Updated: Dec 14, 2020
Make the most out of all the wedding fairs you attend, from what to wear, what to take with you and what to expect.
Key points -
So let's start with the thing you may not think of first, what to wear. Start with a comfortable pair of shoes, it is very likely that you are going to walk around the venue several times and stand chatting and waiting on your turn. Nothing worse doing this in shoes that make your feet ache. Next consider layers, it can get quite warm after a while and the weather is very unpredictable in the UK. So you may need to wrap up again when looking at the outside spaces / caterers / entertainment.
Next let's talk about stationery (if I'm honest I could talk about stationery all day) firstly be sure to take a bag with you, lots of suppliers will have leaflets / brochures / business cards to hand to you on the day and after a while, it can take it's toll on your hands. Now my favourite part, a notebook (can certainly be brand new one if you wish) and I suggest a mechanical pencil, because a pen could run out of ink, or smudge. Plus if you get a notebook with a spiral bound edge you can slip your pencil into the bind to keep it safe.
It is handy to have a think of questions you need to know / want to ask, before you arrive. You could even mark out a new page in your book for each category with your questions so that you do not forget whilst chatting away with each supplier. When talking to suppliers be sure to make extra notes that they tell you with regards to special offers on the day, or another question you may want to ask at a later date. Mark your favourite suppliers handouts with a star for each category. Be sure to check suppliers have a web presence so you can search their website and social media for previous work and customer reviews.
In some cases it is good to have inspiration in mind already for certain aspects of your wedding. Pinterest is a great tool to use for keeping ideas pinned in boards together, this way when trying to describe to a supplier what you have in mind, you can quickly access the board you saved. In the same way that you can save albums on your phone. However, be open to suggestion from the suppliers you are talking to. They may have alternate ways to get your theme across that you may not have even thought of.
But where do you find out when the fairs will be? Be sure to join facebook groups for your local area, as suppliers and venues will list these in the groups in advance of the fairs. Or ask in these groups when the next ones coming are are due, as other couples will respond to let you know. Bridal magazines will also feature announcements of upcoming larger wedding fairs. For more local events, use a website search engine and listen to the radio, follow local venues on social media as events will be listed this way also.
Plan ahead, once you have found the wedding fairs, look at the suppliers that will be attending and make note of the ones you would like to speak to first. Arrive early and be one of the first to attend this will ensure that you manage to speak to everyone you want to without having to wait for your turn. If the supplier you wish to speak too is busy, head along to the next one and come back. Keep the momentum running. Planning who to speak to will also help to ensure that suppliers can create what you have in mind, some may not have images of previous work in your exact style, this does not always mean that they cannot help, don't be afraid to ask.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate (I cannot stress this enough). Take a bottle of water with you, it's thirsty work this wedding fair malarky. If the fair you are attending has a cafe within or nearby, utilise it. Take some time out to stop, gather your thoughts, refresh and recharge before continuing, especially for the larger fairs. This will give you time to reflect and decide who you want to book with and make sure that they have your date available.
Who to take with you? This one can be tricky as you may want to take an entourage with you, but this can make it harder when discussing with suppliers, to absorb the information amongst the chat between your friends / family and the suppliers. Take someone you trust, your partner or parent. If you are not an overly confident person take someone with you who is able to ask the questions you want to know, but, and this is most important part, take someone who knows and respects your theme / colours / choices. It is ok to say no to suppliers if you do not feel what they are offering is what you had in mind. It is a lot of information to process all at once.
Once you have arrived be sure to take note of when bands are playing and fashion shows are on, you'll want to get a good seat to make the most of the fashion show. Bands may perform twice during the day so if you miss out the first time you can catch them the second time. If you are not overly fussed about the fashion show this is a great time to chat longer with suppliers.
Samples, I mean who doesn't love something for free. But bear in mind those suppliers providing favours or cake samples have paid out to provide these to you, so be courteous and not just suss out the free food. Some beverage suppliers offer sample flavours at a reduced price, new flavours or limited edition flavours, which can be a great addition to your wedding. Also take into consideration that if you have just eaten chocolate cake not to touch the next suppliers items until your hands are clean, this is their portfolio of work to show off to all who attend the fair. No-one wants to look at things with mucky prints all over them.
Photographs, you may see something you like and wish to take a photo to remember it when you get home, be sure to ask permission from the supplier first to make sure that is ok, most will say yes, however it is always best to check.
It can be really overwhelming to take in so much information from the day. When you get home take some time to decompress and then get out your notebook, leaflets and images, open a bottle of wine (other beverages are available) and work through everyone you have booked / want to book and who you want to ask further questions, give them a follow on their social media so you can stay up to date with any other offers they may have throughout the year and other events they will be attending if you want to go back and have another look at their work.
If you need any additional help, or would like to discuss a bespoke design please contact me. For lots of other helpful information please take a look at the blog. Or the shop to purchase any of the invitation designs.
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