In preparation of our upcoming exhibit at The National Wedding Show this weekend and knowing that some of you are getting very excited about attending, I thought it would be a good idea to share some tips so that you can really make the most of your day! Wedding fairs and expos such as #TheNationalWeddingShow can be huge, with hundreds of vendors offering all things #wedding. Anyone who has attended these or similar shows can tell you how overwhelming and even exhausting it can be so prepare in advance to make sure that you make the most of your wedding fair visit, and enjoy the day as a day out in its own right. There really is nothing like the buzz of planning a wedding, and I hope these tips will help you have a fabulous day!
Think about what you are wearing in advance. If it is a big fair you are attending it is likely you will be on your feet all day, so make sure you are wearing some comfy shoes. There's nothing worse than only getting a third of the way around before you want to sit down and give up, so get the trainers out and remind whoever is coming with you to also have comfortable shoes. Also, if you think you might want to try on #WeddingDresses wear some clothing that is easy to slip in and out of and not those jeans that are so tight they look like they were sprayed on, and take half an army tugging to get you out of!
Large bag, for heels and leaflets
Remember to take a bag that is large enough for all the leaflets and promotional items you may be given. Also, sneak a pair of heels in if you are going to be trying on wedding dresses so that you can get more of a feel for the final look... Or if you are going straight out for the evening after!
Who to take?There are so many options. If your parents are helping out with the costs, it might be nice to take the Mother of the Bride with you. What a great way to bond and make sure you are both on the same page when it comes to the big day! Other options are your Maid of Honour and Bridesmaids, the girls you can trust for opinions on dresses and advice on anything you might be wavering over. Your future Mother-in-Law might be an option, particularly if she doesn't have daughters of her own, it can be a great way to make her feel part of the planning. And of course, there is the Groom, who let's face it may not jump at the idea of heading to a wedding show, but once he realises how many discounts and offers there are, as well as the possibility of cake tasting and a visit to the bar may come round quicker than you think! After all it is his day too, so he should have some say in it! Plus shows make it easy to get loads of the planning out of the way so you don't have to go through months of conversations over which photographer etc. And he will have met every vendor you did so no trying to explain which was the friendliest or had the best vibe.
Make a list of vendors you wish to meet in advance
This is important. Do our research on who will be at the wedding fair and work out who you want to visit. This way you can work your way through the list ticking them off as you go, and making sure you don't miss anyone important!
There are bound to be loads of competitions, offers and give-aways taking place at any wedding fair you attend. Save yourself time by printing out some sticky labels with your contact details on in advance, this way you can just stick one onto the entry forms rather than having to painstakingly fill out each one by hand! It also means you will be more likely to enter competitions when you are tired/it is busy and you can't be bothered. It will be so much easier to whip a sticker out! Believe me, you'll thank me for this tip later!
Get there early
This way you give yourself loads of time to fit everything in, from catwalk shows to chats with vendors. There is nothing worse than feeling rushed or heading home feeling gutted you didn't get to check out so-and-so's work! The more time you allow the more relaxed your day can be, and the more fun you will have.
Use the guide/floorplan
Map your route or find out where the stands you want to visit are! Guides and floor plans are really useful, they can save you hours of wandering and looking if you know you want to speak to a specific vendor!
Keep your Organiser/Diary/Smart Phone handy
Make sure you have your diary or smart phone to hand so that you can make any necessary appointments with vendors that you are interested in. This way it is done and you don't then have to go home and chase everything up. It's also useful to be able to jot down any ideas that come to you while you are there, or the names and locations of vendors you want to go back and see!
Cash for Refreshments
It's hot work attending wedding fairs, and without doubt you'll want a drink and something to eat at some point so make sure you have some cash so you can grab some food or that glass of bubbly without having to spend hours queueing at cash points - if they even have a cash point!
Chequebook or Card for deposits
Make sure you bring a cheque book or card for any deposit payments you want to put down on the day. Lots of vendors may be offering wedding show exclusive discounts and you don't want to miss out because you don't have a way of paying on the day.
Make the most of competitions and offers
Enter every competition that may be of interest to you. This is a great way to grab yourself some freebies, or massive discounts, and bring that overall dreaded cost down a bit! This is where the printed labels will come in handy!!
Remember the wedding fair isn't the be-all and end-all of your wedding, so take the time to enjoy the day. Have a glass of bubbly with your girls and enjoy the shows and classes. Try not to come over all Bridezilla on your crew, but do make the most of the day and chat to as many vendors as you can so you get a real idea of all the options out there.
If you aren't getting married for another year or two, then you can really just enjoy the day, getting an idea of what is out there are storing up the inspiration so that when it comes to planning you know exactly what you want. For those of you getting married soon, a wedding fair is a great way to get all the elements sorted in one place, and think of the relief you'll feel when at the end of the day you can walk away knowing you now have a percentage of the big day in place.
And Other Memories will be at stand C11 at The National Wedding Show, Kensington Olympia, from 21st - 23rd September 2018. If you are attending the show, please come by and say hello. You'll be able to take advantage of our exclusive discounts and a competition we will be running to give away a personalised notebook, and guest book set! We look forward to seeing you there.