Wedding Fairs

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Wedding Fairs

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.

Wedding Fairs

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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27 thoughts on “Wedding Fairs

  1. Great post, it was an interesting read. I've been married for 14 years now. I didn't bother with wedding fairs as I was so shy when I got married, I was actually dreading the whole thing and wanted to be in complete control. I had a small ceremony with family and close friends, and then a party afterwards. It was great and right for me at the time.

    My friend got married a couple of years ago and she visited wedding fairs, and found the whole thing quite stressful. Another friend who is getting married next year absolutely loves the fairs as she didn't know where to start with the planning. She is now getting exactly what she wants and that's great! They work for some but not for others I suppose!

    • Sally Sally says:

      That sounds lovely Janet. We are having quite a small day affair but have quite a large circle of friends so am having a bigger evening do. Completely agree, it's all down to personal preference. Maybe I should try a smaller, more intimate fair.

  2. I love the theory of a wedding fayre but in truth I'm a bit of an anti-bride. I bought the first dress that I tried on. Because - "That'll do it!" and we only had 22 people to our entire event, 5 of which were kids, 2 of which were the hubby and I. I'd be a wedding planners worst nightmare (or dream depending how you look at it I suppose?) Congratulations on your engagement! Exciting times are ahead and I look forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing with #DreamTeam x

    • Sally Sally says:

      I think I might be a bit of an anti-bride too. I think everyone should do what they want to do for their big day. I do like organising things though.

  3. I've never wanted to get married, but I love weddings (strange I know). I'd love to go to a wedding fair, although I don't like pushy salespeople!
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂
    Debbie

    • Sally Sally says:

      You should definitely go, just to satisfy your curiosity. I was amazed how many things you could get for your wedding day.

  4. Congratulations on your engagement. I got married last year after a whirlwind 11 yr engagement. It ended up being a last minute thing and on a definite budget which meant wedding fairs were out for sure. I do love a good exhibition though and dreaming about all the things I will never be able to afford or ever really need. #BloggerClubUK

    • Sally Sally says:

      Congratulations on your wedding Anne. Wedding planning is pretty fun, but I think keeping to a budget is such a good idea. Otherwise you can get really carried away.

  5. I used to have to do wedding bridal shows for a couple years for my restaurant...trying to promote rehearsal dinners/bridal showers/bachelor blah blah blah. Those were tiring to work. I always walked around and made friends with other vendors and watched how some were super aggressive in talking with the brides & their guests. Always made me cringe inside. A necessary evil as one of the marketing strategies. Sigh. Not going to lie, I'm glad I'm not doing them anymore =) #bestandworst.

    Oh, and congrats by the way!!!!

    • Sally Sally says:

      Thanks Selena. I bet you were really good at it if you realised that being pushy wasn't the right strategy. It's nice just to talk to people without the hard sell.

  6. Awww I've always wanted to go to a wedding fair, it's always been something that's appealed to me since me and my partner got engaged. It's a shame about them being pushy thou hun :/ ... puts me off sometimes when people go for the hard sell xx #TuesdayTreasures

    • Sally Sally says:

      You should definitely go to satisfy your curiosity. You might feel quite inspired by what you see there Sarah.

  7. I went to wedding fayres for the free cake! Ha. I think I went to 3 overall and didn't book a single thing. I ended up using Pinterest for inspiration and then either doing it myself or just booking through Facebook. Like you said, they're pushy and I wanted time to think about it #BloggerClubUK

    • Sally Sally says:

      You're not the first person to mention the cake Nadine. I should visit again for some samples, I didn't get any when we went and my other half loves cake.

  8. My cousin is planning her wedding and is totally addicted to visiting wedding fayre's. I think the lure of cake samples might be the reason though. Best of luck with your planning & thank you for linking up with #TuesdayTreasures x

    • Sally Sally says:

      Ooh, I forgot about the cake samples. I don't think I saw any at the one we went, but it was so busy so we might have missed it. Probably for the best if I want to fit into my dress come the big day!

  9. No, I have never been to a wedding fair. I am more of a tomboy jeans and Tshirt girl (wedding) than the big white dress. 😝 #globalblogging

    • Sally Sally says:

      You'd definitely be outside of your comfort zone then Jeannette! It was quite an experience for me.

  10. I've never been to wedding fairs. We've planned everything by ourselves, searching throughout the web. Well, I should mention, that our wedding wasn't a white wedding. We have married medieval style (gothic) and it was quite too specific for wedding fairs I think.
    And I think by organizing all by yourself you can save a lot of money 😉
    #GlobalBlogging
    http://www.emmiscookinside.blog
    - Emmi

    • Sally Sally says:

      That sounds awesome Emmi. I don't blame you for looking outside the wedding fair circuit. If you are looking for something a bit different, they don't tend to cater too well.

  11. I went to one of these when I got engaged but I didn't end up using any of the ideas because everything seemed either too expensive or too over the top. #DreamTeam

    • Sally Sally says:

      There was a lot to see - it was quite eye-opening. I think it would have been better if it hadn't been so busy!

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