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Getting engaged is one of the most exciting moments of any relationship, and then the reality of having to plan a wedding sets in. Luckily, there are entire events dedicated to the process: wedding shows.

What to expect

Typically, a wedding show features numerous vendors displaying their products and services in a large exhibition hall or wedding venue. It’s everything you could possibly need to host a wedding: caterers, bakers, florists, venues, photographers and much, much more, all in one place.

The biggest advantage is the chance put a face with a name and to ask questions of exhibitors without any sales pressure. Chatting with them can help you narrow your choices, even pinpoint who can best capture your vision and execute an event that reflects your personality.

There typically are giveaways, discounts and free samples from the exhibitors  as well as fashion shows to highlight attire for the entire bridal party. This is the case at the Wedding Essentials Idea Show on Oct. 20 at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs.

How to prepare

1. Create a separate email address

Most vendors will have sign-ups for giveaways, discounts, quotes or just more information. Instead of inundating your main inbox with wedding-related mail, keep everything in one place by creating an email address dedicated to wedding planning. 

2. Do your research beforehand

Check out the wedding show's list of exhibitors. Click and browse their products and services, then prioritize the ones you'd like to learn more from at the show.

3. Bring a notebook

Large wedding fairs can feature more than 100 vendors, so it’s easy to forget information or mix up caterers if you solely rely on your memory. Keeping track of exhibitors you meet at the Wedding Essentials Idea Show is easy with the free BrideScan mobile app. Simply download it and set up a personal profile. The day of the show, scan the QR codes of favorite exhibitors to capture their contact info and make planning notes as you go.  

4. Dress for comfort

Wedding shows involve lots of walking, so ditch the heels for a practical pair of flats. You'll be sure to get your 10,000 steps in for the day! 

5. Don’t go alone

A wedding show is a great opportunity to involve others in your planning process — if not for decision-making then just for the fun of seeing all things bridal and sharing your excitement. Brides, grooms, moms, besties, entire wedding parties — the more, the merrier!  

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