Initially, you may make the mistake of thinking, bridal expo, yeah, that sounds good honey, have a great time. And then she gives you that look—the one that say, ‘you’re coming too,’ and you panic as you realize you might not be relaxing this Sunday after all.
Don’t panic. It’s not as bad as you may think, and if you approach it with the right mind set, you might actually have fun.
What’s in it for you?
These expo events aren’t all frilly dresses and flowers. The first thing you should know—there’s cake—a lot of cake. You will try so much cake it’ll be coming out your ears practically.
Pro tip: Talk about the kind of cake you’ll both want before you go, especially what flavors you both would like. It makes it a lot easier to find out which vendor is best for you and you’ll know what kind of samples to taste. (It’s okay to sneak in a couple bites of ones not on your list too though.)
Depending on the expo, there might be a ‘man area’ somewhere. It’s always better to find out before hand, that way when your fiance is busy looking at bridesmaid dresses you can take a time out to play Wii or watch SportsCenter.
There are also some vendors that might actually appeal to your tastes as well. You can shop for gifts for your groomsmen (flasks are always appreciated, especially if you pre-fill them) or look at the wheels Wedding Transportation Vendors have—then you can leave your wedding in style.
What should you be doing?
If you want to minimize the number of expos you’ll be visiting it pays to do your homework. Instead of wandering around the room glassy-eyed help your lady out by asking the important questions to narrow down catering, DJ and florist options. There can be weird hidden fees not included in your initial quote so asking about service charges and if take down and set up are included is a good idea. Pay attention to the way vendors treat you and if they listen to what you or your bride want—if they aren’t listening now chances are they won’t later either.
Pro tip: The first question you should ask any vendor is, ‘Do you have my date available.’ If they don’t or you’re not willing to change your date don’t waste your time asking any other follow up questions.
Ask vendors for references, how many weddings they’ve done before and if they have a portfolio for you to look over. A wedding photographer should have a photo selection for you to look at, DJ should be able to share their library selections with you and Florists should have sample photos or a complete portfolio as well.
You probably don’t need to be told comfort is the key at these events—but that doesn’t mean track pants and a t-shirt. Vendors are judging you just as much as you are judging them so while you don’t want to dress to the nines, a button up is appropriate.
You might also be there a few hours, and chances are you’ll be in charge of carrying the brochures, business cards and various other materials, so leave your coat in the car. It’ll just be one more thing to drag around all day.
Pro tip: Do yourself a favor and don’t drink the night before. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a hot convention center, dehydrated and with a piercing headache. Plus, chairs can be hard to come by.
As long as you go with the right attitude, you can actually have a great time, bond with your wife, and if you play your cards right you’ll definitely score some brownie points.
Ms Gingham says: Great tips Chris! Any bride will be very impressed with the preparation that’s for sure!
Author’s bio: Chris Newkirk works in sales and marketing and helps vendors at events like wedding expos find displays that work for their products, but when he’s not working he’s attending wedding expos and helping his beautiful bride plan the perfect wedding.