Well Summer is well and truly over, which can only mean one thing – it’s ‘that’ time of year. It’s wedding fair season *excited smile*! If you’ve meandered through the pages of this blog before, then at some point you will have come across a write-up about a wedding fair. From the designer, no-expense-spared to the smaller, quirkier fairs, I’ve tried them all. So how do you get the most out of a wedding fair? Here are my top 10 tips:
1) What are you expecting from your visit?
Ask yourself exactly why you are going. Are you just going for a day out? Do you just want a browse around to see what’s on offer? Or are you determined to get some of your wedding list items ordered and deposits paid? Browsing is fine and a lot of fun, but if you’re going to a fair with specific items in mind then you’ll need to follow tip number 2.
2) List it out.
Make a list of all the items that you need and questions you want to ask each exhibitor (see tip number 4). Then stick to only accomplishing the tasks on your list. BE BRUTAL! Fairs are stuffed full of pretty and it’s really easy to get sidetracked. If you think you’ll be tempted to have a nosey around then go early and only allow yourself browsing time when your list is complete.
3) Hit the internet.
Check out each business you are interested in via the internet. You may very well find that they are not really to your taste before you even leave the comfort of your sofa.
4) Make a questionnaire.
Take a few sheets of pre-prepared questions with you. Really think about what you want / need from your photographer / venue / etc. Ask each exhibitor in the same category the identical questions and write down their answers. This really is the only way you can compare like-for-like.
5) Plan it out.
Try to get your hands on a floor plan a few days before you go, then sit with a list of exhibitors you’re interested in and mark off where they are. You may well find that there’s a whole area within the fair that you have no interest in seeing, saving you time and foot ache.
6) Do your research.
Each and every fair has something to offer but not all will be to everyone’s taste. If you’re short of time then you need to ensure that you don’t end up wasting it.
7) Think long and hard about who you take with you.
I’m a huge advocate of groom involvement, and I have strong feelings about how they are sometimes treated by certain sectors of the wedding industry. However, if your fiancé is just not interested then maybe, unless you are going to be making bookings, etc, it might be an idea to take a bridesmaid / friend – especially if you are just going for a browse.
8) Split it up.
If you are attending as a couple then are you able to ‘divide and conquer’? For instance: one of you may be passionate about the invites whilst the other may just ‘have’ to book the perfect transportation. If this is the case, then it would make sense for you to split these two categories and hit them alone. You can always make a shortlist then meet up to see each others whittled down list.
9) Don’t rush in.
There are many great ‘act now and save money’ offers at wedding fairs, but make sure that you are not just booking because you fear you will miss out. You should never book or pay a deposit if you feel rushed or pressured in any way. If you are positive you want to sign on the dotted line read the contract, then read it again – don’t skim the small print!
10) Feel you way.
Wedding fairs are a great way to get the ‘feel’ of the people that will be involved in your big day. How do you think you’ll get on with them? Would you feel comfortable spending a chunk of your day with a particular photographer? Does the person representing a venue really seem to care? If it doesn’t feel right then go with your gut and walk away.
So there you go, I hope you’ve learned how to get the most out of wedding fairs without tearing your hair out! If you have any more to add then hit the comment section.