Planning a wedding? Don’t know where to start? With a plethora of awesome, unique and ‘alternative’ wedding fairs across the country it can me a mine field. Let’s face it we’re spoilt for choice.
I’m Beth, and I run a small wedding business called Madame B’s Boutique, I exhibit at wedding fairs frequently and would like to offer you lovely lot some heart felt advice.
Planning a wedding and visiting a wedding fair for the first time can seem like a daunting prospect, but armed with these 10 handy tips, you can avoid the stress and make it a fun, productive day that will assist you in planning a wedding you want.
1) Choose the right type of fair for you.
In the past few years, the number of wedding fairs has increased dramatically, there are vintage wedding fairs, traditional wedding fairs, DIY wedding fairs, you name it! So make this work for you by choosing one that best suits your needs and personal taste. If you’re a non-traditional couple planning a wedding, avoid the traditional big wedding trade shows and look for smaller, indie and alternative events instead.
2) Choose your companions carefully.
Maybe your partner wants to come maybe they don’t, let them decide. Invite one or two friends who can offer sensible advice and make you laugh will help with objective decision-making and stop you from feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It can get crowded at wedding fairs too, and it’s easier to move around with a smaller group.
3) Mind your budget
Don’t feel pressured into spending more than you can afford. Get quotes from a few different suppliers of the same product or service so you can do a comparison, and look online as well so you can get a good idea of the average price in your area. Planning a wedding can cause financial stress, we all know that, if your budget is tight, you can save money by sticking with local suppliers so that you’re not paying for travel costs as well. There is a lot of advice out there regarding wedding budgeting.
4) However, price isn’t everything
Chemistry is very important too, particularly when it comes to choosing people like the wedding photographer who are going to be with you for most of the day. Chat to suppliers to get a feel for their style and how they like to work. Go with your gut instinct – if their ideas and yours don’t gel, it’s probably better to try elsewhere.
5) If possible, bring images of the styles, colours you love.
This is really helpful from a supplier point of view, as the more information we have about what you want, the easier it is to make it happen.
6) Swap contact details.
If you find a supplier you really like, it may be difficult to have an in-depth conversation about what you want in a noisy, crowded space. Most wedding suppliers will offer one-to-one consultations, so swap contact details ask if you can arrange a meeting at a later date. Add your name to the lists of suppliers you particularly like too, as they will often use these to share special offers and new products just for subscribers. Follow these suppliers on Facebook too!
7) Don’t feel pressured into making snap decisions.
Yes you have gone to a wedding fair because you are essentially planning a wedding, which is a major project! Wedding fairs are mainly for information and idea gathering, so if you want to go away and think about it that’s perfectly OK. Most wedding suppliers know this and won’t try and push you into buying from them on the spot. If someone does make you feel uncomfortable, just smile and walk away.
8) Collect the details of all the suppliers you like and keep them in a safe place.
Trust me, you won’t be able to memorise the names of all of them and it’s really annoying if you’re trying to remember someone afterwards and can’t find their details! I kept mine in a big folder that I could go back to when it came to making bookings, and wrote notes on some of the cards if I wanted to remember certain details about the supplier. For example you might not be able to find someone again just by searching ‘camper van photo booth’ as there are a few out there.
9) Most wedding fairs will offer refreshments of some sort.
If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take advantage of this and recharge with a cake and a cuppa or glass of fizz!
10) A few days or weeks after the fair, sit down with your friends and family and go through all the cards, leaflets and notes you made.
Don’t try and do this immediately after you get home, as the chances are you’ll be pretty tired, and a bit of space will help you to be more objective.