Wedding season is over. Oh, who are we kidding… it’s ALWAYS wedding season! But, we find that a lot of wedding and bridal shows and expos occur in fall and early winter. This might be because it is considered the slow or off-season for weddings. From the gigantic Bridal Bazaar in downtown San Diego to the US Grant Hotel’s Wedding Showcase and everything in between, it’s easy to get in lost in the chaos!
1. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to be there for more than an hour. There are so many vendors exhibiting and guess what? They’re ALL ready to meet you! In one day, you’ll meet tons of photographers, wedding planners, florists, videographers, A/V and lighting techs, DJs, etc.
2. Bring a pen and camera. If you meet a vendor or coordinator that you’re interested in working with, be sure to take their business card and jot down some reasons why you liked them. Take pictures of their booth and event displays to help jog your memory when you’re home reviewing your big bag of goodies. You’ll be inundated with a lot of business cards and reading materials that day.
3. Talk to the vendors! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. We’re all here to help you design and plan your dream wedding. We won’t bite!
4. Stay for the fashion show. It’s one of the perks of going to these wedding and bridal expos–is seeing the wedding fashion trends for the upcoming season.
5. Bring a checkbook or credit card. You may end up finding the perfect vendor for your wedding that day and it’s highly recommended you book them early (especially if you’re planning on getting married during a popular time or venue). You can also find the best deals and discounts when you book at the expo!
6. Do your research. Check out the website beforehand to see what kind of vendors/companies will be there. If there is a company or planner you’ve been meaning to meet, this is the perfect informal (and complimentary!) setting to get to know them. Seeing the expo schedule ahead of time means you can plan out what vendors you want to meet.
7. Bring support. If your groom is up to the task, this will be a great opportunity to include him in the planning. Meeting vendors together will make navigating the ups and downs of your wedding day a breeze. If he can’t come, bring your bridal party! Having a second opinion can help you push any doubts out of your mind or help you be more open to creativity.
8. Create a temporary e-mail. When you enter into giveaways, you’ll have to supply your e-mail address. Not only will it be easier for you to go through the many emails you’ll receive, but you can delete your account once your wedding is over.
9. Be selective with what bridal show you attend. Different shows cater to different crowds. For example, exhibitors at the US Grant Hotel’s Wedding Showcase have to be invited to exhibit, so you’ll be seeing vendors that the US Grant Hotel likes to work with and recommends Remember, it’s about quality over quantity. You want to make the most of your time, so researching what the bridal expo’s theme is and who will be there is important.
10. Pre-registration. You can receive discounts for early event registration. Want to go for free? Check out the vendor list for the show you’re attending. Most vendors receive a number of comp tickets to give away to people interested in their services. Contact a vendor you might be interested in and ask if they have a couple of comps so you can come check them out.