I’ve been to quite a few wedding fairs, exhibiting, but mainly to build up my network of suppliers to recommend to all you gorgeous brides and grooms.
One thing that always strikes me when I’m in the thick of the fair is how overwhelming it all is! There is just so much to take in.
Whatever stage you are at in your planning your head is forever being turned at a fair of ‘ooooh what about this’ and ‘oh no! I do not want that!’. Wedding fairs are targeting everyone who walks through the door, however specialist the fair is, there will always be a broad spectrum of styles and suppliers. With so much on offer you can quite easily be swayed from what you would ordinarily be looking at. You should always go with an open mind.
So rarely in modern day life do we purchase from people and not machines, or large faceless multinationals, there is something quite intimate and satisfying about getting to know your suppliers on a face-to-face basis. There is a trust, romanticism and belief that you would be best of using that person over and above someone you found online. Or you might have already found them online and now want to meet them in person. Just the other day I heard a bride-to-be walk out of a wedding fair saying ‘I know I could get anyone to do it, but I just really liked them, I’m going to book them!’ People still want to buy from people – and this is the best opportunity to do this during your wedding planning.
While at a large national wedding fair I was walking around when I overheard a group of girls; one of the suppliers on a stand approached the girl at the front of the group and started trying to make polite conversation about her upcoming wedding. She laughed and told the guy to speak to her friend, as she walked off, the friend exclaimed ‘but she is the bride!’. The overwhelming feeling of being approached by everyone at a wedding fair really can be too much for one couple to deal with. It can all be rather off-putting – akin to being on holiday, and the long strip of restaurants and bars on the sea edge having a member of their staff outside trying to entice you into their restaurant or bar… I don’t know about you but I always end up going as far away from these types of places as possible. The marketing just doesn’t wash with me.
So my top tips of advice for anyone attending a wedding fair:
- Think of the experience as a bit like going to an art gallery. Just because everyone has a label it doesn’t mean you have to read each one. Glance around the room(s) see which suppliers you are drawn to and take the time to get to know them. You shouldn’t feel obliged to go to each and every stand.
- Go with your partner and avoid too big a group – they will get bored and distracted as you are speaking to suppliers and you’ll feel a burden to wrap up your conversations quickly – this is the best time to get all your questions answered.
- Don’t think because a supplier has a smaller stand they aren’t going to be any good – they are probably quietly confident in their craft and most likely will put more energy into your wedding than their marketing.
- Make sure you wear comfy shoes. It can be a lot of standing and walking around.
- Don’t be afraid to ask all the questions running through your mind, and take notes – you’ll forget who said what!
- Take a quick photo on your phone of any suppliers you particularly like – especially if you are more of a visual person – then you’ll remember who they are.
- When you get home, or go for a cosy pub lunch, after the fair sit down and debrief with each other on what you both felt about all the suppliers you saw and conversations you had.
- Bring me along to help you filter and build a perfect plan bespoke to you with the suppliers you loved meeting.
- And the number one rule – don’t buy anything there and then – give you details, but only pay once you’ve had the debrief with your partner away from the wedding fair.
I believe going to a wedding fair is part of the wedding journey and should be enjoyed. Make the most of the day to figure out what you don’t want as much as what you do want.
Get in touch with me when it all gets too much and a little bit overwhelming. A few hours together and we can get you on track, get you some clarity and focus on what you really do or don’t want from your suppliers for your big day.
Most of all ENJOY!