Attending a wedding fair, wedding showcase or wedding show is all part of planning your wedding. With the exception of summer, hotels and specialist venues host wedding fairs the rest of the year. Some showcase their services, and others will invite a range of preferred wedding suppliers.
Which wedding shows should you attend? Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you want to check out a venue? Ask to be put on the venue mailing list so you hear of their showcase days/evening.
- Do you want to meet a specific vendor? Contact the vendor to see where they will be exhibiting. This is particularly useful for bands and solo performers.
- What type of show are you looking for? For example, if you want to treat your bridesmaids, book tickets to a high-end show where luxury goodie bags are offered.
- Do you and your fiancé want to explore big-ticket options? Head to a big show like the RDS.
There is so much available to couples and it is easy to become overwhelmed. Here are 7 tips that will help you survive a wedding fair:
Survival Tip #1 – Create a ‘wedding fair’ email address: creating an email address can be achieved in a matter of minutes. Best not to use your main wedding email address, as after a show you can be spammed. Click here for ‘How to create a Gmail account’. If you want to be uber organised, and to save you sharing your email over and over, print off a sheet of labels with your name, email address, and wedding date. You can also include your venue if you have it booked. When asked for your details, just peel off a label and hand it over. A step up would be ‘wedding business cards’. 😉
Survival Tip #2 – Do your homework: check in advance the vendors who are exhibiting. If the show is mainly wedding venues, and your venue is booked, there may be no point in attending. Is the vendor you want to meet exhibiting? Some vendors offer a discount if you book at a show, and this can be a valuable saving. Your time is precious, so choose your wedding fair carefully.
Survival Tip #3 – Know the show schedule and go with a plan: a fair is generally open for 6 or 7 hours. But do not be deceived that you have loads of time, the day will fly by. Take time to look over the show schedule. Decide on the workshops and fashions shows you want to attend, and this will allow you time to find a good vantage point to see the stage. It also gives you a chance to grab a takeaway cuppa to have while watching the show.
Survival Tip #4 – Don’t be offended or afraid to say ‘no thank you’: a wedding show is for getting a feel of the wedding services available, not for having an in-depth conversation about your wedding plans. The supplier is there to ‘show their wares’ and speak to as many people as possible. So if you feel ‘left a bit short’, do not be offended, or judge the supplier’s service, its what wedding shows are all about! Also, if you are not interested in a service, just say ‘no thank you’ and walk away. The vendor will be just as happy not to waste their time, let alone yours.
Survival Tip #5 – What to wear: lights and lots of people =HEAT. Dress cool. If your wedding fair is in the winter, check your coat into the cloakroom, even better if you can leave it in your car. You will be standing and walking for hours, so flats or runners are best.
Survival Tip #6 Pack light: A wedding show is not the day to carry your oversized tote. You need free hands to sip prosecco, shake hands, and carry your goodie bag or flyers. A cross the shoulder bag is best. The one single thing I suggest you do not bring is, children. A show is loud, packed with people and like I already said, hot! It’s difficult to manoeuvre buggies or prams. You will spend your day ‘getting out of the way’. If you can, leave the little ones at home.
Survival Tip #7 Aftermath: As soon as you can after the wedding fair, go through all the flyers and pamphlets separate them out into three piles:
- Services you do not want or need – straight into the recycling bin
- Not sure – wait a while and check again, if not, recycle bin
- Certain you want to contact – send an email
Then, hop onto social media and follow the vendors you are interested in booking. It is normal for me to receive a booking for two years in advance, so don’t hesitate to secure your vendor and avoid disappointment!
Good Luck! <3