Wedding Expos are so incredibly fun, crowded, insane, hectic, packed with vendors, and AWESOME. However, they can more often than not be kind of overwhelming.
1. Utilize the buddy system.
Going to an expo with your gal pal, Mom, or even your bridal party is a great idea. First of all, it will be fun for them because who doesn't love free stuff? Second, it will be a great bonding experience for everyone involved. There's a ton going on at an expo. You want someone there to watch your stuff if you get your make up done, or have to use the restroom. Find a buddy!
2. Make a wedding email address.
You will sign up for things you will never need, or want to hear from, but you do it because you're excited, it's the polite thing to do, and again, who doesn't love free stuff? However, you don't want your main email inbox to be bogged down with wedding stuff exclusively--especially if you aren't interested in a particular service after you give your email out. This will help you keep everything organized.
3. TAKE ALL OF THE BUSINESS CARDS YOU CAN.
Business cards are excellent little things of information. Not only are they conveniently sized, but they are physical reminders about a company, service, or even a consideration you should be thinking about or want. Collecting these business cards gives you all of the information that you need from each of these vendors in case you need to do more research on them in the future.
Some bridal expos can feel like they take forever, but more often than not, waiting until the end of the expo is worth it. There are incentives to stay like raffle prizes, and grand prizes that you can win. I recently went to my first bridal show and won $500 wedding bands because I happened to stay until the end of the show, and they called my name during the raffle. I never win anything, but I'm glad I stuck around.
5. Ask questions.
Don't be afraid to ask vendors questions--even if you don't end up wanting to use that vendor. It is important to see what you are dealing with or are in for. Speaking to vendors, and the vendors' competition, will give you a clear idea of costs, considerations, and ideas for you to think about while you are planning and choosing.
6. Bridal expos are for EVERYONE.
Grooms and groomsmen, don't be afraid to check out bridal expos with your fiancé, or even on your own. Although it's not entirely common to find dudes at these events, it's still your wedding just as much as it is the bride's. More often than not there are vendors there specifically for men catering to tuxedos, entertainment and more.
7. Organize your free stuff.
When you return from the bridal expo, you will have A LOT of stuff with you from free samples, little gifts, to absolutely a textbook amount of paper, pamphlets, business cards and flyers. Organize your stuff from information that you want/need, information to consider, and toss the rest. There's no reason to get bogged down with this pile of stuff, but at the same time you don't want to just throw it all in the nearest recycling bin. You will find at least one bit of useful information, or vendor that you like among that pile.
Check out these sites to find bridal expos near you: