Wedding Explore: All Things Wedding
How to make the most of your time spent at a local wedding expo.
Congratulations! You’re engaged. Now comes the fun part of planning your wedding. Yet you may feel overwhelmed with all there is to do to create your perfect day. Choose a venue. Shop for a gown. Hire a DJ. Look for a photographer. Where do you start? Why, at a wedding expo, of course.
Wedding expos or bridal shows are held at various locations around Central Florida throughout the year to showcase local vendors and let couples see what is available out there, compare prices and offerings, and discover the latest trends.
“From the minute you walk in the door, it’s a giant celebration of the fact that you’re getting married,” says Karen Lee, president of Florida Wedding Expo by Your Wedding TV, which has been hosting such events for 15 years.
“It’s an opportunity to meet prospective companies, get a feel for their style and personality, and find the ones you connect with. You can’t do this online,” says Lee. “It makes Pinterest come to life.”
Bring your fiancé or come with your girlfriends, she suggests. There are often gifts for grooms, moms and more. Watch a full runway fashion show with wedding gowns, bridesmaids dresses, and tuxedos; try a new look with a beauty makeover; indulge in delectable bites that may end up on your dessert table; and fantasize about your honeymoon by watching videos of the top-rated destinations.
A wedding expo can help you visualize and plan the day you’ve always dreamed of, down to every last detail.
You can save money, too. Many vendors offer special pricing, incentives and discounts available only at the show. And there are all sorts of giveaways. Florida Wedding Expo, for example, offers hundreds of prizes, including six or more honeymoon packages, plus other free products and services. There are also great swag bags.
Bottom line, says Lee: Learn lots, have fun and... eat cake!
Here are some tips she offers to get the most out of a wedding expo:
- Preregister. You’ll get a discount by purchasing tickets in advance and avoid lines at the door. Some VIP tickets—with extra perks—sell out early.
- Plan ahead. Peruse the list of vendors and prioritize which ones you want to meet. Bring your specific questions, your wedding date, number of guests and any details you have already decided upon.
- Create a specific email address for your wedding. Save your personal email from an onslaught of info by setting up a dedicated wedding email that you’ll use at the show and for all things wedding-related.
- Pre-print labels with your name and email. This will save you from writing your info dozens of times when you enter drawings for prizes and future correspondence.
- Stick around. You need to be at the expo to win the prize drawings.
- Dress comfortably. Plan to spend at least two to three hours walking around. So leave the heels at home and wear sneakers or comfortable shoes.
Upcoming Wedding Expos
There are numerous wedding expos around Central Florida each year. Check out www.centralfloridabridalshows.com for local events. Here are some upcoming shows:
- Florida Wedding Expo by Your Wedding TV: floridaweddingexpo.com
- August 25, 2019 at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando.
- Perfect Wedding Show!: www.perfectweddingguide.com
- June 30, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando.
- The Xpos Wedding Show: www.thexpos.com
- June 2, 2019 at the St. Petersburg Marriot Clearwater, St. Petersburg.
- July 21, 2019 at the Hard Rock Hotel, Daytona Beach.
- August 18, 2019 at the Tampa International Airport.
- September 15, 2019 at the Florida Hotel & Conference Center, Orlando.
- Our Dream Wedding Expo: www.ourdreamweddingexpo.com
- August 11, 2019 at the Doubletree By Hilton Orlando Airport Hotel.
- November 10, 2019 at the Westin Orlando North Hotel.
- The Wedding Stroll: www.theweddingstroll.com
- June 23, 2019 in downtown Orlando.
- February 16, 2020 in Winter Park.