Tips for Attending Wedding Shows, Events and Venue Tours
Whether you visit a large wedding showcase with rows of vendors in decked-out booths and on-stage fashion events, or an intimate open house at a local event venue, attending a few wedding events is a great way to jump-start your planning process.
Large wedding events, like the quarterly Forever & Co. showcase that takes place at the NC State Fairgrounds, bring dozens of vendors together at one event, giving you an abundance of inspiration and a chance to compare services. Smaller wedding shows and events take place throughout the year and may have a handful to a few dozen vendors to meet while you get an up-close view of the hosting venue. Most events come with plenty of eye candy and even catering and drink samples. Attending a few wedding shows will help you get a grasp on the full spectrum of to-dos, gather ideas, and, hopefully, you’ll click with a few of the vendors you chat with.
After reading our tips for attending wedding shows, head over to our Shows & Events page to see upcoming events!
Do’s and Don’ts of Attending Wedding Shows
DO some basic wedding planning in advance, if possible. Having a grasp on what you anticipate your guest count will be, your approximate budget and the style of reception you’d like to have will make the time attending a wedding show much more productive.
DO decide which vendors you’re interested in speaking with before you get to the show. Whether it’s the host venue or floral and decor inspiration, make sure you see those vendors and schedule enough time to chat and connect with them.
DON’T bring the whole family along. It’s smart to invite your right-hand planner, like your fiancé, parent or a member of your wedding party, but it’s best to leave your entire extended family and young children behind.
DO bring custom labels and include a special email address as an account devoted to your wedding planning for you and your fiancé to access. This will prevent your personal inbox from getting overloaded. If you participate in registering, you may get special deals and discounts sent to you.
DON’T come expecting to be fed an entire meal. Only a handful of vendors offer food and drink at their booths, and it’s usually small samples like mini cupcakes, appetizers or a scoop of ice cream.
DO carve out a few hours to spend at the event. Take your time and can visit as many vendors as possible. If you’re attending a larger wedding showcase, enjoy the fashion shows and audience games.
DON’T be shy! Ask questions, collect the packaging and pricing information you need and take photos of inspirational ideas. Vendors are more than willing to talk you through their services and clarify any questions you might have.
DO have fun! Spending this time with your fiancé can be an opportunity to connect and share your vision for your wedding. Plan to attend a wedding show together and treat it like a date night!
DO pick up a copy of Heart of NC Weddings! Many of our preferred vendors have copies available during open houses and events. If you don’t see any, just ask!