Conquering the Bridal Expo Like a Pro

You've just gotten engaged and January is right around the corner. What happens in January you ask... BRIDAL EXPOS! Bridal Expos, also called Wedding Expos, are the mecca of all things wedding. From photographers to cakes, DJ's and caterers, venues to coordinators, rentals and stationary, the expos have it all. It's a lot and can be very overwhelming. Here are some of my best tips to handle the expo like a pro.

  • Wear comfy shoes! There's a lot of walking and standing around, so wear shoes that aren't going to make you want to leave after an hour of being there.
  • Leave your fiancĂ© at home,he's going to be bored out of his mind. You should bring a friend and/or your mom instead, make a girls day of it!
  • Bring pre-printed labels with your information on it so you don't have to fill out everything by hand at all the booths. Include your name and groom's name, email, wedding date or tentative date. You can include your phone number too, IF thats how you want the vendors to contact you.
  • Speaking of email, you may want to set up a "wedding only" email account. That way you can keep everything regarding the big day together in one spot. And let's be honest, so you're not getting emails 5 years from now "Top Wedding Trends 2022!"
  • Have a tentative wedding date, everyone will ask. 
  • Have a game plan, 3-4 areas of your wedding you would like to find vendors for. Go see them first. Then if you have time or still feel like it, go see the rest after!
  • Stay focused. It's going to be overwhelming with every type of style being displayed and looking gorgeous. Don't go in sure you want a crisp, clean, modern wedding venue and come out with information on a shabby chic venue with a horse drawn carriage.
  • Prepare questions for vendors that you are specifically looking for. This helps you to be able to weed out vendors (i.e. over budget, doesn't include complementary engagement session) quickly without getting your hopes up, and you can move on to find another option.
  • Jot down notes and key nuggets of information on vendor's marketing material that you definitely like. This will help jog your memory once you get home and start sorting through all your loot.
  • Bring a tote bag or two for all the goodies and material you collect. One for the yeses, and one for the not so much. Some expos have totes for you. If they do, don't be afraid to ask for a second one. Worse they can say is no, and if you already brought one then you won't need it!
  • Eat a little something before the show. You will be walking, talking, and standing a lot, so it's best to be fueled and prepared. You should also bring a bottled water (for the samples and for all the talking!) and a few snacks just in case.  
  • Sample and test EVERYTHING! Cakes, photo booths, and food, try it all so you can vouch for the quality.
  • Patience! Some vendors get a lot of attention and there might be a wait for some of them. Now is a good time to whip out one of your snacks, drink some water, and look over that vendors marketing material and their work.
  • When you get home, sort through all the information. Make a yes and a no pile. Start getting in touch with the vendors in the yes pile, and set up appointments to meet for coffee...okay it doesn't have to be for coffee, but why not?! 
  • Check your email on the regular, you might have won a giveaway!
  • Last and most important, ENJOY it! Make sure to enjoy yourself and the expo. Keep professional but be yourself, and be mindful to find the perfect vendors that work well with your personality.