Last weekend might have been my first wedding show as a bride-to-be, but this certainly wasn’t my first Scottish Wedding Show.
Here’s the tips and tricks I’ve picked up from many a wedding show to make it the best day out possible. Spoiler: it may (100% does) contain prosecco.
1 // WEAR SOMETHING COMFORTABLE (AND STYLISH)
I’ve seen many brides/bridesmaids/mums strut into a wedding fair in 5 inch heels looking so glamorous, but do remember that there’s a lot of walking around involved in a wedding show. That’s not to say you need to go casual, but wear something comfortable and stylish.
I wore my trusty flat studded boots, but glammed up my look by wearing a faux leather mini, studded bag and one of my fave hats. If possible, I’d also try and leave your jacket at home: for big shows like The Scottish Wedding Show, there is usually a cloakroom, but I just find it easier to only go with the things I need to save time (and money).
WHAT I WORE //
Black fedora hat [similar here]
2 // PLAN AHEAD
Most shows will have a list of exhibitors prior to the show on their social media channels or website so plan accordingly. If there’s a dress boutique you’ve been loving on Instagram who are going to be attending the show, make a note of where they are and make sure to visit.
If finding your wedding rings is on your to-do list, check out which jewellers will be at the show and do a little research prior to the event so you can go chat to the company at the show. Use this as an opportunity to get meeting the suppliers you love, all in the one place.
One of the suppliers I knew I wanted to see on the catwalk was Opus Atelier, so I kept an eye out on the fashion show programme so I didn’t miss a thing.
3 // BE FIRM
And polite! I’m not going to lie: these shows, especially the bigger wedding fairs and exhibitions, can be overwhelming for a bride or groom-to-be. The exhibitors want to get their brand out there and help make your dream day come true, but it can be a lot when every company is trying to speak to you and hand you a leaflet.
Honesty is the best policy. A lot of wedding exhibitors are small, independent businesses who count on word of mouth recommendations and meeting potential customers face-to-face for their company to survive and thrive, so don’t just go over to a stand for a free prosecco/goodie bag/other when you have no interest in ever booking them for your wedding.
That’s not to say not to use these type of events to get talking to loads of different suppliers, but it saves a lot of time for you and them if you’re upfront and a simple ‘no thank you’ is totally fine.
4 // PACK LIGHT
You’re going to want to take a closer look at some of the lovely companies and their work. Plus, the less you’re carrying in your hands = the more prosecco glasses you can carry (jokes…kind of). A smaller bag with a long strap is your best friend when it comes to wedding shows.
Also, my top tip would be to take some sort of tote bag, just so you’re not having to try and cram leaflets, product samples and business cards into that one carrier bag one of the exhibitors were giving away.
5 // SET UP A WEDDING EMAIL ADDRESS
Refer to point 3 in the whole ‘don’t waste businesses’ time, etc, but for the suppliers you are really interested in, it’s a good idea to set up a wedding-specific email address to use for contact. This can be setting up a free gmail or outlook email to keep all wedding-related emails in the one account.
6 // MAKE A DAY OF IT
Loads of the bigger shows are more than just some wedding suppliers showcasing their products and services. For The Scottish Wedding Show, we made sure to make a full day of it. This included booking in for one of the catwalk shows, going for brunch at their all-day brunch set up and having some (well-deserved after walking around, of course) proseccos in the VIP bar.
Post-show, we also couldn’t help a little prosecco stop at Glasgow’s Radisson Red Sky Bar (all this wedding show stuff is thirsty work) – just look at those views!
7 // TAKE A NOTE
Keep your phone handy to take quick notes of suppliers or ideas you love, follow businesses on social media there and then if you like what they’re doing and you don’t want to forget and take pics make sure to ask suppliers’ permission first, of course).
You’ll leave with a whole lot of info, so make sure and keep track of suppliers and ideas you definitely want to revisit post-show.
8 // KEEP YOUR BRIDE TRIBE SMALL
Take a few friends, but try not take twenty three of your closest acquaintances unless you really, really (really) have to. Too many people will just create a logistical nightmare of trying to traipse round all the suppliers you want to see.
Keep it small and it’ll be so much less stressful (and you’ll also be able to get a closer look at things like these a-ma-zing alpacas from Caledonia Alpacas!)