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How To Navigate A Wedding Market Successfully

Whether that sparkler just slipped on your finger, or you’re a pro with just a few missing pieces in your planning, wedding markets offer an opportunity to gather inspiration and meet potential vendors. But to ensure enjoyment and not stress, Phoebe Lo Events is sharing their best advice for tackling these often overwhelming trade shows and with Rhythm Photography’s pretty pics from a recent visit to Blossom and Bloom, we’re feeling ready to go and excited to see what goodies are out there!

From Phoebe Lo Events… Wedding trade shows are a staple to any wedding planning process. From large conventions to intimate scale showcases, make your visit a functional and memorable occasion. Having participated in and operated a number of markets and trade shows, we have garnered a few ideas to help your navigate your next wedding show experience.

As a wedding planner, I would typically suggest attending about three wedding shows throughout the duration of your planning, but we find that the most beneficial time frame to attend wedding shows are typically between the 8 – 12 months prior to your event date, which ought to coincide with the peak time of your wedding planning process. This time range can allow you the opportunity to screen potential vendors on-site right at wedding shows and proceed with a follow up for any vendors of interest.

Identify Your Objective:

Different wedding shows offer different features, vendor types, styles and services, in the form of conventions, markets, open houses and even workshops. Identify your objective and goals for each of the shows that you wish to attend. Make no mistake in simply picking one singular category of a showcase, as you may actually find a lot of ideas and products that could suit your needs in wedding shows that may pertain outside of your immediate desired style or format.

Make A List:

Once you have established the shows that you are attending, grab a look at the vendor directory and show itinerary, to schedule your day around the segments of the show that you desire to visit first or last. Incorporate any event presentations and workshops that may be of your interest, and allow for some break time in between your day.

Bring Your Team:

You have probably heard this from other wedding professionals, but we are going to say it again anyway – bring your wedding team with you to the show! Your team could be your fiance/fiancee, your parents and siblings, or your bridal party members. Not only could your loved ones provide you with a second opinion, they are also your runners in between sections at massive trade shows that one may not physically be able to navigate entirely.

They may also have tuned into something that you could have missed out during a conversation, or simply there to give you a helping hand when you have received one too many goodie bags. And for those who have eager loved ones that are eager to participate in the planning, bringing them to wedding shows is usually a great segue into incorporating them to help with your planning process. 

Enjoy The Hospitality:

Have some fun! A wedding show should exist not merely as a research expedition, but an opportunity to enjoy some entertainment, sample and savor culinary delights, and expose yourselves to a myriad of design concepts presented to you. Let loose, eat some food, and be merry. Enjoy the hospitality that the show vendors have planned for you, and truly experience what your potential vendors are capable of offering for your very own wedding.

Converse And Question:

A sound wedding vendor (and any business really) should be able to provide you with an introduction to their company’s strengths and specialty upon your first encounter. So take the time and say hello. Converse with the vendors and ask some questions, because you will be surprised at what vendors could offer and potentially answer any questions you may have regarding your own celebration.

Take Advantage Of Those Ballots:

Who doesn’t fancy a free honeymoon, gift card or even a free wedding service? If you are comfortable with sharing your contact with an organization by filling out a ballot or survey, then by all means do so! But always remember to read the fine print with what you are signing up for. And for those who are savvy with signing up for draws or even simply connecting with vendors, feel free to print off some sticky labels, which can expedite the process of filling out forms and lists much easier.

Dress Well:

Approach the idea of “dressing well” as dressing comfortably and suitable for the occasion! Pick out your favorite walking boots for an autumn or winter showcase. Dress in your comfy jeans and sweater if you are attending a market style show. Or simply bring some sequins into your outfit if you are attending a wedding show that is promoting an evening affair style showcase. Feel not only comfortable, but feel empowered by your participation with the event!

Cash, Cheque Or Contract:

Some vendors might offer show discounts and incentives for visitors that have attended the event. This could take the form of a mailing list signup, or simply a voucher coupon to take away. There have also been instances where vendors can offer a discount upon making a sale at the show. We recommend professional contracts offered to the client by the vendor, and for the client to take the time to review the document, ask any questions, or suggest any amendments prior to making payment.

Although some vendors do provide a great incentive and services, an emotional purchase can sometimes result in less than satisfactory results. A good vendor who wants to work with you should offer these incentives with a healthy duration of time post-show to allow to you take a closer look at their work and allow you to make an informed decision.

More planning inspiration + advice in our VAULT right here!

Photography: Rhythm Photography | Event Planning + Design: Phoebe Lo Events | Floral Design: Hoopla Event Styling And Design | Dress: Monique Lhuillier Dress | Stationery: Pulp Function | Jewelry: Kathryn Rebecca | Hair + Makeup: VIDI VICI | Harpist: Liane James | Bridal Boutique: Pearl Bridal House | Bull Dog: Leash and Paws | Ceramic Dishes: Pi Ceramic Designs | Design Assistance: Bunny Bum Boxes | Model: Sally Leung | Succulents: Your Pal Al | Textile Designs: KooCoo | Vintage Teaware: Invitation to Tea | Wooden Flags: Halyard Flags

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Romantic + Bohemian Beach Engagement

If a table for two sounds fab, just picture said scene placed on the shores with sand beneath your feet (which is exactly what this darling duo did). It’s the e-sesh to top all e-sessions because Rhythm Photography has captured a box full of butterflies that’ll make your heart flutter. Complete with fresh floral garland and a watercolor table canvas, this collection of pretty is one you can see in THE VAULT!

From Phoebe Lo EventsLisa and Kelvin celebrated their engagement at the scenic Scarborough Bluffs beach in Toronto. A surprise sunset affair presented by the groom-to-be infused a gorgeous display of contemporary and bohemian design elements and made use of a lush color palette full of lavender, lilac, ivory and gold.

A table for two on the beach was created with a reclaimed wooden table embellished with a fresh floral garland composed by BLUUMBLVD. This delightful ensemble of roses, peonies and blooms graced the watercolor table canvas tailored by Painterly Posies. A collection of fresh terrariums garnered with succulents and crystals were curated by Atlas Trove and further engaged in the Bohemian style of the celebration. Accompanying this little oasis would be the natural mala bead necklace by Cat Janiga that made way as a sweet little keepsake for the bride. Jacq Baked Good’s macaron desserts presented atop a couple heirloom plates were a sweet treat for the couple.

Hints of aroma were detected by the lavender bundles harvested by the local growers, Christel Lake Lavender. Accompanying were artisan candles infused with lavender essential oil and gold leaf handmade by Live and Lather.

A little surprise awaited Lisa upon her arrival to the site. A fluttering couple of butterflies greeted the bride-to-be with a colorful welcome. The butterflies – reared by Butterflies and Roses – represent a special artistry in our city that helps cultivate the endangered monarch butterflies and are offered to special events. The beautiful occasion made its mark with an elegant proposal exhibited by a handwritten card. Designed and produced by Ava Designs, the gold lettering piece stayed true to the couple’s love for handwritten notes.

Lisa was also presented with a token of Kelvin’s love. A gift of the Calista Halo from The Loved One was surely one of the gems of the day. The golden head piece embellished with golden leaves and crystals charmed with utter elegance and luxury. The beautiful Gaia Charm Necklace from Cat Janiga completed the look with all its handmade beauty.

The beautiful evening marked a new celebration ahead with the release of the butterflies. An ode to the couple who are now en route to embark on a great journey together.

Photography: Rhythm Photography | Event Planning and Design: Phoebe Lo Events | Floral Garland: BLUUMBLVD | Succulent and Crystal Terrariums: Atlas Trove | Hair and Makeup: Fiona Man | Artisan Candles: Live and Lather | Watercolor Table Linen: Painterly Posies | Luxury Headpiece: The Loved One | Fine Jewelry: Cat Janiga | Stationery Design: Ava Stationery | Patisserie: Jacq Baked Goods | Lavender: Christel Lake Lavender | Monarch Butterflies: Butterflies and Roses

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Coral Garden Party Wedding at Casa Loma

Every Summer Solstice, these cuties celebrate in style, surrounded by family and friends outside in the sun, playing games and toasting to good times. With their love for fun, sunshine and laughter, it’s no surprise they wanted to say their “I do’s” in similar fashion. Distinct Occasions took that inspiration and ran with it, creating a colorful summer soiree to remember. When He Found Her captured their day in all its glory and their pics in the VAULT have me already eager for next summer.


From Distinct OccasionsVanessa and Pete love to host parties and play games. Their favourite day of the year tho, is Summer Solstice. Together, on the longest day of the year, they always celebrate and spend it outdoors, with friends, playing games, sharing food and making the most of Mother Nature.

For their wedding they were inspired by Summer Solstice. They wanted an outdoor wedding with a tent, lots of games, lots of fun and nothing formal or old-fashioned. Speeches were to be kept minimal, food plentiful and glasses always ready for a toast. We loved it!

With help from their Wedding Planner of Once-in-a-Lifetime Awesomeness, Crystal Adair-Benning of Distinct Occasions, the Summer Solstice Wedding was brought to life in the gardens of Toronto’s only castle, Casa Loma, featuring a colour palette of mango, lemon and watermelon! The coral peonies bloomed bigger than we’ve ever seen them to make this day truly amazing!

Photography: When He Found Her | Event Planning: Distinct Occasions | Floral Designer: Stemz | Catering: Liberty Group | Wedding Venue: Casa Loma | Linens: Around The Table

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here