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So you got engaged which is amazing and exciting! You’re on top of the world and then it hits you… you have to plan a whole wedding. An easy way to reach lots of local vendors would be to hit up a local wedding fair. Wedding fairs are a great resource, but they can be extremely overwhelming. There will be tons of people and so many vendors that it’s easy to leave the fair even more confused. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for your wedding fair, and a few things to keep in mind while you’re there.
1.) Think in Advance About What You Need
Wedding fairs usually take place in big convention centers and could have over a hundred vendors exhibiting there, so you probably won’t have time to talk to all of them. Before you go to the fair, think about what things you need for your wedding. Do you already have a venue? If you do, you can just skip over those booths. Do you need rentals such as: tents, table, linens or portable bathrooms? Once you have nailed down what you will need for the wedding, you may be able to ignore a good chunk of the vendors at the show and save yourself some time.
2.) Take a Look at the Vendor List Beforehand
Most wedding fairs will have a website where they list of all the vendors that will be participating in the show. A few days prior to attending, take a look and see if you can pre-judge some of the vendors. If you know you need a photographer, check out some of the portfolio websites of the photographers that will be there. This way you know which one’s you may be more serious about, and you can be sure to speak with them at the show.
3.) Print off Some Personal Mailing Labels
One constant for wedding fairs all across the country is vendor prize drawings. Most booths will have you fill out a card with your name and email in order to win things like a free nights stay at their hotel, or dinner at a fancy local restaurant. These note cards take time to fill out, and that’s time that could be spent talking to other vendors. To help speed this process along, get some mailing labels from the store and put your information on them. This will probably include:
• Your Name
• Your Address
• Email Address
• Phone Number
• Your Wedding Date
If you have a specific wedding email, use that so your personal account doesn’t get gummed up. Once you’re at the show, you can simply stick your label on the postcard and move on.
4.) Keep Your Budget in Mind
It is so tempting to see a pretty booth and think “I must have that”, and this is a sure fire way to get over budget. Know in advance how much you would like to spend on a DJ, photography, and venue and remember these amounts when shopping around. Ask the vendors for pricing information and you can save yourself a lot of time, and keep your wedding at the right price point.
5.) Don’t Get Too Overwhelmed
These shows are insane, but remember you’re there because you’re getting married! Have fun with your friends and family and make sure not to take it too seriously. Check out the fashion show, eat some free cake samples and celebrate the fact that you are going to be spending the rest of your life with the person you love.