Why attend wedding fairs & how to get the most out of them
It’s that time of year again when there are wedding fairs and open days taking place every weekend and, if you’re recently engaged, it’s really rather tempting to attend as many as possible. However, are wedding fairs worth it when everything is now online? How do you make them work for you? And how can they help you plan your wedding? Answers below…
Firstly, making time to visit wedding fairs, especially when you’re in the early stages of planning your wedding, is definitely a good idea. Why? Well, there’s no substitute quite like meeting suppliers face to face and, when you’re new to the wedding world, wedding fairs can be enlightening, packed full of inspiration and you’ll hopefully come away with lots of ideas and even a confirmed supplier or two.
Another reason to visit wedding fairs, particularly those hosted at your chosen wedding venue, is that you often get to see spaces dressed for weddings. This can be incredibly helpful as you can see what works well at your venue and you’ll be able to meet the suppliers who know how to make the best of the space too. Use the opportunity to speak to wedding pros who know your venue inside out – this is your chance to ask those all-important questions!
Wedding fairs can also help you make savings because some suppliers will offer discounts if you book them there and then or will offer discount codes for you to use at a later date. To make the most of these offers, do your research before you go and find out which suppliers will be there, researching them online ahead of your visit so you’ll know beforehand whether they suit your style and your budget. Then, if there are discounts on offer on the day, you can make the most of them knowing that the supplier in question is the right for for you and your wedding.
So, when there’s so much to see at wedding fairs, how do you get the most out of them? Here are my top tips:
- Know what you want to get from each fair you visit. Be clear about your reasons for attending each fair. Are you going to get inspiration, to see your venue again or to seriously look for suppliers? What suppliers are you looking for and what is your budget?
- Visit a range of fairs from smaller, local fairs to larger, regional or national events. Also, look out for fairs that best suit your style of wedding. There are now lots of events that suit all styles of wedding so if you’re planning a boho day for example, look for a fair that’s right for you.
- Be comfortable! Wedding fairs, especially the larger shows, will mean a lot of walking and sometimes a venture outdoors too. Also, take a bottle of water as fairs can get hot and dehydration is no fun at all.
- Make sure that you know all the logistical details in advance. Double check the venue, opening times and the entrance info too. Some fairs are free to enter but require you to register online before you attend, others need you to buy tickets in advance or on the door whilst others are completely free.
- Do your research before you go. Find out which suppliers will be there and times for any catwalk shows, workshops or other events and then make sure that you arrive with time to spare.
- Think about who you’re going to take with you. Do you want to go with your partner, your parents or your bridesmaids? This ultimately depends on what you’re hoping to find – if you’re booking major suppliers, take your partner. If you’re looking for bridal accessories, hair and makeup artists or similar, invite your girlfriends.
- Don’t be pressured into booking or buying. Of course, wedding suppliers attend fairs to get business but don’t be pressured into booking or buying anything, particularly things that you’ve not included in your budget. Suddenly deciding that you want fireworks because you find a great company at a wedding fair is going to affect your entire wedding budget so think before you commit!
- If you’re not ready to buy or need to time to digest things, leave your details with the suppliers in question. Most will email out after the event (sometimes with special offers) and you can always stay in touch with them too.
Lastly, have fun! Remember that you’re attending wedding fairs because you’re getting married so make the most of every minute. Stop for a coffee (or obligatory glass of fizz!) after you’ve been to the fair, use the time to talk about your wedding and get ahead with planning your amazing day.