Attending a wedding show is one of the best things can do when you first get engaged. Where else can you meet your entire wedding team, get inspired with decor ideas, and find your perfect fashion all in one place? We talked to Jeanne D’Aloia & Kim Harber, certified wedding planners and owners of D’Amore Wedding and Event Planning about the perfect wedding show game plan so you’ll navigate UNVEILED Minneapolis like a pro.
First, congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding. We at D’amore Wedding and Event Planning could not be more excited for you!
Second, it’s the perfect time to be engaged because it’s Wedding Show season! Even better, it’s almost time for UNVEILED Minneapolis which just happens to be one of our favorite shows! Why? Oh my goodness, where do we start?! You can see all the latest wedding dress trends at the fashion show; the organized one-way route through the amazing vendors ensures you won’t miss anything; and the inspiration is endless!
There are so many vendors all in one place, it’s a great way to get ideas for your wedding and figure out what you like and don’t like. But honestly, it can also be very overwhelming! We recommend having a “wedding show game plan” before you head to the show. Here’s ours:
1. Have a goal in mind before you get there.
Think about what you want to accomplish as you create your wedding show game plan, which might be different for each couple depending on where you are with your wedding planning. If you’re just starting the planning process, we recommend having an estimated budget for your wedding in mind. According to the wedding.report, in 2021, Minnesota couples spent an average of about $31,661 on their wedding. Since most couples haven’t planned a wedding before, we highly recommend talking to a certified wedding planner (like us!) at the show or even before! We can help you prioritize where your money should be spent, help you find the right vendors to create the wedding you’re dreaming of, and make sure you’ve thought about all of the important details that will make your day one to remember for years to come.
If you’re in the middle of wedding planning and you already have your venue and photographer booked, you’ll want to make sure you check out caterers (if your venue allows you to choose your own), florists, transportation companies, and certified wedding planners as these will be next on your “vendors to book” list. Many caterers will have delicious samples for you to try in the Tasting Bar (um…yes please!) and florists will usually have arrangements on display so you can get an idea of their style.
If you’re doing all the planning, why would you need to check out wedding planners? Many venues now require couples to have a wedding coordinator on their wedding day to handle all of the logistics. Even if your venue doesn’t, it’s still something to look into. Many hours go into planning a wedding and on the day of, you want to have someone you can trust to execute your vision so that you and your loved ones can focus on enjoying your special day and creating memories that will last a lifetime. An experienced wedding coordinator will help you create a detailed wedding day timeline, coordinate with your vendors, and make sure your day runs smoothly.
Most shows will have, at the very least, a list of vendors attending the show on their website. Print out the list and highlight any vendors that you for sure want to check out. Be sure to bring it with you to the show. Check out the UNVEILED vendors under “Click to Meet the UNVEILED Exhibitors!” here.
2. Take Your Time and Don’t Feel Pressured
Once you get there, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the crowds and all the different vendors. Stay focused, and stick to your wedding show game plan. When you meet a vendor you’re interested in, take the time to talk to their representatives and ask questions. Find out what makes them unique and what services they offer. You might be surprised by their answers! Also, make sure to ask if they’re offering any show discounts and how long those discounts are good for. This can be a good way to save some money!
If a vendor approaches you and they offer a service you’ve already booked, you can simply say, “Thanks, but I’ve already booked my (entertainment, venue, caterer, etc.)” That way you’re not wasting your time…or theirs!
If a vendor pressures you to book their services that day, but you’re not ready yet, simply say, “I’m not ready to make a decision today.” Feel free to leave your email address or get theirs if you’d like to get more information from them.
3. Have Fun!
Don’t go alone! Bring two or three of your nearest and dearest to share in the fun and excitement of it all. You should also opt in for the TrendSpot Fashion Show! It’s fun and you’ll get an idea of what styles different bridal boutiques offer. This year, you’ll see amazing gowns from anna bé bridal boutique, Ivory Bridal Co., Mestad’s Bridal and Formalwear, and Grace Loves Lace.
Sign up for the freebies and giveaways! You never know what you might win — a stay in a nice hotel, a manicure, dinner for two, or a nice bottle of wine! Also, you may want to set up a wedding email address so emails from vendors don’t get lost in your personal emails.
Don’t forget to take pictures of things you like for inspiration! Finally, be sure to look through your bag after the show, follow your favorite vendors on Instagram, and follow up with vendors you’re interested in working with for your wedding.
No matter what your wedding show game plan is, use these tips and tricks so you’ll make the most of your time at the show!
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