You’ve got the ring, you’ve asked your bridesmaids and you’re ready to hit one of the big wedding shows.
First things first, it’s time to prepare. Yes, prepare. To get the very most from a wedding show, we’re sharing our 10 tried and tested tips…
1 // TRAVEL LIGHT
Let’s be honest, you’re going to get a lot of leaflets, samples and – if you’re heading to The Scottish Wedding Show at SEC Centre this weekend or The Edinburgh Corn Exchange Wedding Fair in November – you’ll also get a shiny new copy of SWD, so try and only take the essentials along.
A cross-body bag is great to keep your hands free and – if you want to be really prepared – a wedding inspired tote bag is great to bring along and keep all your wedding show swag that you’ll acquire!
2 // SET UP A WEDMIN EMAIL ADDRESS
A good idea when starting to wedding plan is to set up an entirely separate email address, just for your wedmin.
You can set up a free account on sites like Gmail and Outlook and it saves your personal account being inundated with post-wedding show emails.
3 // KEEP YOUR BRIDE TRIBE SMALL
It’s so tempting to invite all your besties, distant family and next door neighbour’s dog along to the show in the excitement, but if you want to really get stuff done, keep your group small.
If you really, really want to make a big girls’ day out of it, we’ve seen plenty of brides-to-be hit the show both days; once with their bridesmaids to sip prosecco and catch the catwalk shows, then with their bride or groom-to-be the following day to get properly planning.
4 // PLAN YOU SUPPLIER ROUTE
Not to get all serious on you, but to seriously get everything from a bigger show, it’s time to prepare an action plan.
Look at the show’s official website to see what exhibitors are going to be attending and, if there are specific businesses you want to meet, most of the bigger shows will provide a floor plan so you can mark off where to go.
5 // REMEMBER TO EAT + DRINK
It’s easy to get filled up on wedding cake samples and a prosecco or two, but make sure to schedule time in to eat and drink properly if you’re going to be there the full day.
Keep a bottle of water with you and take half an hour to sit down and grab a sandwich. No one wants a hangry bride-to-be or a dehydrated bridesmaid!
6 // WEAR SUITABLE CLOTHING
Without sounding like your mum, make sure to wear suitable clothing and – importantly – comfy footwear. Those five inch heeled shoe boots might look fabulous as you first stride in, but four hours later, you won’t be able to focus on another fabulous wedding supplier due to the pain radiating from your feet. It can also get hot in big arena shows, so layers are key.
Plus, you might want to try on one of the gowns so try and not wear anything hard to get in or out of!
7 // TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DISCOUNTS…
…but don’t book something just because of the discount. Lots of suppliers will offer on-the-day show offers, which can be great if you have decided on a supplier and can take advantage of some budget-friendly discounts.
Just make sure it’s the right supplier for you and always check deposit amounts and when the payments are due.
8 // KEEP A NOTE
You will meet lots of lovely suppliers at shows, but there may be a few which you just know are a good fit for you and your big day – and you don’t want to forget who’s who.
Keep a note of your stand-out suppliers, whether you keep their business cards or leaflets in a separate pouch, pop their details down in a notebook or in the note section of your phone or even mark the cards or leaflets that you want to learn more about.
9 // DON’T FORGET CASH
One thing that’s always guaranteed to be busy at the big shows is the cash machine! Be prepared and have money on you, especially for smaller suppliers who might not have a card machine.
Chances are you won’t be paying any deposits or such on the day in cash, but there’s everything from bridal jewellery to beauty buys that might catch your eye on the day and standing in the cash machine queue is just taking precious show time away.
10 // ENJOY THE DAY!
Overall, enjoy your day. Enjoy a prosecco, find some great suppliers, watch the fashion shows and get excited for your wedding. Let wedding show season commence!