To Wedding Show or not to Wedding Show?
Now that the planning is about to be or already is in full swing, a cluster of wedding shows pop up! Yay!..or is it? Is it important to go to wedding shows when planning your big day? We spoke to Co-Founders Beri Gebrehiwot and Karen Okonkwo of Her Big Day Wedding Show about the pros and cons of wedding shows for a bride-to-be.
Tell us a little about yourselves, how did you get started in the wedding industry?
Hello! Our names are Beri Gebrehiwot & Karen Okonkwo and we are co-founders and co-owners of Her Big Day, LLC. – a wedding show and fashion show catered to the cultural bride. Our mission is to connect cultural brides with vendors who can service their unique wedding needs- and to do that, we have created a one-stop shop where they can connect with vendors, find inspiration and receive guidance in planning their cultural weddings!
The idea of our company was formed during Beri’s own wedding planning experience when she found a huge missing piece in the wedding industry- and that was the lack of resources for cultural brides. Although she found vendors and resources for her western wedding (Day-1), it was her cultural wedding (Day-2) that she felt lost in planning and searching for vendors to meet her needs for her cultural day. After her wedding, she searched the market and found that there was indeed a need across the country- the rest is history!
Karen comes from a party planning background, and after meeting Beri – Her Big Day was officially launched and the first and only cultural wedding show to grace the Pacific Northwest was successfully executed on January 26, 2016.
So what is a wedding show?
A wedding show is an exhibition where professionals in the wedding industry showcase or exhibit their services in hopes of connecting with brides.
Why would a bride to be consider going to one?
It’s the best place to see what various wedding vendors have to offer. Plus, most vendors offer special prices and discounts during wedding shows, so it’s a great opportunity to find your vendors at a great discount! Bonus: some other fun that goes on at a wedding show is the fashion show, prize giveaways, food & cake samples, music and tons of fun!
What kind of vendors can she expect to find?
Vendors at our wedding show are exclusively invited based on their experience with cultural weddings, their overall experience and reputation, the services they provide and whether it fits our demographic of brides. We want to guarantee our brides some of Seattle’s best wedding professionals and help them use their time effectively. Having gone through the wedding planning experience and being a part of various weddings, we both work hard at creating an environment that is complete with their needs- including bridal fashion from various cultures!
What sets your show apart from the rest?
Our wedding show is unique in the sense that an African bride or Indian bride can find vendors who service their cultural wedding needs, such as henna or traditional, bridal attire! During our 2016 show, our brides represented 14 different ethnicities and cultures. That proves to us that there is a vast number of women, just within our city, who will find our wedding show and online resources useful- and that makes us very happy!
What are the big don’ts for wedding shows?
Wedding shows can be stressful if the bride-to-be is already feeling overwhelmed with wedding planning and has no clear direction in what she wants for her Big Day.
With that being said:
Don’t go to a wedding show overwhelmed- think of it as a fun day-party with your girlfriends, your fiancé or your mother-in-law. Grab a mimosa, or two, take part in samples and take in the festivities!
Don’t go to a wedding show to simply pick up a few brochures, taste some cake and exit through the back door—our wedding show has an agenda full of great events planned throughout the show such as a fashion show, prize giveaways, a dance performance, and a VIP Bridal Brunch to kick start the event in the morning! If you’re going to already be there, you might as well enjoy the entire program 😉
What should a bride to be do at a show?
Do write out a list of vendors you are still waiting to book. Check them out at the show and talk to them! Ask them questions about their availability, ask them if they have any promotionals during the wedding show, leave your email address if they have a guest book at their booth and take their card. Most vendors are good about following up, but we think it’s a good idea to reach out to the vendors you would like to take the next steps with!
Do take lots of pictures! These pics will come in handy after the show when you’re trying to remember all that you saw and were inspired by- and don’t forget to tweet and share them on Instagram as well, of course!
What’s the biggest thing brides-to-be can look forward to your wedding show?
We certainly can’t choose ONE thing that they should look forward to. Our greatest mission with our show is that each bride leaves INSPIRED and feels like she is several steps closer to completing her vision for her Big Day!
One thing we are doing that is new this year, is our VIP Bridal Brunch. This is a time for newly engaged and planning women to receive great resources and tips on wedding planning & budgeting, hear from a panel of recent cultural brides on their wedding planning and last, a fun segment with celebrity makeup artist Glam By Maryam as she shares professional hair/makeup tips with the bride-to-be!
We trust that the VIP Bridal Brunch will be a huge hit and we hope that brides will look forward to partaking in an intimate and fun, wedding planning day party with us!
What do brides who don’t go to these shows miss out on?
We would say that you are definitely missing out on an opportunity to see wedding inspiration from different perspectives and worlds. Sometimes, we don’t know that we like (or hate) something until we see it live, in person! Think of the wedding show as an opportunity to see some of your wedding visions displayed before your eyes! J
Lastly, for a bride to be who is looking for a wedding show, Tell us a little more about the Her Big Day wedding Show, and what brides can look forward to.
As mentioned above, we are kick starting our show with a VIP Bridal Brunch this year, so please do check that out!
11:00AM-1:00PM VIP Bridal Brunch to include light brunch and mimosas (see details above)
1:00PM – Doors will open to the main wedding show
3:00PM – 4:00PM- A fashion show with bridal inspiration from different parts of the world, including the western, white wedding gown! P.S. we can’t wait to show you what Samila’s Boutique has handpicked to showcase on our runway this year! <3
6:00PM – Show ends.
Throughout the show, there will be prize giveaways and special performances, food tasting from Ethiopian and Indian catering companies and, of course, cake tasting!
Tickets can be purchased at bit.ly/herbigday2017
We would love to extend a promotional code for each ticket to your readers!
VIP Tickets Promo code: Giveme10 – $10 off
General Admission Tickets Promo code: Giveme5 – $5 off
Please follow Her Big Day on social media to learn more about the various vendors who will exhibit with us for 2017:
See you all soon, xx!
We would love to thank Beri Gebrehiwot and Karen Okonkwo for sharing some amazing insights into wedding shows and what to expect. Do you think wedding shows are a must or bust? Tell us below!
If you’re interested in the up and coming Her Big Day Wedding Show, find tickets on http://www.herbigday.info/ . This amazing duo are giving you ladies 20% off tickets for the show, use the code HBD2017 !! Call us to secure your spots!!!
(425) 558 5714