It’s a special occasion – you and your partner have engaged and are planning to get married. But as romantic as they are, a good wedding ceremony needs good planning. Having a budget, theme, itinerary, and even checklist is a good start, but the wedding fairs out there are also awesome opportunities for couples looking to settle their wedding needs. Although you may have a rough idea of what to expect, here are some good tips to follow to make the most out of them.
Before the fair
Before you attend the wedding fair, these are some tips to help you get prepared:
Do research on the fairs
Although they are focused on weddings, no two wedding fairs are alike. It’s important to know which fair is the right one for you, as some wedding fairs might be larger or smaller than the others. So, decide beforehand on the type of fair you prefer to attend to know which ones can better fit your needs.
Once you have your priorities set, check out the latest fairs around you and see what their vendors have to offer for your wedding. Websites, galleries, and social media pages are some good ways of getting a rough idea for them. This way, you can decide if the wedding fair you’re planning to attend is worth your time.
Know what you want
After deciding on which fair to go to, try to gather the main ideas and theme of your wedding. This includes where and when you are getting married along with the style you are going for. Just like going shopping, your wedding budget will thank you for thinking this through.
As there will be vendors of all kinds present at the wedding fair, knowing your wedding needs can help you know what to look for. But then again, do be open to new ideas even if you are certain on what you want as the wedding fair might just have the improvement your wedding ceremony wants.
Have a floor plan
Even small wedding fairs can leave you unsure on where to go if you don’t know the layout. Fortunately, most wedding fairs have an online directory that lets you know which vendors will be present and where they are located. This will let you be more efficient in getting everything you need.
Likewise, you can also find any workshops or highlighted events taking place this way. You probably do not have enough time to visit every single exhibitor, so knowing where to go and what to do can help ensure a smooth day.
Decide on what to take with you
Try to think of a wedding fair as a large convention, which means you’ll likely be walking around a lot talking to different vendors. So, it’s a good idea to wear comfortable clothing and bring refreshments to avoid tiring yourself out.
There are some essential items to bring with you as well, like your smartphone to take photos with and a bag to carry all the leaflets, samples, and freebies given by the vendors. Since there’s a good chance that the vendors will offer wedding deals and packages at the fair, also bring your cash, chequebooks, and debit / credit cards in case you need to make any important payments.
Decide on who is coming with you
While it isn’t wrong to go alone, bringing someone with you can be quite helpful as they can give you advice and help you make important decisions. The important thing, however, is to bring someone who is willing to go and has an opinion that you value.
Besides your fiancé, there are a couple of options for your companions, like your siblings, close friends, parents, and even in-laws. You can even attend one wedding fair with your fiancé and another with your bridal party if desired. Just be sure not to bring too many people along as this can distract you from enjoying the fair and getting what you need.
During the fair
While you’re at the fair, these tips can come in handy to make it a productive day:
Be open to conversation
No one knows your wedding needs better than you do (except maybe your partner), so go talk to the vendors and share your plans and ideas with them. By helping them understand what you want for your wedding, they can get you what you need and even suggest new ideas to add to your big day.
Since details matter a lot in weddings, take your time and ask all the questions you have. But keep in mind, not all the vendors may be able to give you a full consultation, so get their contact details and schedule a follow-up appointment later on to see if they are the right fit for your wedding.
In most cases, a wedding fair should leave you looking around in awe, whether it is a stunning bridal gown or a super impressive wedding theme. Many wedding fairs have plenty of things worth taking photos of, so bring your smartphone or camera with you for those quick snaps.
Since wedding fairs often have plenty of new trends and unique ideas, you might just find one that you want to add to your wedding. By taking photos, you can provide a good point of reference to your vendors or suppliers to use later and get the best outcome for your ceremony.
Join a bridal workshop or seminar
If you’re looking for beauty tips or just need some pointers on perfecting the look, then you may find these sessions quite beneficial. You can find makeup artists, florists, and many other wedding experts giving out valuable advice and ideas.
Besides that, the wedding pros hosting these workshops also typically demonstrate their areas of expertise. For instance, you can see your desired hairstylist or photographer in action and the quality of their work right before your very eyes. Not only does this let you see if they are the right vendor to hire, you also get to ask any important questions you may have.
Look out for wedding packages and discounts
One great thing about wedding fairs is the opportunity for you to save up on wedding expenses. Besides making your wedding planning easier, they are also a more economical choice to settling all your wedding needs compared to getting everything separately.
There is a catch to this, however, and it’s that you can usually only secure these deals at the wedding fair itself. With the large number of vendors at the fair, it would be wise to consider which vendors you want to hire before showing up with your chequebook to get them. So, be decisive and secure those deals before they are gone!
There is no limit to the amount of creativity that goes into wedding planning, and wedding fairs always have many sources of inspiration for you to pick up on. Unique and creative products, décor, and themes can be found everywhere during the fair, so look around to see what you can incorporate into your wedding.
If your wedding fair has a fashion show, they are a good place to get inspired for your attire as well. It’s not just for the bride and groom too – you’ll get to see glamourous models walk down the catwalk in all the latest wedding apparel. You can also talk to the designers of the clothes that you liked for further consultation afterwards.
Try on the clothing
The special appeal about wedding fairs is that you get to conveniently try everything all in one location. Brides and grooms alike can find more than enough clothes to try on, so don’t waste this opportunity to get the perfect look for the big day.
Depending on the fair, there might also be vendors or designers that can provide you with your dream wedding attire on the spot. Also, for the brides-to-be out there, bring your heels and accessories with you if you plan to wear them with your dress.
After the fair
You have likely gathered much from the fairs, so these tips can help you in making the most out of them:
Go through the information you have collected
It’s likely that you have gathered a ton of cards, flyers, and brochures from the wedding vendors, so look through them and narrow down your options to the vendors you want to hire. If you have some favourites, follow up with them through social media or an email to discuss your wedding plans.
Just remember, if plans don’t work out with the vendor that you want, there is always the next one to consider. If you’re lucky, another vendor may have a better promotion than the others!
Don’t forget the main reason you attended the wedding fair for in the first place. Once you have chosen the vendors for your wedding, just schedule a follow-up appointment with them and be on your way to realizing the wedding of your dreams. They might even have special promotions for you after the wedding fair.
Settle agreements in black and white
Much like doing business, having everything written down in black and white can keep you safe from any shady or unscrupulous vendors. In the event that your vendor does not deliver as promised, your written agreement with them can help you in getting what you are owed. Just be sure that the necessary info and details are included in your wedding vendor’s contract.
Other helpful tips
Even if you have bought your tickets to a wedding fair, other couples have likely done the same too. Since a wedding fair is like any other exhibition, following these tips can help you avoid the woes of attending a busy fair:
- Arrive early to avoid the headache of large crowds. Generally, it is better to attend the wedding fair early before the crowd builds up as having too many people around you can cause you to lose your focus. Besides having a more relaxed environment, arriving early can also get you better quality conversations with the vendors as they will likely be exhausted by the end of the day if you come later.
- Create mailing labels for easier communication with your vendors. You will likely meet many different vendors asking for your information while at the wedding fair, so bring pre-printed labels with your contact and wedding info to skip out on having to rewrite your details over and over again. Besides saving time and effort, you could even enter gift draws and raffles with your labels.
- Create a wedding email before you attend the fair. If the huge number of flyers and brochures from the vendors didn’t overwhelm you, then the emails will. For that reason, it’s best to create a new email address dedicated to wedding planning. This way, your personal email address won’t get flooded with wedding emails that come even after you’re married!
- Dress comfortably. Since you’ll likely be walking around the fair for the whole day, put on your most comfortable shoes and clothing. Also, choose clothes that you can easily change out of as this will make it easier to try on any clothes that catch your attention.
- Eat before you go. Usually, food and drinks at wedding fairs can be rather expensive. So, go ahead and have a good meal before you attend and bring a bottle of water with you when you go to the fair. After all, this doesn’t mean you have to skip out on the free food and cake samples at the fair.
- Determine your budget. Even if you haven’t figured out the precise budget, it is a good idea to know your overall budget for the wedding to make things easier for both you and your wedding suppliers. Plus, try to be disciplined in your spending as you wouldn’t want to blow all your budget away on impulse purchases.
And now, for the last but most important tip – remember to have fun. Although it’s somewhat a part of wedding planning, there is definitely much to see and enjoy at a wedding fair. Whether you’re going with your fiancé or with your bridal party, it’s just part of the journey leading up to your wonderful wedding ceremony. If anything, just remember why you’re attending one in the first place – you’re getting married.
At the end of the day, the wedding fair can also be a way for you to celebrate the happy occasion with your partner and loved ones too. Hopefully, these tips will be of use in helping you get the most out of your wedding fair. Have a pleasant wedding!