How to Wedding Show

Another January means another avalanche of Wedding shows for potential couples to visit! This weekend marks the conclusion of The Wedding Show hosted by St. Louis Bride and Groom Magazine, a classic and well populated show by all of the best vendors in St. Louis! I commonly see the glazed, doe eyed wedding couple walk right by my 10 foot tall booth in a daze. Wedding Shows can be OVERWHELMING! I completely understand! To help you out, I have a few great tips and tricks to make your wedding show experience productive and a little less overwhelming.

1. Those pink bride stickers/sases or black groom stickers are like wearing a GIANT target on your shirt. If you are easily overwhelmed, just take it off. The stickers are so very useful for your ego, but they serve a secondary purpose. Vendors stare at every passerby’s chest looking for the mark that you are the person spending the money. So we toss our flyers and questions at you as you pass by. This can be a GREAT thing! YOU don’t have to go searching for vendors, but as stated before, if you are easily overwhelmed and don’t want people constantly yelling “congratulations” across the isle, just remove the sticker and or any identifying marks that you are the wedding couple.

2. Don’t book your photographer at the wedding show. Half of the wedding industry (especially photographers) are now audibly sighing and throwing rotten eggs at me, but thats ok. Would you purchase a wedding gown straight off the rack without trying it on? “It just looks good here”… clearly that means it will be perfect for you, right? … right? …. RIGHT? . No. A photographer’s wedding show booth is composed of ONLY their prize winning photos. Have you ever taken an AMAZING photograph that your friends and family said you should hang? Well, that is what you see hanging in those booths. DO NOT be pressured into making a decision on the spot. Your wedding photographer spends the ENTIRE day with you. You want to make sure that you actually like them. That requires more than a 5 minute conversation with hundreds of other couples flocking around you. I always encourage my couples to meet me in a less stressful environment to make sure that we mesh together like peanut butter and chocolate or eggs and bacon (two very awful analogies considering I’m a vegetarian who hates peanut butter. lol, but you get the point).

3. Bring your calendar or schedule with you! Wedding Shows are a GREAT place to find potential vendors to work with. They do book up quickly, so be sure to set up a meeting soon after the wedding show to ensure you get priority dates, but DON’T feel pressure to book and pay deposits at the show.

4. Have pre printed stickers ready to go! It helps everyone! You can fill out all of those raffles quick and efficiently and move onto more important things (like cake samples). It also helps vendors who may pull your name. If you are like me and have AWFUL handwriting, a pre printed sticker is much easier to read!

5. Start in the middle. This seems counter intuitive and a giant cluster for those of you who hate to backtrack. EVERYONE starts at one end and makes their way to the other side. If you arrive early in the day, Start in the middle and work your way out to avoid the hustle of the crowds!

6. Bring water. Every other station they have cake, chocolate, cake, more chocolate.. MORE CAKE. It’s so good. Eat it all! But bring some water. Staying hydrated is going to be in your best interest so you can keep on consuming those samples.

7. Prepare ahead of time! Most Wedding Shows have apps or websites where you can scope out your vendors in advance of the show! Take the time to make a list of vendors that you still need for your wedding, and your top vendors in each category to make sure you touch base with them! Don’t overlook the other vendors, because you might be surprised with what you like when you see it in person. However, if you have a focus once you arrive, that room full of hustle and bustle may feel less overwhelming if you have a mission.

8. Try not to bring any ANY extra coats/purses/bags with you into the show. You will be walking booth to booth and collecting a lot of goodies. Typically, someone is giving away a large bag to help you hold all of your treasures and free pens, but the last thing you want is a giant coat on one arm, a giant rep bag in the other, and your purse wrapped around your neck while trying to fill out raffle slips!

9. Bring a sharpie pen. Sounds weird, but many vendors (myself included) have glossy rep cards. Why? They stand out, they are more durable, and the can sustain a bit of abuse while you walk around. However, they are also very tricky to mark on. Taking notes about what vendors say and specials they are running on their rep cards is really REALLY useful. You can “star” the ads you want to look up later online, or “X” the vendors that creeped you out. Etc. Choose your own system, but regular pens do not write on these cards well. Thus, bring a sharpie pen.

10. Just relax and have fun! Wedding Shows can be overwhelming for you, and a TON of work for the vendors who participate (not to mention crazy expensive, so don’t arrive expecting crazy cheap vendors, because if we charged THOSE prices, we wouldn’t be able to afford a wedding show). When you relax and have fun, the vendors also relax and have fun. If you are stressed out, you won’t enjoy the show, and will blow off potentially productive vendor relationships because you are RUSHING to get out. “Why pay the fee, if you don’t want to talk to me?”

We hope to see you prepped and ready for some more Wedding Show adventures next weekend at the Chase Park Plaza in the Central West End (St. Louis) the Wedding Connection hosted by St. Louis Bride Magazine.

L’Amore Rose Photography
St. Louis Wedding and Portrait Photography