From sussing out a venue to avoiding 'panic booking', here are Wedding Planner Alex's tips on making the most of wedding fairs.
Hello all of you beautiful brides and grooms to be! I can’t believe we are in July already, this year is flying and I know that if you are planning a wedding for 2019 then it is probably flying faster than you can imagine!
As I am busy planning our first “The Wedding Experience Wedding Expo” in Cork I am immersed in all things wedding fairs so I wanted to share with you some advice I have on attending wedding fairs in general.
So you are newly engaged and want to get started on planning your wedding. Where better to start than at all of the wedding fairs being held across the country in different venues and hotels.
It is a fantastic opportunity to see what various hotels have to offer and see how your reception room will be set up on the day of your wedding.
It is also a great way to meet suppliers face to face and save you the time that is normally spent sneakily searching online for your dream wedding while at work (hello Pinterest boards!)
Hotel Wedding Fairs
If it is the hotel themselves hosting the wedding fair then entry is usually free for couples which is always a welcome bonus while you budget for your wedding.
Take your time walking around the hotel and take note of how it is set up as most hotels will set up their ballroom as it will be on your wedding day. Be sure to chat to the wedding coordinator and pick up a brochure with their package prices so you can start narrowing down your venue.
Bigger Wedding Fairs
These fairs are much bigger than a hotel fair as they are usually run by a bridal magazine or an outside company.
As a wedding planner myself and a regular at wedding fairs, I feel like I must clear up a little myth that seems to do the rounds at the bigger fairs where couples are charged an entry fee.
A lot of couples ask me how much we, as suppliers, get paid to be at the wedding fair, meaning do the entry fees get divided between the suppliers. The answer is a resounding no!
We actually pay anywhere from €100 all the way up to €1000 plus to take a stand at these fairs. Most suppliers will also have some special offers available on the day to couples so it can make up for the entry fee.
If suppliers do have special offers available on the day, the majority of them will keep these open until the next working day to give you the chance to make a decision.
I meet so many couples who are in the horrors after doing what I call “panic booking” where they feel under pressure on the day to receive the special offer, pay a deposit, and then regret it afterwards.
Please don’t feel under pressure on the day of wedding fairs, unless you are certain of what you are booking, there is nothing worse than feeling upset or stressed that you have parted with money that can be spent elsewhere on the budget.
Bring your nearest and dearest!
Wedding fairs are no fun on your own, bring along your fiancé, best friends, parents or your in-laws to be! It is a great way of involving your family in your wedding planning and I think it is a great idea to make a day of it!
Gather your information from the various suppliers and head for lunch or dinner afterwards with your wedding fair buddies to chat about who you met and get feedback from them. It will also help you to narrow down your choices while involving your friends and family in some decision making.
As always if you have any wedding related questions please feel free to get in touch!