How to Make the Most of a Wedding Show
Why you should attend a few bridal events during your engagement
Being engaged is an exciting time, but there are a lot more things for brides and grooms to do than what’s on their wedding checklist. Stores, wedding magazines and websites, and organizations host special events year round that give couples the chance to browse some of the best businesses and brands the wedding industry has to offer. You can call it a bridal show or bridal showcase, a wedding trade show or wedding event, whatever it’s called they offer couples a lot of information, ideas and goodies to make them fun and entertaining. You’ll find vendors from bands and beauty companies to flowers and fashion and rentals to registries on-site with their portfolio and samples on hand to show and explain what they offer. Couples are sure to find the vendors to bring their wedding vision to life, along with some yummy food, champagne and wedding cakes!
Still not sure a wedding show is something you and your fiancé want to attend? Here are all the reasons we can think of as to why you may want to change your minds – or bring a bridesmaid or mom instead.
VENDOR MEET & GREET
A website can give you a lot of the details — the services a company offers, some pricing and a portfolio of work –- but you can’t really experience a band, taste a menu or cake, or feel the quality of an invitation’s paper through a website, or even an Instagram feed. Without having to make a private appointment with everyone on your to-meet-with list, a wedding show, like speed dating, allows you to quickly meet a lot of brands and learn some basic information about them. You can see or taste examples of their work, pick up some marketing materials, and then narrow down the list of people to have a formal meeting with. Which will probably save you time in the long run. The photo shown here, and the featured image, is of Starling on Bond‘s display at a past Wedding Crashers show. This year’s event will be held on Sunday, March 19th.
A Tasting Menu
You’ve probably been to a few weddings where the menu options tend to repeat themselves: Chicken, beef or fish. Well you don’t have to limit yourself if you don’t want to, and a wedding event can help you taste your way into a gastronomic tour de force for your reception. Start with what you may serve at your cocktail hour: crudite, lobster rolls served in a cucumber and mini Kobe beef burgers. Then jump to reception main courses: leg of lamb, Cornish hens, and seared sea bass. And finally for dessert there is sure to be more than a few offerings of wedding cakes, cookies and other sweet delights to serve guests at their seat or via a sweets buffet. Take your time and don’t scarf down everything at once. There’s plenty of food for everyone so do a few laps and try as many courses as you like. Shown here, tuna pave of black pepper-crusted tuna, Persian cucumber, tuna tartare, and microgreens by Marcey Brownstein Catering & Events.
You’ll have to wash all that food down with something, and while water and soft drinks are available, it’s the hard stuff you may want to look out for. Champagne is almost a given, but today’s discerning couples are serving curated bar menus at their weddings and caterers and mixologists know that, so look for specialty cocktails, wines and even craft beer as complementary drink options at wedding events. And don’t be afraid to ask the sommeliers and mixologists for their tips and suggestions as to what you may want to serve with dinner as well as specialty drinks and signature cocktails. And better yet, taste all the options too! Shown here is Bulleit Frontier Whiskey‘s Bourbon Lemonade.
DON’T FORGET TO GRAB A GOODY-BAG
Just like at most weddings and bridal showers, you get to go home with a favor, and more than one! A super-cute tote bag will probably greet you as you enter or leave filled with a mix of business cards, brochures and products to test out. Don’t ignore the marketing materials because some of them may offer discounts and coupons you may be interested in or can give to an engaged friend who couldn’t make it. Other fun items may include chocolates, macarons, lip gloss and letterpressed note cards that will come in handy when you need to start writing thank-you notes.
You may want to bring your own tote bag to collect information and goodies in case you overload the one they give you, or they run out of event branded bags. Look to see if any vendors are passing out their own bags. The Totes Getting Married tote bag shown here is part of Jove Meyer Events’ display at a past Wedding Crashers event and taken by Moss + Isaac.
GET YOUR CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING
Above all you’ll be bombarded with ideas and inspiration that you may have missed on Instagram and Pinterest. Floral centerpieces, wedding cakes, wedding invitations, photo booth backdrops, linens and furniture rentals are just a few of the visuals you’re sure to see. Keep your phone out so you can snap pics. And don’t be afraid to ask the vendors questions that are specific to your wedding, such as if they know if they’re available on your date or if they offer the specific services you’re looking for. The ceremony display shown here was designed by Starling on Bond at a past Wedding Crashers event.
Take a photo of the company’s logo before the detail so you remember who created it.