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How to Survive Wedding Fairs...and Enjoy Them

Wedding fairs, bridal shows, Wedding shows, bridal shows…call them what you will, but they can either provoke giddy excitement or rabbit in the headlights fear.

I remember the first wedding fair I attended before I first exhibited at one and it was overwhelming. So much so I had a nose bleed! Granted, the National Wedding Fair is a bit larger than your average fair.

To get the best out of wedding fairs, large or small, you need to be Girl Guide prepared.

wedding fair set up for Carla Thomas Photography

Most wedding fairs fall between January and March and then September to October, but do look around as there are still a few shows during the late spring and summer months. There can also be more than one the same day.

Here are a few tips to help you not only choose what shows to attend but also how to leave them wihout feeling overwhelmed.

Do your Research
Decide on what your aim is in attending the fair. Is it for inspiration or are there suppliers you still want to book? Knowing what you want to achieve will help you decide which fairs to visit.

Many wedding fair organisers will often list the exhibitors at their fairs on their website. Check the wedding suppliers’ websites before attending the show to learn more about their work. This will help you decide who you want to find out more about at the fair.

What To Take With You

  • Comfy shoes. If it is a large fair, you could be on your feet for a good couple of hours or so. You will also be given leaflets and handouts from most stands, so try and keep what you take with you to a minimum to stop getting weighed down.
  • Your fiancé, a friend or family to help with some of your decision making.
  • Material swatches if you want to discuss colour matching with certain suppliers.
  • Small, pre-printed stickers with your name and contact details. Whether you are entering a competition or leaving your details with a supplier, a sticker is much easier than having to fill out forms.
  • An open mind. A wedding fair is a source of inspiration, information and a place for some interrogation! Make sure you ask all your key questions of the suppliers you meet.

Know Your Game Plan
Make a list and stick to it. Try to avoid looking at items you have already confirmed and spend your time wisely deciding on the things you still need to book.

Although there are often good offers to be found at wedding fairs. Do not feel pressured into placing orders at the show.

Many suppliers will have specials and discounts on their services if you book on day or within a few weeks so you can take some time making your decisions.

Take Notes
You will probably walk away from the fair with lots of business cards and brochures, making it difficult to remember which supplier was which.

Take notes as you meet people and jot down their ideas, suggestions and prices.

Also add a tick for those suppliers you liked or a cross for the ones that do not meet your needs in the corner of their card or brochure so when you get home, you can quickly set aside the information you want to review.

Have Fun
Wedding fairs are a fun part of the wedding planning process, so the best thing you can do is enjoy it.

When you get home, spend some time that evening while the suppliers are fresh in your mind to go through all the literature you have collated and decide who you would like to contact.

Those ticks and crosses on their literature should make this quick and easy for you. Do not delay contacting the suppliers you would like to work with as popular suppliers book up quickly.

Notable Wedding Fairs

www.nationalweddingshow.co.uk
Manchester: 7th - 8th February
London: 20th - 22nd February
Birmingham: 27th February - 1st March

Luxury Wedding Show
www.luxuryweddingshow.co.uk
London Hilton on Park Lane: 8th March

www.theweddingfairs.com/excel-london
Excel Centre, London: 18th - 19th April

I hope these tips will help make your wedding fair experience enjoyable.

If you would like to find out more about my wedding photography, please get in touch, and we can arrange a time to catch up.

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