It’s that time of year where there are lots of wedding fairs; couples who have recently got engaged are starting to plan their big day. A lot of people are put off by wedding fairs due to ‘I might get jumped on by a supplier and never escape!’ . Yes there are a handful of these; however the majority of suppliers (like myself) are there to enjoy meeting people and hearing about wedding plans.
I thought it would be good to run through some tips and advice, as well as things to look out for before you head to your next fair so you can make the most of your trip.
1.Pre buy tickets
For the fairs that are not free make sure you register online and buy the tickets before the day; these can normally be cheaper if bought before the day.
2.The best time to arrive at a show?
There are always a lot of people when the shows open, my advice would be arrive an hour after it opens. This way the rush should have passed and you will have a better chance to talk to the suppliers without having to wait around. Don’t arrive near the end of the show; in the last hour suppliers like to use this time to network or worse some pack up early!
3. Who shall I bring with me?
This is your choice, some bring their husband-to-be others just their Mum or bridesmaid. Try and avoid bring loads of people; one or two are plenty. If your fiancé isn’t really interested then I would advise bringing a friend, the last thing you want is to be rushed as the other half is getting bored.
4. These boots are made for walking
Are they? You will be on your feet most of the day walking or standing talking so make sure you wear your comfy shoes. Most fairs take place in September-October or January-March so make sure you wear light weight layers so you can take some off if the venue has the heating pumping. Finally a large bag for a shopping bag; you will be given lots of leaflets and price guides to take home and read so make sure you have some where to put them.
5. First impressions.
I take great pride in my stand at wedding fairs; I want it to reflect my business and who I am. So look out for well designed stands and their attention to detail; this will show you how much time and pride they have over their work.
6. Are they approachable?
The supplier is sat down behind their stand looking bored and uninterested. Is this how you want to be treated? Or your guests treated on your wedding day? You want to click with your suppliers and if they seem like they don’t want to be there, then they probably don’t! You should be greeted with a smile, asked how you are. That first meeting can tell you a lot about the person and their business; trust your gut.
7. Ask ask ask ask!
I know some people hate fairs and worry about getting jumped on by suppliers, however most of us are there just to chat and meet new people. If you have any questions, ask! We are experts in what we do and are the best people to grill and get tips and ideas from. One question to ask first is ‘are you available on our date?’. This saves getting into a long conversation if the person is already booked up.
8. Don’t feel obligated.
If a special price is only available on the day ask if they would consider extending the offer to you for another day or two so that you can consult with your fiancé/parents/whoever you need to speak to before making a final decision, most will agree to this.
9. I’ve met so many suppliers I can’t remember the name of the supplier I really liked!
You meet so many suppliers especially at larger fairs it’s hard to remember the name of the company you really loved. If you are chatting to them and decided you definitely want to check out their website later; pop their details in your handbag in a zip compartment. For everyone else that you may meet but are not very interested put these in the other bag with everyone else’s. This way when you get home you already have a short list for the people you want to look into further.
10. Follow up with suppliers quickly
If you really connected with someone and want to book them for your big day; act on it. Good suppliers get booked up quickly so don’t hang about. As a supplier myself it’s the first thing I do when home is check my emails. It also means they have a greater chance of remembering you than a week or so later.
Finally, make sure you enjoy the day! This will only happen once in your life so thrive on being the Bride and enjoy yourself! Below are a some quick phone snaps of my stand at fairs.