Time is racing by and couples that are getting married next year are starting to think about choosing their wedding suppliers. One of the most common sources to book your team is by going to a wedding fayre.
I have mixed views about them both from an exhibitor’s point of view and as a Bride. As you can imagine, I have been to many of these in the past and seen some great ones and some very bad ones. If you are going to take the time to visit a wedding fayre then check out my advice below and go prepared!
Do Your Research
Before you go to a wedding fayre check out the venue it is being held at. Generally well-run events are held by reputable wedding venues that are used to hosting them. Time is precious and one of the best reasons for going to a wedding fayre is to meet suppliers all under one roof. BUT you want to be sure they are reputable and there will be a good range to choose from. Most venues that run these events will have a list of suppliers who are attending and you can have a quick look at them on the Internet to see if they are the right type you want to work with.
I myself have exhibited at a venue when I was new to weddings and did not really do my homework. When I got there the suppliers were less than the best and I would not have recommended any of them. I apologise in advance for anyone I might upset by saying that. Generally most wedding fayres are good but this is my honest advice.
Photograph of personalised favours by Sarah Mosely Photography.
Before you go and start booking suppliers left and right be sure that you have thought through how much you want to spend in each area. It is very easy to get carried away with all the pretty things on display. The other thing is to make sure you have your list of priorities at the ready to refer to. You don’t want to spend your budget on items that look enticing but really they were not part of your overall need.
Go with Friends
It’s always good to go with a friend or your partner. That way one of you will be rational and can give you an honest opinion on what they think about the supplier and their service or product. It can be a lovely day out too, so share it with someone from your wedding team. More and more I see couples attending the shows now and that is a good thing.
Should you pay for a ticket?
This is very debatable but I have to say for personal experience that if entry is charged then generally the level of suppliers attending is good. It costs a lot to exhibit at wedding fayres and only good suppliers will be there if there are going to be couples that really want to buy from them and not nip in for a cake and cup of tea out of the rain.
Special offers and Discounts
Often these are in abundance at wedding fayres and you can certainly take advantage. One word of advice, if you are not entirely happy with the offer but it seems good because it’s cheap then walk away, think it over. I can almost guarantee that if you phone the supplier the next day or so they will give you the same offer as when they met you at the wedding fayre.
Give yourself plenty of time to look around and browse properly. A good wedding fayre will have two or three suppliers from each area. Generally they should all be slightly different so that you can have a good choice. It takes time to look properly. It is also the perfect opportunity to meet the supplier face to face and chat to them and get a good feel for their service, standard and personality. A great team on your wedding day is what really counts.
Wedding faryres do save you time where many suppliers are under one roof, so take advantage and see them all.
Ideas and Inspiration
This is the perfect opportunity to see all the new trends and offerings that are available. Wedding fayre’s allow suppliers to show case their latest products and they should be displayed to their advantage. You can touch and feel them. For instance if you are booking chair covers there are many companies out there and quality is very variable. You can see what the linen is like and how they are decorated. It’s the same with stationery, look at the quality of the card and speak to the designer. Flowers and cake can be seen and tasted. Music can be heard first hand.
Photography of flowers by Red Rabbit Photography.
If you don’t want to buy anything but are going to the wedding fayre for inspiration and ideas then be sure to take everyone’s details home. You may want to think about who and what you want but don’t waste the day out without logging and storing all the information. Take a notebook and pen and camera with you. When you see so many suppliers they do all roll into one so jot a note about them down to help you remember or take a picture.
As a couple it is worth going to a wedding fayre in the same venue that you have booked. Often the suppliers know the venue and the area. They are local so reduce travel costs. You can also visit them again outside the venue and the distance to travel will be minimal.
Enjoy yourself and have fun, you will get to hear live music, see demonstrations, perhaps take part in having your make up done for the day and have the chance of winning competitions.
Oh I nearly forgot, if there is chance to pre-register take advantage because the ticket for entry will be cheaper and you may get more freebies to take home!
So until next time, happy planning.
Written by Julie Dawson - The Wedding Genie