Congratulations, wedding pro! You've just RSVP'd to the bridal expo of your dreams. Get ready to build connections with other vendors and meet precious couples looking for your expertise.
As you gear up for your bridal show, I'm sharing the inside scoop on turning your booth into a love-at-first-sight experience.
Read on for tips, tricks, and my packing checklist (great for any vendor) to ensure you're not just "another vendor" but a wedding superhero.
When I started my business, bridal shows were the #1 way to gain exposure and start building my brand. The expo host works diligently to bring in hundreds of brides, giving you face-to-face time with brides you may never meet otherwise.
Here are 7 things I wish I knew before my first bridal expo.
1. Dress to Impress: Your Booth & Your Brand ⭐️
First impressions are everything.
Your booth is your storefront, your stage, and your chance to dazzle couples planning their big day. Create a booth that speaks volumes about your unique services, and be sure you understand booth requirements before arriving.
- Can you bring your own table?
- Will you be outdoors?
- Are you limited on space?
- Is music allowed?
Bring samples of your work and photos of previous projects to show brides. Whether you have a small table or a large tent, make the best use of your space to show off your creative talents!
Present yourself in a way that looks professional and represents your brand. As a calligrapher and engraver, I wear all black to events, but I don't necessarily follow that rule for expos. However, classic and clean lines are my style, so I opt for solids and neutrals. Wear what makes you comfortable and accurately represents your brand.
Pro tip: Wear comfortable shoes and clothing that's easy to move in.
2. Know Your Audience: Beyond the Bride 💍
Understanding the minds of brides and grooms—and even their parents—can help you make a great impression. Don't overlook the moms, bridesmaids, or support system that attend the show. Brides are not the only decision-makers for big wedding day choices.
Listening is your secret weapon. Engage with genuine curiosity and carefully consider their answers to showcase how your artistry can help them meet their goals. Every vendors won't talk about this: Not all brides will be your ideal client.
Many of my bridal clients have become close friends. This is only possible by being yourself and having real conversations with the bride and her family--not by saying what you think they want to hear.
Pro tip: Show your personality. Wedding planning can be stressful, but you can make them feel comfortable and excited throughout the process.
3. Pack Like a Pro – Downloadable Checklist Included! 📋
Consider your packing list to be your survival kit. I know from experience what items are a must. To make your life (and booth setup) a breeze, I've crafted a free downloadable checklist. From pens to power strips, this checklist ensures you'll be the most prepared vendor of the bridal expo scene.
To get your hands on this game-changer, simply submit your email below. Time to pack like a pro!
Click here for an instant download of Pack Like a Pro, my bridal show packing checklist.
4. Engage and Conquer: Clever Conversation Starters
Break the ice with witty conversation starters that go beyond the usual small talk.
Ask to hear their engagement story or see a picture from the proposal
Consider offering gift bags to the first 10 attendees, or have a cooler with mini bottles of water. Be thoughtful in your approach to meeting new brides and remember, wedding planning can be stressful. You want the bride to know that you're personable and easy to work with.
Pro tip: Always start with a smile!
I often use my booth as a way to show live demonstrations of calligraphy and engraving services. In this photo, I am hand engraving a bottle of wine to show brides the possibility of on-site personalization for their wedding day.
5. Social Scene: Share the Love! 📸💕
Weddings and social media go hand in hand. Encourage visitors to find you on social media with a QR code or digital frame that displays your social media pages. This not only boosts your online presence but also creates a buzz around your brand.
There are simple ways to build engagement and direct them to your online portfolio.
Pro tip: Offer a discount code or giveaway for brides who follow you online and DM you a picture from the expo. Engagement and content!
6. Connect and Follow Up: The Art Relationships
It happens to all of us: "Sure, I'll call you later," then you never heard from them again.
The bridal expo isn't just a one-day affair—it's the beginning of a lasting relationship. Collect contact information with a digital form, QR codes, or good old-fashioned pen and paper...then actually follow up.
Where you really go the extra mile is in sending a personalized follow-up email expressing gratitude for their time and your excitement about potentially collaborating on their special day.
Pro tip: Ask the host if they are able to provide a list of attendees and contact information. Then make a plan to send an email!
7. Building Bridges: Network with Wedding Professionals 💍
As you embark on your first bridal expo adventure, remember: your artistry is your superpower, and every conversation is an opportunity to build connections and showcase your brand.
By downloading my checklist, you've taken the first step toward expo success. Plan ahead for the event by setting up your display at home to see how it looks and feels. Every bridal show brings you potential clients and networking opportunities to grow your business.
Go ahead, wedding pro! You've got this!
Did you nail your first bridal show? Let me know on Instagram that this checklist helped you!
Macie is a professional calligrapher and engraver specializing in live event personalization. She works with both brands and brides to provide more than just a service--it's an experience for any event. Serving clients from Atlanta to Savannah, she loves all things southern hospitality and connecting with clients in all industries.