Well, as a bridal shop who regularly exhibit at wedding fairs, the answer is bound to be a yes from me!
Wedding fairs are a valuable resource, there’s no disputing their place in the planning process. The internet and social media can be a great place for research, but you can spend hours trailing the web. However, if you’re not typing the “right” keywords, the chances are that you won’t always find what you’re looking for.
Attending a local wedding fair will immediately refine options to the right geographical area which can be such a huge help. It is worth remembering to attend a fair local to your venue, not necessarily where you live. There’s no point looking for a make-up artist in Nottingham if you’re getting married in Devon, unless you are prepared to pay travel and accommodation expenses too.
If you have a supplier in mind, or manage to find one online, you will then need to contact them, usually by email or messaging via a website or social media. Sometimes it can take days to get a response, just to advise that there is no availability for your wedding day. Then you’re back to the beginning, trailing the internet again. Most well-organised vendors will have their diary with them at a wedding fair, and some may even have a special offer if you book your date there, which can potentially save hundreds of pounds.
Personally, the biggest advantage of a wedding fair is that you can meet these suppliers. Wedding planning should be made easier by collaborating with the best in the business. By going to a wedding fair, you will get the chance to meet and talk to them, to gauge their personality, whether you want them to be part of your journey and whether you can work together.
However, the reality is wedding fairs are not everyone’s scene. They are busy, noisy and can be the cause of information overload for some couples. But they should definitely be considered for their benefits. If the thought of a wedding fair is daunting, here are three top tips:
1. Make a plan.
Know what you’re going for. If you’re early in the planning, perhaps go only to see what bridal shops and photographers there are. You don’t need to worry about bridesmaid dresses or a cake just yet. If you go looking at everything, you could easily become overloaded with information.
2. Go later in the day.
If the idea of a wedding fair fills you with dread as it sounds rather daunting, go near the end of the event. The beginning is always so busy, and it peaks in the middle, but a lot of people will have left an hour before the end, so it will be quieter.
3. Be honest with vendors.
We completely understand the scale and pressures of wedding planning, it’s our business to know! If you’re feeling scared to try dresses, overwhelmed with the stationary choices or just clueless with the names of flowers, it really doesn’t matter, and all those feelings are justified. But just tell us. That way you will really find your “people”, these will be the ones who reassure you and alleviate any worries.
Wedding fairs are a great one-stop-shop to get lots ticked off your never-ending list and can save you so much time scouring for vendors. Take your plan and head on down to a local fair. Even if it doesn’t work for you, at least you’re bound to get free cake samples!