As a professional wedding photographer, I’ve been ‘fortunate’ enough to attend a variety of wedding fairs; from small niche events to large exhibitions on a national scale. Some fairs were absolutely fantastic with awesome energy, whilst others weren’t so inspiring, The same can be said about the various suppliers I have exhibited amongst!
Wedding fairs can be a fantastic resource for meeting and booking your perfect suppliers. After all, you cannot beat the opportunity to read body language and listen to your own gut feelings that only face to face interaction can provide; even in this digital age. However, without a strong sense of what you are looking for or knowing what you don’t want or need when it come to your big day, wedding fairs can be overwhelming and confusing.
Below are four tips to help you get the most from attending a wedding fair.
Do some research
Most wedding fair organisers advertise / list the exhibitors prior to the event. Have a look on the website or social media pages of the event organisers to see which suppliers will be showcasing their work. Not only will it provide a sense of who the fair is marketed towards, it will also enable you to pre-plan who you might like to prioritise chatting to on the day.
2. Start by walking around the venue
When you arrive, do not feel the pressure to stop and talk at the first stand you pass. Walk around and get a sense of the atmosphere and an overview of what is on offer. Are there catwalk shows, talks and / or presentations scheduled to take place? Find out where the best seats in the house are and when to bag them! Notice if certain stands are creating more of a buzz than others or if some are being avoided like the plague.
3. Observe body language
Exhibitors worthy of your attention should be stood up, smiling and chatting enthusiastically to couples. Regardless of what time you arrive, suppliers should not be sat down (especially not behind a table or stand fixture), on their phone and / or looking miserable. If a supplier has little enthusiasm or energy to engage with potential clients, it’s doubtful they will put in the necessary effort into delivering their services to a high standard for your wedding.
4. Don’t go alone
Of course, most decisions regarding your wedding should be made as a couple, so attending fairs together has obvious benefits. However, if one of you cannot attend a fair, try to take along a friend or family member who you trust and who understands your personal tastes and priorities. A second opinion is always a good thing and an extra brain can also help remember some of the copious amounts of information you will no doubt receive as you walk around. It’s also much easier to escape pushy and / or boring sales types when you have another person with you. Safety in numbers is sometimes needed!
In my book How to have a wedding as individual as you are, I dedicate a whole chapter to this topic. Click HERE to order your copy and get lots more advice about planning your perfect day.
Listen to “How to survive a wedding fair”
A previous episode of my podcast (also called How to have a wedding as individual as you are) was all about wedding fairs and getting the most out of them. On it, I chat with the organisers of Not Just A Wedding Fair about the Dos & Don’ts of wedding fair attendance!
Click the green triangle below to listen to the episode.
If you are off to a wedding fair soon, enjoy it. They can be great fun and a fantastic way to get a sense of all the wonderful options available for your wedding. Let me know how you get on.
Happy wedding planning!