Want to See these Baltimore Wedding Venues in Action?
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The Best Wedding Venues in Maryland
The Baltimore Museum of Art
The Walters Art Museum
Turf Valley Resort
Swan Harbor Farm
Pond View Farm
Mt. Washington Mill - Dye House
The Maryland Zoo
The Mansion at Valley Country Club
Lord Baltimore Hotel
The Grand Baltimore
Evergreen Museum and Library
The Engineers Club
The Elkridge Furnace Inn
Corradetti Glassblowing Studio
Christian Royer House
Celebrations at the Bay
Baltimore Museum of Industry
American Visionary Art Museum
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OK, so you have everything packed and ready to go… now what do you do BEFORE you go to a bridal show?
Wedding expos can be long! Having a game plan can set you up for a successful day.If you haven’t already, take a minute and head over to my previous post, “What to Bring” and then come back. It’s got some great info – specifically check out the section on the two bags. Just that one idea will save you a TON of time. Now, in order to make the wedding expo work as well for you as possible, there are a couple key things you need to know – especially, what do you do before you go to a bridal show show?
What to do BEFORE you head to the bridal show
Having a game plan ahead of time, and not just hopping into your car and driving to the expo will save you a ton of time, energy, and MONEY! What you do before heading to the bridal show can be just as beneficial as what you will see there. Here is a checklist of things you should definitely do before you go.
Create a wedding only email address to give out at the show
One thing everyone knows is, you are going to be receiving so many emails regarding your wedding! Having a wedding specific email is something to have just to keep your life together while planning your wedding. It’s not just something to have for the wedding expo. You will be connecting with people, scheduling meetings, getting together with bridesmaids, all things you’ll want to keep in one place. Head over to Gmail and come up with a great way to combine your names and wedding date – you could even turn this into your wedding hashtag later on!
Map out your trip, and have a strategy
One of the most common phrases I hear early in the day is, “I’m so overwhelmed, I don’t know where to start.” When you are potentially heading to a convention center with hundreds of wedding professionals, and a few thousand other people, this can be a very easy feeling to experience. Quite often, the wedding expo will have a list of exhibitors on their website. Check out who’s going to be there, and know who you definitely want to talk to. You can even send out a couple preliminary emails to people you KNOW you will want to meet, get some basic info from them, and use the expo as a “name-to-face” scenario. You’ll be able to spend a little more time with the people you definitely want to get to know, and have more time to get that second sampling of cake!
Know what you want to accomplish at the bridal show
Decide which vendors you definitely want to talk to first, and go from there. Make a list of people you want to just get some basic info from, who you want to schedule a meeting with this week, and if there is a type of vendor you are ready to book AT THE SHOW. If you have a checklist of specific aspects of your wedding you want to focus on, you can spend the first half of the show knocking out checklists. The second half can be gathering inspiration, taking pictures of centerpieces, watching the fashion show. (I’ll get to that later.) Regardless, just flat out get excited about your day!
Be ready with questions you want to know from each vendor
Remember that notebook I told you about last post? Come up with different questions for each vendor to help you decide on who to meet up with later. Have separate pages or sections per element of your wedding day, and go from there. Don’t know what questions to ask? Talk with a friend who was recently married about what questions they wish they would have asked and start there. Are you the first one in your friend circle to get married? Google can be a good resource to help navigate those uncharted waters, but some common sense is key. Start off with “best questions to ask a wedding (fill in the blank)” and go from there.
Take advantage of discounted tickets
Quite often, wedding expos give out discounted tickets on their website. On occasion, free tickets to are available to exhibitors to hand out ahead of time. Touch base with exhibitors and see if they have any discounted tickets. You can also buy your tickets online for a discounted price!!
This should set you up for success at tomorrow’s wedding expo! Now get some rest – tomorrow’s going to be a big day 🙂
Interested in checking out some wedding expos? Check these first:
Once you’re done there, head on over to the next round: How to Survive a Bridal Show Part 3 – What to do AT the show – as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me
Tyler Rieth is a wedding photographer in Baltimore, Maryland. More than just that, he is also a part-time wedding day therapist, timeline consultant, comic relief specialist, and above all, your personal storyteller. He currently lives in Maryland with his beautiful wife, two amazing kids and a pair of feisty dogs.