Last year I married the love of my life!
I had nine months to plan a destination wedding, and so I forgoed attending bridal fairs because I hadn’t incorporated them into the planning process. However, as I look back, I might have definitely done a few things differently
Perhaps a more danceable dress for one!
Honestly, I wish I would have attended a few different fairs to give me access to a wider range of vendors. Plus it would have been a fun activity to do with a few of my closest girlfriends!
Fast forward 13 months later, and I’ve gone to three different wedding fairs in just the last five months. Despite my attendance being more photography related, I realised that if I had a few of the tips below, I might have actually received a wealth of resources through attending a few fairs myself! Enjoy my take on five ways that brides can get the most out of wedding fairs!
The List: Write down a list of vendors you’re looking for (photographer, cake maker,dressmaker, stationery designer, etc). This list will help you maximise your time, and make the most out of your conversations with various vendors. Also, take a look at the roster, and at all the various vendors present in advance. Write down your must see vendors!
Get to Pinning: create a Pinterest board of the mood of your wedding. Find images that represent the decor, look, and feel that you want your big day to have. Have the board handy on your phone, and refer back to it when you’re unsure of things. You can also use it to show a vendor your vision. This can be helpful for stationery designers, decor stylists, photographers, etc. It’s a great starting point for wedding inspiration! Just remember, you’re getting married to the love of your life, and not your Pinterest board. Be flexible to avoid having a “Pinterest” wedding.
Politely Decline: Often at wedding fairs, vendors from all backgrounds might stop you to chat. If you’re not really interested in what they have to offer, it’s totally acceptable to politely decline, and make the conversation brief. Just remember kindness, courtesy, and a smile go a long way!
What’s the Deal: Although many vendors might extend booking incentives, I wouldn’t necessarily assume that wedding fairs will give you that perfect discount you might be looking for. Rather, approach it from the perspective that it will be a great opportunity to meet many niche vendors in one setting. In the end, this could save you loads of time, vs. doing it on your own time for each individual vendor.
Enjoy!: Make it a day out! Get one or two of your girlfriends together, or your significant other, and plan a lovely day. Meet up at a local coffee shop nearby and have your favourite latte! Agree how long you might stay. Remember, most fairs have fashion shows, so if you want to see some great bridal styles being modelled, make sure to check the day of itinerary, and perhaps plan your day around it. After you leave the show, head out for a late lunch and cocktails. Celebrate over a glass of Prosecco (my favourite), or whatever you fancy! Remember, this is your time! Enjoy, and cherish each moment!
If you’re interested in a fantastic series of niche wedding fairs in the UK, make sure to check out Chosen Wedding Fairs! They host four fairs each calendar year in Bristol, and in London. All of the photos featured in this post were taken at Chosen Wedding Fair in London. Also have a look at the Wedding Fair directory. Here you can find an exhaustive list of fairs throughout the UK. Make sure to read reviews, because not all fairs will be a great fit for your big day planning!
Are you planning to attend any wedding fairs before your big day? Did you find any of the above tips useful? Have any more useful tips to add, or share with brides? Please do post in the comments below!