The National Wedding Show rolls into town soon. Brides, grooms and bridal parties aplenty will be flocking through the doors of London’s Olympia and the Birmingham NEC to gather inspiration, share ideas, and maybe even tie down some of the major elements of the wedding itself.
Generally, it’s an event you only attend once. You only get one crack of the whip, so here’s our top tips for making the most of the day.
1. Plan your day in advance
We can’t emphasise this enough: decide what you want to get out of the day and then choose who you definitely want to visit in advance. If you don’t do this, the whole experience can become rather overwhelming! The show’s website lists every exhibitor, so read up in advance, making a note of stand locations and show times.
One good thing to do is to plan which catwalk show to attend. This is a really fun part of the day, but choosing which one to attend depends on what you’re after. While the first and last shows of the day tend to be quieter and have more seats available, the ones around lunchtime have a better atmosphere. VIP tickets get you reserved front row seats.
2. Enter competitions
A huge number of the 250 suppliers run competitions to draw people to their stands, but you’d be surprised how many attendees don’t bother to enter because the day is so busy that they don’t feel they’ve got time to fill in forms.
We’ve seen some brides getting clever about this by printing out their details in advance (name, contact details, wedding date and location), and simply handing them over the stands to whoever is dealing with the competitions. And of course don’t forget to enter Silverton’s fantastic prize draw!
3. Schedule popular activities to beat the crowds
The easiest way to make the most of your day is to arrive early.
Trying on dresses is a key part of the day for many brides. There is nowhere else you can see so many gowns in one place in a single day. Doing it properly here at the wedding show can be a lot more productive than making appointments at several bridal shops. But it’s a popular activity. If you’re prioritising finding the dress as something you want to do at the show, be sure to get in there early or late in the day to beat the crowds.
4. Take your own lunch
You’ll be ravenous after being on your feet all morning, but the cafes and bars tend to get jam-packed at lunch time. Be sure to eat a big breakfast to keep your energy levels up, and then plan to eat early or late to avoid the queues and have the best chance of getting a seat.
The best plan might be to take your own packed lunch. If you’re attending the show with your fiancée, pack some mini bottles of champagne, a box of strawberries and a blanket, head outside for some fresh air and hey presto – a romantic picnic for two!
Top tip: take some snacks with you, why not claim your free Graze Box in advance by using the code D1L6HV3D at graze.com
5. Gather information in a useful way
Suppliers will be (almost literally) throwing things at you throughout the day, from leaflets to free samples. And some of it might actually be useful. Most attendees either take the approach of grabbing everything they can and shoving it all in their bag to be sorted out at a later date, or do the opposite and reject everything thrust their way.
Neither approach is particularly useful, so why not try taking 3 shopping bags with you, labelled in your mind as yes, no and maybe. That way, when you get home, you’ll have three separate piles to rummage through, all linked to that important initial gut feeling!