Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wedding Show Review

Wedding shows can be daunting, but if you`re smart you can get alot of planning done in one location. Husband and I went to two shows-a large one downtown Toronto and a smaller one in Hamilton. Here are some tips, pros and cons to make the most of your visit.

Large Shows:

It is worth going to one of these large shows, especially in the early planning stages. The best thing you can do is be prepared. Most wedding shows have a list of vendors and a map on their websites. Print one off, highlight booths you are interested in, and try to go there first before you get overwhelmed by the crowds

The Good:
  • lots of vendors in one location
  • easy to compare prices and services
  • good for inspiration, to see what you like and don`t like
  • The freebies! Tons and tons of free stuff-resuable shopping bags, samples, free wedding magazines, wedding planners etc.
  • Free admission
The Bad:
  • Freebies! Be prepared to carry alot of heavy stuff. We actually saw some couples with small rolling suitcases. You might scoff, but I am sure their arms were alot less tired than ours!
  • The crowds-it`s hard to get close to some booths, or to really see the fashion shows. Watch out for pushy Bridezillas
  • I found the customer service less than stellar. There are so many people, vendors don`t have the time to spend with customers
  • Oodles and oodles of paper! I found this VERY wasteful. I ended up recycling most of what I brought home
  • finding parking was terrible
  • I found it very loud-constant announcements
  • be careful filling out all those ballots. I was inundated with telemarketers and junkmail for weeks afterward. I apparently "won" a free honeymoon, it turned out to be a timeshare scam
What I learned:
  • what I don`t like-this is actually very helpful and can help you narrow your choices
  • we found a gorgeous handpainted cake inspired by Claude Monet. It was way too expensive but we walked away with our colour scheme-tones of purple and smoky silvery-gray. We kept that cake in the back of our minds throughout the rest of the planning
  • it's really not worth going to more than one large show, you will find the same stuff over and over again, you will get burned out and you won't take anything in after awhile. After a few hours my eyes glazed over, and I was just wandering without purpose.
Small Shows:

The Good:
  • less crowded
  • local vendors
  • customer service was much better!
  • you can get close to the booths, and actually see the fashion show
  • you can easily see everything in just a few hours
The Bad:
  • less choice, fewer vendors of each type
  • not as much freebies
  • parking might not be free
  • admission might not be free-but brides are usually admitted at no charge
What I learned:
The small show was a goldmine! All the following were sourced there:
  • the violinist!
  • the DJ
  • the cake
  • my wedding dress
  • bridesmaid's dresses
  • travel agent for honeymoon
  • the free wedding planner I used for tracking timelines
Not bad for an afternoon, huh?

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