Wedding Expos and Bridal Fairs: Finding the Best Vendors

For many couples, attending a wedding expo or bridal fair can be daunting.  With so many exhibitors, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.  But don’t let the amount of choices intimidate you.  If you and your partner are planning to attend one of these events in the near future, here are some tips to help you stay focused and find the best vendors.


Tip #1 – Know What You Are Looking For – Like most couples, you probably have a vague idea of what you want your wedding to look like, even if it’s just an idea for a theme or a few colors you’d like to incorporate.  Write down anything you already know you can’t live without and anything else you think you might like.  It could be as simple as the type of flowers you want or your preference for a tasty cake over an overly ornate one.   Whatever it is, write it down.  No detail is insignificant and your list will help you tremendously when chatting with vendors.  


Tip #2 – Know Your Budget – Before heading out to any event where you could end up spending lots of money, it’s important to establish your budget and stick to it.  First, decide how much you can afford to spend overall.  Consider the fact that most Americans spend about $20,000 in total on their wedding, with roughly half of that amount going toward the reception’s catering, decorations and rental fees.   Another 30% goes to the photography and DJ or Band entertainment, while the remaining 20% pays for the invitations, the gown, the tuxedo, the limo, the hotel, gifts for the bridal party, etc.  Separate all of the expenses you think you might incur and decide where you would like to prioritize your funds.  If it’s the menu you’re most concerned with, allow for more money to be spent on the catering.  Once you arrive at the event, consider your budget and focus on the products and services you’ve prioritized.  


Tip #3  – Know The Event – Most Wedding Expos and Bridal Fairs have websites that let you know which vendors will be exhibiting at the event.  Scan the list and Google any vendors that pique your curiosity.  Note which vendors capture your strongest interest and research a few of their past client’s reviews.  Once you think you’ve found some reputable companies, write down any questions you may have for them.  Your questions may be as broad as what’s trending lately among other couples using their product or service, or more specific to the product or service itself.  Write down anything you can think of.  The more questions you can come up with ahead of time, the better prepared you will be to assess the quality of the products and services on exhibit.  Also, check the event’s website the night before as some will post a map.  If they do, print it out and give it a quick study so you’ll know exactly how to navigate the moment you arrive and you won’t waste time on vendors that don’t fit your priorities.  

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As you can see, the key to finding the best vendors is preparation.  The more you know ahead of time, the more likely you’ll find what you want at a price you can afford.  

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