE FUN!
This shouldn’t be a stressful occassion, but we all know it can be! There will be a lot of people there, it will probably feel crowded, you will probably feel rushed — but HAVE FUN! That is the most important thing you can do at an expo. Whatever you need to do to make it fun, do that!
So, you’re going to an expo — the most important thing you can do, is be prepared!
So, there you have it. You’ve got this girl! You can do it! Get pumped up! Call your girlfriends, and enjoy the expo! —We hope to see you at the Iowa Wedding Expo on February 16, 2020 and the Rapid Creek Cidery Open House on February 23, 2020!
Been to an expo before? Put your tips or what you love about them in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!