We’ve had the opportunity to spend a few weekends exhibiting at some of our favourite local venues’ wedding fairs over the past couple of months. The Jacaranda bus has rolled into Gate Street Barn, Ramster Hall, The Tithe Barn and Bury Court Barn recently and our team have had a great time meeting prospective couples and featured suppliers alike.
However, as much as we like chatting about all things matrimonial with wedding fair visitors, we know that not everyone enjoys spending a Sunday traipsing around supplier showcases. If you’re put off by overly enthusiastic exhibitors or wondering what visiting a wedding fair will contribute to your wedding plans, allow us to expound on the helpfulness of this resource.
Although the sole intention of your visit may be to source a particular type of supplier, the access you’re given to a range of businesses across the industry may well enable you to discover a plethora of new products and unusual services that you hadn’t even considered before.
The way a wedding supplier styles their stand will give you an insight into their brand and business. Do they do something interesting with the space? Do they hide behind their table all day? Do you feel like you can approach them? All of this well help you work out whether you want to align yourself with their business.
Don’t underestimate how important it is to be able to meet businesses in person. You’ll know immediately whether or not you click. You might love the look of their work online, but they might fall short of your expectations in reality. You’ll also be able to gauge whether this is the type of person you want to contribute to the biggest day of your life after a face-to-face chat.
Speaking of which, wedding fairs offer you the opportunity to speak to a whole range of wedding suppliers, so make sure you ask questions and raise queries to make the most of their experience and knowledge. You might just learn something new.
Image by Henry Wells Photography
Some wedding fairs will allow retail exhibitors to take part in mini fashion shows. As well as being exuberantly glitzy, these catwalks can show you how dresses look on a real life human rather than a mannequin and are often a good indicator of the latest bridal fashion trends.
You might also be able to take part in live demonstrations, like makeovers, wine or food tasting, allowing you to try things you might not have previously thought of. Allow yourself to be open to new ideas and you never know what you might stumble across.
You might get chance to sample certain items at a wedding fair that you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to do. This could be a taster of wedding cakes or a personal performance from a musician, but it involves interaction and requires you to be part of a dialogue with the supplier. It’s very hard to have that type of interactive relationship over email.
You’ll also find that viewing products like floral designs, photo albums and stationery suites up close allows you to scrutinise their quality and design. It’s hard to gauge the calibre of services from a magazine ad or website, so really make the most of the opportunity.
As wedding suppliers, we know that our wares won’t suit everyone, but we’re always happy to chat and offer advice. You may find wedding fairs daunting to begin with, but we think that with a little bit of forethought and the courage to engage with exhibitors, you’ll at least be able to rule out what you don’t want, as well as hopefully finding some great wedding businesses that you do want to work with.