Today's wedmin series is all about 'wedding fairs', something all bride-to-be's will be all too familiar with I'm sure.
I have visited many a wedding fair over the years, mainly as support for friends and a little bit of a psycho bride-wannabe! So when my time came, one of the first things I did was search for wedding fairs to go and visit.
As a bride-to-be I've now visited 3 wedding fairs and I've learnt a few lessons from each and everyone that I thought I'd share because let me tell you, they can be somewhat daunting.
First things first, if this is your first ever visit to a wedding fair, then I would recommend starting small - visit a local one to start so you can find your feet before hitting up the big ones. There's so much inspiration/idea's that can be taken away which is great, but it can be a little overwhelming so I think by starting small, it shouldn't leave you in a blind panic (the same panic pinterest can instil)!
Take a bag along with you - and I don't just mean your handbag, an extra bag to take away all the brochures/leaflets and freebies that you'll inevitably pick up (whether you want to or not). This was a fail of mine at my first fair as b2b recently and I learnt my lesson!
I actually made tote bags as little gifts for all my bridesmaids (see above, very clearly homemade but it's the thought that counts yeah?). These came in very handy at the National Wedding Show in Birmingham which was just mahoosive and came with it an abundance of stuff!
Have a plan! I went along to my first wedding fair as b2b with no plan - I just wanted to see what was around which was fine, but by the 2nd and 3rd, it was plan time. What elements of the wedding did I want ideas for or find suppliers for, those kind of thngs. There can often be special offers found at fair so if there's something specific you're after, then it might be worth going for it there and then (consult the fiancé obviously if he's not there). I had researched wedding insurance quite a bit and found that there was a considerable amount of discount if it was purchased at the NWS, which I obviously took full advantage of!
Don't be pressured! The one thing I really disliked about all the fairs I've been to is the pushiness/pressure from some of the stalls/vendors (not sure what to call them) - photographers being the absolute worse! Nearly every photographer stall I passed they were in your face, asking your date and then checking their diary before I'd even had chance to look at their work - it was so off-putting and I'm sure I walked away from many good photographers for just that reason. Please don't think all are like this - the photographer we've actually booked (who are awesome but more on them to come in their own dedicated post) we met at a wedding fair and they said their hello's and then let us peruse their display albums with no pushiness or checking of the diary until we asked!
Enjoy - this is your time, you are the bride-to-be! I'm not going to lie, I did not get bored of the initial question you'll get from all the stands you visit of 'who's the bride' and being able to say ME was just a great feeling. Take your time, investigate, take photo's and don't be afraid to ask questions - that's what they're there for.
So there you go, my little bit of insight in to wedding fairs - hopefully that's given you a little bit of advice!