Wedding expos can be overwhelming with loads of information/ flyers/ cards etc and so many people in the one place, but they are one of the easiest ways to find the perfect wedding specialist. I wanted my first blog to be helpful! For other people out there that don’t really feel comfortable with the idea or attending Wedding Expos- I want to reduce your stress by lessening the unknown!
Over the years I have exhibited as a Marriage Celebrant at many Wedding Expos in Melbourne- big and small, but it wasn’t till recently that I exhibited in 5 days of Wedding Expos in 7 days (two local venues and one big expo in the city) that had me thinking…How can I make this process more enjoyable, efficient and easier for prospective couples? I have also been through this process as a prospective bride many years ago and I found Wedding Expos so daunting, but now I find them to be so resourceful!
I have compiled some expert tips and insight for those of you that are venturing out into the Wedding Expo jungle, to make your expo adventures easier and less stressful! Enjoy x
Before the expo:
1) Choose between visiting a large Wedding Expo or a smaller venue Wedding Expo.
Pros for larger expo:
i) More suppliers under one roof- more choices
ii) Usually bigger specials/ deals
iii) More of a comparison can be made between vendors
Pros for smaller expo:
iv) More intimate, not as overwhelming
v) You can talk to the venues recommended suppliers who are familiar with that venue.
vi) You can sense how the venue operates with staff and sample their food as it rotates the room:)
2) Preregister before attending the expo. This way you won’t miss out on a goodies bag or door prize and sometimes the entrance fee is waived.
3) Have a plan- who are you interested in checking out? Celebrants, Florists, Photographers, Makeup Artists, Videographers, Cars, Entertainment, Bomboniere, Venues, Invitations, Photo booth, Fitness… visit those suppliers first.
4) As you will be leaving personal details with suppliers that you’re interested in using, create a wedding email account so that when the suppliers respond you have all your wedding information under one account- it makes it so much easier! E.g EmilyandTomswedding2016@…
5) If you want to be ultra organised and save time writing your details down time and time again for the different suppliers- print off some stickers that include your name, mobile number, email address, wedding date, ceremony location…
6) Make sure that you have eaten breakfast/ lunch, take a snack with you as it’s difficult to make big decisions on an empty stomach.
7) Bring a bottle of water with you as you will need to stay hydrated.
8) Do bring a bag to collect business cards and flyers. Most expos provide a carry bag for you to collect information, however, some expos don’t and it’s annoying carrying flyers in your hand the entire time!
9) Dress appropriately. You need to wear comfy footwear as you will be doing lots of walking!
During the Expo:
10) Bring a notebook and a pen to write down suppliers that you love or things that you liked about their service or any extra info they have told you. I always try to give couples helpful information during expos- expert tips.
11) Only take flyers/ cards from suppliers that you are interested in using their services otherwise it will be more work sifting through all the material to find the suppliers that you like.
12) To make this process even easier ask if that particular supplier is available on your wedding date/location. If they are not, save time and don’t take a flyer and other advertising material.
13) Ask the suppliers you’re interested in some questions to find out more about them and what they offer. It is easier to get a feel for how they operate and how they interact in person sometimes. Also have they got any photos of them and their couples in action? Can they back up what they are saying?
14) Get involved in any hair or makeup trials and taste any cake or food samples that are on offer as this will give you a great indication as to whether you would like to use them as a wedding supplier or not- a Cake company, Makeup Artist, Hairdresser, Bomboniere etc…
15) Take someone with you to keep you company and give you support- decision making can be hard sometimes, whether it be your partner, your bridesmaids, your mum or just your mates. It can be daunting by yourself.
16) Enter any relevant competitions that you are interested in e.g. Photography, Florist, Videographer, Venues, Celebrants, Cake, Makeup & Hair etc as you may win and save lots of $$$.
17) Stay for the show- whether that be DJ entertainment or a wedding gown catwalk it may give you some ideas or alternatively the bulk of the crowd will be there watching the show and you can visit other wedding suppliers around the expo in peace and quiet:)
18) Don’t forget your manners…exhibitors are there to sell a service or product which they are passionate about and it’s their baby. A simple ‘no thank you’ or ‘I’m not yet ready to make a decision’ is appropriate rather than responding rudely and walking away.
19) Don’t be pushed into something you do want to do or into services you don’t want to use. Stay strong and level headed and simply reply no thank you and keep on walking.
20) Relax, have fun and enjoy the Expo as you won’t be doing Wedding Expos ever again after you are married, unless you are a support person for someone else- but then you’ll be an expert:)
After the expo:
21) Empty your Wedding Expo bag onto a clean spacious floor. Now to organise your flyers and business cards into supplier categories- photographers, celebrants, florists, dress makers, make up artists etc.
22) Go through each category and throw out the suppliers that you are not interested in:)
23) Make contact with the wedding suppliers that you would love to have one your wedding day via phone, email, Facebook etc even though all the suppliers will be emailing you information- contact them directly!
24) Make an appointment to meet with the suppliers that you love and do it sooner than later! If you loved them and what they had to offer, I’m sure all the other couples at the Expo were thinking the same thing too!
Congratulations- you are now a Wedding Expo Expert!!
Love and Happily Ever After,
Celebrant: Erin Rollason- Marriage Celebrant
Cake and biscuits: Sugar and Spice Cupcakes
Love sign: Love Headquarters
Locations: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, Inglewood Estate & Marybrooke Manor
Expos: Melbourne Wedding and Bride, Inglewood Estate & Marybrooke Manor.