I hate wedding shows; they make me a nervous wreck! Do you enjoy huge crowds, long lines and lots of people trying to sell you something? If not, there's a good chance you won't like wedding shows either. But they are essential for couples planning the biggest celebration of their lives. Developing a game plan before you head to the show ensures that you will survive shows with your sanity intact. Preparation is critical, so here are my tips.
1. Don't Go It Alone. Take a few people with you. They will keep you grounded, and you will have someone to help you carry all the loot.
2. Pre-Printed Address Labels. They will save you a ton of time and hand cramps. The minimum amount of info you need to include on the labels is your name, wedding date, phone, and email address.
3. Set up a Wedding Only email. You can direct all the correspondence there. You won't junk up your regular inbox. Best thing: you can shut the email down after the wedding. I still get emails from photographers and DJ's wanting to do my wedding, and I've been married for years.
4. Take a Large Bag with Padded Handles. Tons of goodies and info are coming your way. The cheap bag you get from the show will not be either large or sturdy enough to carry it all home.
5. Dress Lightly. It will be approximately 1000 degrees at the show, even during the winter. Lugging around coats and sweaters all day will be a nightmare.
6. Wear Comfortable Shoes. Plan on walking and standing for hours on end, save your feet!
7. Stay Away from the Breakfast Buffet. One thing that wedding shows have plenty of is food. Between the bakeries, candy makers, and caterers, you will be stuffed by the end of the day.
8. Do Your Homework. Check out the websites for vendors that are exhibiting at the show. Save time by making a beeline for the vendors you want to meet.
9. Tell the Truth. If you are not interested in working with a vendor, tell them. You are welcome to enter my honeymoon giveaway even if you don't want to work with me. I won't send you unwanted emails if you don't want them.
10. Don't Give False Info. One of our honeymoon winners gave me a fake email and phone number, so there was no way to let them know they won. I also hate unsolicited emails, but false info prevents you from hearing from vendors you do like. Set up a wedding email and be honest with vendors. You won't need to lie about your phone number.
11. Please Don't Feel Pressured. I don't like, nor will I ask to set up a follow-up meeting at the bridal show. Everyone is overstimulated, and there is so much info flying at you. It can be easy to make appointments that you later regret. I prefer you go home and look over options. Then reach out to me.
12. Take Pics. Love a booth or vendor? Take a quick pic with your phone. You will see a ton of people, and they all start running together very quickly.
13. Organize Your Loot ASAP. I suggest three categories: no way (straight to the garbage) maybe (put those cards in a backup file) and definite (these are your first tier vendors, you need to contact them sooner rather than later).
14. Lock Them Down. Most vendors can only do one wedding a day. If you aren't going to be happy without that particular venue, make sure to lock it down sooner rather than later.
15. Move On, But Come Back. I give away a honeymoon at every show, so my booth is busy. If the line is too long, don't wait. I will be there all day.
There you have it, 15 Tips to Survive Wedding Shows. Give these tips a try and you will breeze through wedding shows without feeling overwhelmed.