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 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, but still. It’s why I try and make sure my stand doesn’t overwhelm while still sharing enough information to help you make a decision.
To get the best out of wedding fairs, large or small, you need to be a Girl Guide and be prepared.
Most wedding fairs fall between January and April and then again between September to November. However, do look around as there are still a few smaller 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 without 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 need to book? Have you been following a supplier on social media and want to meet them in person to see if you connect? Knowing what you want to achieve will help you decide which fairs to visit.
Many wedding fair organisers usually 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 or if in fact the show is for you.
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. Looking at things you’ve already booked can lead to FOMO. Trust you’ve made the right choice and avoid stands for items you’ve already arranged.
Although there are often good offers to be found at wedding fairs, don’t feel pressured into placing orders at the show. Many suppliers will have specials on their services if you book on the day or within a few weeks so you can take some time making your decisions.
You will probably walk away from the fair with lots of business cards and leaflets, making it difficult to remember which supplier was which.
Take notes as you meet people and jot down their ideas, suggestions and prices, etc.
Also add a tick on the leaflets for those suppliers you liked or a cross for the ones that don’t meet your needs so when you get home, you can quickly set aside the information you want to review and recycle the rest.
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 things are still fresh in your mind to go through everything you’ve collected and decide who you would like to contact.
Those ticks and crosses on their leaflets should make this quick and easy for you. Don’t delay contacting the suppliers you would like to work with as certain dates and suppliers book up quickly.
What to take with you
Just a quick list of things that will make your day go a bit smoother:
- 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 partner, 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.
I hope these tips will help make your wedding fair experience enjoyable. If you’re going to The National Wedding Show the weekend of 4th-5th April, stop by stand C8 and say hello. Would be great to hear more about your wedding plans and see how I can help capture your memories for you.
Even if you won’t be at the show and want to chat to me about your wedding photography, you can always contact me, so we can arrange a time to catch up.