We’re about to do our first big wedding fair in Cornwall tomorrow with Art of Weddings – so excited!
And it got us thinking – what’s the big fuss about wedding fairs? Are they really worth it, or are they just an excuse to gorge on delicious foodie samples all day?
As wedding planners ourselves, we can’t extol the benefits of wedding fairs enough: whether they’re large national events attended by masses or small intimate affairs at local venues, they’re a great place to be inspired and start your wedding planning.
Here are our top tips for making the most out of a wedding fair:
- Be inspired…….
You’ve probably created numerous Pinterest boards, pored over loads of wedding magazines and scoured the internet for ideas, but there’s nothing like seeing and trying things for yourself. Wedding fairs are full of inspiration and often have quirky and unusual suppliers you may not have come across on Google, or who can demonstrate what they do first-hand. Being able to touch, feel and experience things you might have overlooked or dismissed can be a great way of gaining a different perspective on your planning.
- …..and uninspired
Wedding fairs are also a great place to find what you don’t like. Maybe you’ve found something online or in a magazine and thought ‘wow’ but after seeing it first-hand, you might start to reconsider. If that’s the case, ditch it and move on to the next idea.
- Discover your key suppliers
Your suppliers will be a key part of your planning (and your life!) for up to two years before your big day, so it’s important that you like and get on with them. Wedding fairs are the one place you can meet and talk to a whole range of suppliers in person and many bookings are made not just because of a supplier’s amazing work but also because they’re friendly, reliable and approachable.
- See the latest trends
Suppliers like to stay on top of their game in the wedding industry, researching and offering the latest trends as well as the traditional to their customers. Wedding fairs are a great way to see who stands out, and fits in, with what you’re looking for.
- Take advantage of discounts and offers
You don’t always need to meet with suppliers for them to put a bespoke package together for you, and many will offer a ‘book now’ price or discount if you’re happy to book there and then. Even if you do need a meeting to discuss details and options, you can often benefit from added extras or reduced prices if you book an appointment for a later date at the event. If you don’t want to make a decision immediately, make a note of the deals they’re offering and contact the supplier afterwards, giving them your details so they know you attended the show.
- Ask lots of questions
Meeting suppliers in person gives you a chance to chat with them and ask questions, and is so much easier than numerous emails back and forth between you! You can also hear about their experiences, glean some of their knowledge and get some advice and ideas to help with your planning.
- Make sure you’re prepared
Whether you’re going to a huge show or a small local one, it’s going to be a long day! So, wear comfy shoes, take a bottle of water to stay hydrated (you’ll need it after all that chatting!) and have a notebook and pen with you to make notes. A camera is also useful to take photo reminders of suppliers and if you’re planning on trying on dresses, then take a pair of heels too.
- Sample everything!
One of the best things about wedding fairs is all the delicious food samples! From cake makers to caterers, they’re bound to have samples, and tasting them will help you make an informed decision when choosing your supplier. The food and cake are important parts of any wedding, so you want to make sure it all looks and tastes amazing.
- Have fun!
Going to your first wedding fair is a truly wonderful experience, and you can take your mum, sisters and friends so you can all indulge in a girly day of wedding planning together. As well as the fabulous samples, you can often bag some freebies too, like champagne on arrival, goody bags and wedding magazines. So make sure you enjoy it!
There are loads of fairs taking place in the run-up to wedding season, so take a look at these websites for more dates: