10 Rules to Get the Most From a Wedding Show
Attending a wedding show is a great way to get ideas and find these all important photographers, favours, stationers, venues, dresses, kilts, flowers, cars entertainers, cakes, celebrants, shoes, jewellery etc. You will even find solicitors to help you buy your marital home! There are so many suppliers under the one roof it is easy to become overwhelmed. But follow a few simple rules and they can be an efficient, stress-free way to help plan your wedding. In fact, if you find the right products, you could have 80% of your wedding planned without having to leave the comfort of your armchair again.
Rule 1 – Remember why you are there
Your primary reason for going to the show is to see a wide variety of wedding suppliers so that you can compare products, prices and lead times. Yes – you can get ideas. Yes – you can get giggly with your pals over a glass of champagne. And Yes – you are allowed to indulge in the myriad of free samples. But you are there for one reason only – to compare products, prices and lead times.
Rule 2 – Choosing
There are many wedding shows to choose from, normally held in the Spring (February to April) and Autumn (September to November). Look at the Scottish Wedding Directory for a list of some of them. There are the “big” events, such as at The Corn Exchange or the SECC. There is also an unlimited number of smaller events held in hotels. The big events cost more to gain entry (often around £10 – £15) but you will find lots of suppliers to choose from. The smaller events are usually free but you may have to attend more to get the variety of suppliers to do a good comparison. See Rule 10 at the bottom of this page for gaining free entry into a show.
Rule 3 – Get Organised Before you Go
If you have not already done so, buy a notebook about A5 size and carry it with you AT ALL TIMES not just at shows. Buy a small stapler as well. You may need to buy a bigger handbag too! You are going to have sections in the notebook for each of the items for your wedding – dresses, cars, flowers etc. Use about 4 – 6 pages for each section. A notebook intended to be an address book is ideal because you can use the ABC down the side to quickly find the section you need.
Rule 4 – Wear Comfortable Shoes
It’s going to be a long, but productive, day. So dress for comfort and avoid having people who may cause distractions with you – leave the kids at home!
Rule 5 – Just Go
It is a waste of time to plan your visit in any detail from the list of exhibitors. Do have a quick look and note any that you really must see and also note the time of the fashion show. Other than that, just go early and stay for as long as it takes.
Rule 6 – What to do at the Stands
Spend a few minutes at each relevant stand. You should quickly rule out any that you definitely don’t need or that clearly stock products that just are not “you”. Don’t waste your time or effort. At relevant stands, look at what they have in terms of product range and quality. This is your chance to get a shortlist of suppliers that have the products you are looking for. Ask questions. Ask if you can take pictures of things you like, such as a particular favour or flower decoration. When you take a picture, try to get a snap of the stand name first so you know who was who later. Ask questions – does it come in another colour, can it be changed, how does it work, what exactly is the service. Ask the important questions – how much is it, what is the lead time, what exactly is the product or service.
This is what you do with your notebook. Ask for a business card and staple it into the relevant section of the book. Write down your notes next to the card – product, price, lead time and any other information. If you took pictures, write down the picture numbers if possible. Avoid taking further leaflets etc – they only weigh you down. Unless their goody bag contains genuine goodies, like chocolates!
Don’t make rush decisions – it is usually better not to book or buy anything at the show. If you do book a date, try not to commit with a deposit.
Rule 7 – Regular Breaks
Going around the show becomes tiring after a while and you will find you can no longer take in what you are being told. So take a break every 30 – 45 minutes. Have a coffee, get some lunch or go to the fashion show.
If you love this kind of thing then go early, get a good seat and enjoy the show. If not, then use it as a quick break from the rest of the show – you don’t need to stay until the end. You will see lots of dresses – very pretty! You will get to hear a sample from the exhibiting bands or singers. Personally, I feel there is more value in visiting the stands. So only go to the show if you like that kind of thing.
Rule 9 – Afterwards
Go home and relax – don’t think about what you saw at the show for a few days. You have all the information you need in your notebook. 80% of the work can now be done online and on the phone. Get THEM to respond to YOU with quotes, pictures, advice, samples, website links etc. Only leave your house when you have to – to visit dress shops (a must!), the venue (another must!), the celebrant (put that on the “must do” list as well) and anything else you need to visit. Keep your notebook with you to write down ideas you see or hear about.
If you went to a good wedding show, you will probably have all the suppliers you need to plan your wedding without having to trail around the shops anymore. Any gaps in the planning can be “plugged” by some additional research online.
Rule 10 Beau Belles “Get Into A Wedding Show for Free” Tip
Sometimes, the organisers of the Show will give complimentary tickets to the exhibitors to give to their valued customers. If you visit a supplier you know is exhibiting prior to the show, they may be able to give you one of these tickets. This strategy does not always work (sometimes there are no free tickets) – it is a bit like trying to get a free upgrade on a flight! But you might as well ask!
Beau Belles, providing plus size wedding dresses in Scotland including Edinburgh, Glasgow, West Lothian, Falkirk, Stirling, Aberdeen, Inverness, Argyll, Paisley, Hamilton, Coatbridge, East Lothian, Borders, Linlithgow, Philipstoun, Whitburn, Livingston, Bathgate.
Thanks to FreeDigitalPhotos.net Duran123 & BrandonSigma for photos