As soon as I got engaged I was looking forward to my first wedding fair!
Being a maid of honour three times in the past I’d been to a fair few and secretly wished for the day I could attend one as the bride!
Many people hate wedding fairs because they are really busy and there’s a lot of information to absorb. I personally love them because it’s a fun day out, you usually get a few freebies and it’s a good excuse to take your bridesmaid or mum and have a drink afterwards! (I took Mr J to one and it wasn’t his vibe at all, he hates people!)
Wedding fairs are generally a place for suppliers to sell you their services. So if you’re the bride/groom you’re basically like a celebrity in there. Everyone wants to speak to you about your wedding. A lot of what is on offer won’t be for you, but if you do see something you like there’s usually some form of discount on offer which is fab.
Bear in mind you will have to repeat yourself a lot as you will be asked when and where you are getting married constantly, but that’s all part of the day.
You can find out which wedding fairs are close to you online, or ask married mates which ones they recommend.
This may sound stupid but I had my handbag full of flyers at my first wedding fair and it really pissed me off! They were all falling out of my bag and I was leaving a trail behind me. I was given a bag at the National wedding show-handy.
You’re going to have loads of flyers and little freebies so take a spare bag you can shove all that shit in. You can go through it all after with a wine and get rid of bits you don’t need.
It’s free, who cares! My favourite freebies are samples of wedding cake. I love food. However at one wedding fair they had a gin bar and were giving out gin for free, that was fabulous! I don’t even like gin but I necked it.
Magicians will show you examples of their tricks, suppliers will give our free confetti, get stuck in and enjoy yourself.
I’ve had free pictures from the photo booth, free use of a chocolate fountain, free magazines, all sorts of stuff!
I would try and get to the wedding fair as early as possible as more chance of getting all these goodies before they run out.
There’s a lot of information which could be useful to you, so don’t rush around; take your time. Talk to people, ask questions, be nosy. At the Manchester wedding fair I attended there were over 180 exhibitors! That’s a hell of a lot to see. It can be quite overwhelming if you’re running around, just chill out and take everything in.
It’s best to take someone that’s really involved In the wedding. If your other half can’t be arsed I would suggest taking your mum, sister, bridesmaid or a close friend. Someone that knows a bit about what you like and want and most importantly will support you and ask the right questions.
A lot of suppliers will have targets and their brief will be ‘sell sell sell’. Don’t feel pressured to book something on the spot if you’re not sure. It’s better to sleep on it, discuss it with your partner and decide what’s right for you. You can get some good deals but equally some suppliers charge through the roof. (Put the word wedding in front of anything and the price just magically triples! Have you noticed that? Awful bullshit.) You could end up wasting your money! Don’t let sales people bully you, you should never feel pushed in to anything. Cheeky sods.
I find it so helpful to take a notepad with me to write down the specifics. You will get all sorts of flyers and business cards and it’s hard to remember who’s who. Some will be relevant and some will inevitably end up in the bin. I write notes for example…
‘videographer and name of company, blond hair called Stacey and will do us £1000 deal, call tomorrow…’
This makes your life a bit easier as it will be hard to remember the specifics a few days later.
Even if you don’t think you need them!
Grab their business cards and fliers and pop them in the bag. You might not be on the market for a wedding cake just yet, but you will soon and there could have been an amazing supplier with a discount flyer in that bag crap -you could end up with a good deal.
And last but not least……
Have a drink!
You’ve probably knackered yourself out walking round you see! What better excuse? You can sit down, relax and reflect with the tipple of your choice!