Newly-engaged? No doubt you are in full wedding mode and deciding whether to brave the legendary wedding fair. If you’re a first-timer, save your stress levels while you still can. Notoriously akin to a cattle mart and a tad overwhelming, this wedding fair survival guide will be your everything.
Prepare To Be A Little Bit Disappointed
We don’t mean to rain on your parade, but some wedding fairs just aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Our best advice is to go with average expectations, this way you won’t be seriously disappointed. Know and expect the following and you should be okay; showcases look much better on social media (Instagram can be very deceiving!), there’s a huge possibility of massive crowds, your preferred suppliers may not be in attendance, you might not actually book anything on the day itself and you may be in and out in less than an hour.
Don’t Bring Your Other Half
If your other half has expressed their disgust at attending a wedding fair, and leaves you to your own devices when it comes to planning, it’s best to leave them at home. There really is no need for them to be present at this early stage and plodding around a day-long showcase will more than likely lead to an argument. You’re best off to go it alone on this occasion, so you can focus and conduct some thorough research. Compromise with each other and agree to sit down together on your return to look at samples and make decisions.
Enlist The Recruits
This is a job for your main ladies. Whether you invite your mum, Maid of Honor, or bridesmaids, their excitement will be infectious. The perfect comrades to get you in the zone. Make a day of it and book a dinner afterwards so you can discuss every last detail.
Bring A Bag (A Big One)
You’ll need somewhere to stash all those free goodies and flyers!
Make Notes & Take Lots Of Photos
You may not remember the names of some suppliers, so take plenty of notes on the day. Take lots of snaps too. These will be your go-to for inspiration when it comes to deciding your theme and brainstorming decor ideas.
Don’t Feel Pressured
You know the type. First they’re complimenting your shoes and asking where you got them from. Before you know it, you’re signing on the dotted line and handing over a €250 deposit. Some sales representatives are just so darn good! Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life. Do not feel pressurized into booking something you are not fully happy with. Politely explain that you are going to check out everything on offer at the event, and that you will return later in the day to chat further.
Note How The Supplier Interacts With Potential Customers
Are they sitting behind a table with their nose stuck in a phone as countless couples walk past? Or are they waiting with a big inviting smile on their face, ready to chat with anyone who needs assistance? We know which one we would rather leave in-charge of an integral part of our wedding! Just sayin…
Take Business Cards
‘Who gives out business cards these days’, we hear you sneer. Well dearest, don’t judge so quickly! These will be your savior weeks afterwards when you really knuckle down to planning. You will have come across hundreds of different suppliers at this stage, so a business card will quickly jog your memory and hold all their key contact details within easy reach.
Don’t get caught out, this happens to a lot of couples. It’s not the end of the world, but can prove awkward on the day itself. You may just fall in love with a venue, photographer or make up artist and want to book them asap. But, there may not be a card machine or ATM at the showcase. Cue the long trek out of the property to withdraw cash and the hassle of trying to get back into the fair on your return.
Don’t Be Afraid To Taste Samples
All that cake… It would be rude not to!
Make Follow-Up Appointments
You may only get a few minutes to chat with a potential supplier as there will be many other brides-to-be vying for their attention. Therefore, you will more than likely be left with lots of unanswered questions. Ask when they next have a slot free in their diary for a follow-up appointment. This way you can enjoy more in-depth discussions in a private setting whilst getting to know their style and personality.
Ask If They Have Any Special Deals
Many venues and suppliers will offer special rates or throw in added extras for couples who book on the day. If a certain vendor takes your fancy and you are 100% sure about booking their services, don’t be afraid to have a little haggle on the price. After all, any saving helps when it comes freeing up money in your wedding budget.