Afternoon all. I think when planning my own weddings I attended 2 wedding fairs, a big one and a local one. Wedding blogs had just taken off, there was no such thing as pinterest and I sometimes found the mags were a little lacklustre. Fairs were really the only way to see and meet suppliers, I must admit I was overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time. Thankfully, fairs have moved on in the past 5 years and they now cater to all kinds of wedding tastes, there is a fair for everyone and you will now enjoy the experience rather than feel bridal-ly bombarded. We talk to Amelia Barnes of Miss Vintage Wedding Affair about “How Attending a Good Wedding Fairs Can Really Help You Make Your Wedding Fit You!”
When first setting up my wedding fair in 2011, I wanted to provide something to brides that couldn’t just be ordered off the internet or bought off the peg. Much of what was offered to me for my own wedding was mass produced with high pressure sales techniques and lacking in the craftsmanship I was after. In the end, I made everything myself because I just couldn’t find what I was looking for! What I really objected to was corporate wedding suppliers telling me what I must have my wedding. Planning a wedding had to be made easier. So, I set about curating a team of people that good help likeminded brides find their perfect suppliers.
In the age of the internet we are so used to ordering everything online, but with a wedding you need it to be personal and reflect the couple it’s celebrating. This is why a good wedding fair is excellent. You get to meet and chat to people that you would just never click with if you were searching online. It used to be the case that wedding fairs were cringe -fests staffed by ladies dressed in static polyester suits trying to flog you naff chair covers (no offense, I’m just not a fan!) and gunky chocolate fountains. These type of fairs still exist but, you will be happy to hear that there is a bridal revolution for couples who want to create a wedding day to reflect them in a uniquely personal way! You just have to pick the right fair to attend. This is where the internet does come in handy. On a good wedding fair website you will be able to see the type of suppliers they have exhibiting. If these suppliers ring true to your vision then pop along for a chat with them.
When you are visiting a fair there are some key things that you will need to consider. Talk to your partner before to confirm what you still want to book, the budget that you have and the overall feel for your wedding day. With so many things on offer it can be easy to become side tracked.
Before you attend a fair, create a wedding email account. This is perfect if you don’t want to give out all your details to everyone you meet, with the fear of being on their mailing list forever! After checking out the fair website before you go, make a list. See who will be there and who you really want to talk to as a priority.
Go early! Most fairs start at 11am. Take your time, you will want make the most of the day. Wear comfortable clothes, light make-up and take your best friend! You will need those second opinions. If you are trying on dresses take a suitable pair of dressy shoes, nude undies and wear your hair in a simple way that is away from your face and neck.
Enter Competitions! This is when your new email address will come in handy. You have really good odds of winning. Some of the prizes on offer will save you a fortune, such as free engagement shoots, bouquets and free wine for your reception. Use the discounts. Many exhibitors offer discounts on the day and if you quote that spoke to them at the fair after the event.
Have a cup of tea and something to eat! This wedding planning is exciting stuff, but you need to keep fuelled. That’s what the tearoom is for! Then, go back for more and ask advice! Is what you have in mind practical? Have they worked on a similar wedding before? Do they have suggestions that will suit your budget?
The biggest event most people have ever planned is a birthday party. The exhibitors on-hand have years of experience. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. They will offer advice freely as they want you to be happy with the service they provide. Be clear about your budget and what you would like. If you don’t know what you would like, ask what options there are and if you can see images of their previous work!
Enjoy it! There are so many amazing creative people to talk to you are bound to find suppliers that are sympathetic to your vision. If you don’t like the supplier, move on! You have to click.
The Next Miss Vintage Wedding Affair is on the 22nd February 2015, 11am to 4pm at a stunning new venue. County Hall, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 2DN
Visit www.missvintageaffair.co.uk for more details.