Wedding fairs are becoming increasingly popular. As a bride-to-be myself I've seen the table from the other side and know it's quite easy to get overwhelmed. There are lots of Wedding fairs to choose from, then when you get there you are again faced with more choice. You consider staying home and doing all your research online instead - the main big issue wth this is that you are dealing with vendors you don't know and it can be a lot harder to communicate via email. Another big issue is that you have now opened up to an even bigger world of choice.
So here are my Ten Top Tricks to make attending Wedding fairs just that little bit easier
1. Pick a wedding fair/s wisely
Don't attend any and every wedding fair you come across. Apart from the obvious reason being that you are just going to get confused if you overwhelm yourself with contacts, another reason to pick carefully is that you don't want to waste your time. There's really no point in attending a wedding fair held at a beautiful Hall with lots of traditional themed decorations and dress stalls if you want a festival themed wedding inside of a tipi and are wearing wellies. If you are the type of polite person who will listen to every stall holder who approaches you then you are going to waste a lot of time, and perhaps money if you pay for entry.
2. Bring water
Sounds silly as you are not trekking a Mountain but you will thank me for this when you are stuck in a crowd far away from refreshments and have a dry mouth because of the chatting and the cookies and brownies you have just demolished. If the event is a big one it is easy to get overwhelmed and tired quickly so find a chair and take a couple of minutes to sip your water.
3. Bring support
This doesn't necessarily mean your other half. If they want to be there then fantastic! If not don't drag them around, as it will just put sour grapes on your fun and research. My other half moaned for the majority of our wedding fair visit - thankfully a free brownie kept him quiet for a few minutes. It's good to have fun with someone who wants to be there and you can really take the time to find out about the vendors which brings me nicely onto my next point.
4. Ask questions
Take your time and fire away any questions you have to the vendors. This is your oppurtunity to speak to them on a face to face basis and find out about them and their credentials. They are there for you and want to do anything it takes to make your wedding day a dream come true, so if you have any particular requests let them hear it.
5. Take business cards
It will be almost impossible to remember every supplier you have met. Collect the business cards of only the vendors you are interested in. This is so you don't get confused later and it's better for the suppliers so they have enough cards left for people who might be genuinely interested in booking them. You can then compare vendors and check out their social media and website once you are home.
6. Bring your pennies
In the Millennial world we are all paying by card and even our phones now. However, not all suppliers are equipped with card readers and at an event there may be issues with connection. Bring your money along to avoid missing out on something that would just look "amazing" at your wedding.
7. Be prepared to book
If you just love the florist you have met or are blown away by the photographers photo's then be prepared to book them. It's unbelievable how quickly the key vendors get booked especially on popular dates. I get brides who contacted me the previous month feeling regretful that they didn't book me on initial contact because someone else got in and put a deposit down for the same date. If you like the vendor and their work- don't miss out - you might even be able to haggle a smaller deposit to get your date blocked out of their diary.
8. Shy bairns get nowt!! ("Shy babies/ people get nothing" to anyone not from the North East)
Ask for a discount. You will find vendors will be more open to a discount if you are prepared to book them on the day. They may at least give you a special offer with some kind of freebie if you book. It's always worth asking
9. Go in with an open mind
It's nice to have a theme but it's also nice to add in something a bit different. You might come across a magician you love but are worried he does not fit into your very formal and structured day - don't worry he will make it work for you just like most vendors do- it will add a bit of something different for your guests and they won't know that he wasn't originally part of the plan. Likewise, I've booked brides that had been adamant that they didn't want a videographer until they saw my videos. I've even had a couple recently send me a lovely card commenting that booking a last minute videographer was one of the best decisions they had made. Just because you have a plan doesn't mean you have to stick to it if you see something that you think you would both love.
10. Enjoy it!!!!
It's very easy to get stressed with wedding planning that you forget to enjoy it. These little and large details that your are ticking off are leading you one step closer to your big day and you should be celebrating that. Have a chat with the vendors and even have a laugh with them. They are all people and have most likely planned or planning their own wedding at some point or been a bridesmaid or groomsman so they understand the struggles you are going through. There will most likely be stalls offering freebies so take full advantage of those (arrive early before they run out), and feel a relief knowing theres a good chance you will have walked out of there with more vendors ticked off your Wedding Planner or to do list! Then go home and celebrate with wine!.... or maybe that's just me.... Cheers!!
The Lovely Wedding Company's next wedding fair stall is at South Shields Town Hall Wedding Fair on Sunday, 24th September 10-3pm.
I look forward to meeting you lovely brides and grooms-to-be from South Shields, Sunderland, Newcastle and maybe even more of the North East then.