They are a bit of a rite of passage aren’t they? I mean you get engaged and you feel you should go, because that’s what people planning to get married do. Well that’s how I felt. My other half and I got engaged last July and to be honest we haven’t got very far with wedding planning, so I thought some trips to wedding fairs would help inspire me.
I went online and found a wedding fair that was near us. It’s one of the biggest in the area. It was at the Detling Showground, just between Maidstone and Sittingbourne. I pre-registered so we could gain speedy entry, and a couple of days later found out that we had been upgraded to VIP tickets, this gave us some exclusive offers from the exhibitors, special seats at the fashion show and some nibbles and bubbly in the VIP area.
On arrival at the showground, parking was well organised and plentiful, so we parked up and wandered towards the entrance. There was a bit of a queue but we didn’t wait any longer than 10 minutes to get in. On entry, we were amazed by the amount of people at the fair. It was heaving. There was no other word for it. It was quite overwhelming how many people were loitering, particularly near the entrance, where we had just come in.
After gathering our bearings, we started walking up and down the aisles, where the different stallholders’ offerings were laid out. There was a plethora of service available for your big day. There were jewellers, photo booths, light up signage suppliers, sweet bar services, cars for hire. It was so wide ranging. I think our mistake was that we went without a plan. We were drawn in by every supplier and ended up talking to people about services we would never need. But it was such an eye-opening experience.
Half way through the day, there was a fashion show. It was really well thought out and the selection on display was very good. It gave me some really firm ideas about what I did and didn’t want in a dress. There were some nice suits too, which was good to see too as often the men’s suit doesn’t get much thought until much closer to the day.
Overall, I would say visiting wedding fairs might be useful for any newly engaged couple. But we were quite overwhelmed by the services on offer and also most of the providers were quite pushy, telling us they were already booked up for most of 2017 and we’d left everything very late. It did help me to decide which wedding dress shops to put to the top of my list and I made some appointments on the day. A note to others, it’s useful to have your diary on you. I didn’t, so I had to make the appointments with a view to changing them if I wasn’t free.
I would take the wedding fairs with a pinch of salt. It was great for ideas, but the pushy nature didn’t sit well with me. I probably would visit another wedding fair, but only if I was specifically looking for an item or a supplier. I also think that Google can do a good job of helping you find suppliers, without the pushy hard sell. Although you may not be party to any show exclusive offers.
Have you been to wedding fairs? What did you think? Did you buy or book anything from the suppliers you met?
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