Whether you are in full wedding planning mode or are yet to get started, wedding fayres and open days are the perfect place to draw inspiration. However, they can also be an overwhelming source of information. Full of happily engaged couples and keen suppliers, so don’t underestimate the benefit of doing a bit of pre-planning. To help, I have put together my insider tips on how best to navigate wedding fayres/open day’s. This contains details on what information you should be coming away with, in order to help aid your future planning.
Finding the right wedding fayres and open days for you
If you are new to planning your wedding, then wedding fayres or open days are a great way to scout out any venues you are interested in. It allows you to have a nosey around the venue, while taking as many photos as you like along the way.
It is also a great opportunity to have a look at all of the rooms/spaces available to you. As well as the onsite accommodation (if the venue offers this).
The venue is also likely to be dressed in florals and decorative elements, showcasing it to it’s full potential. This will therefore give you ideas of what you are able to achieve and will give you an indication of if it will work for you. Do make sure to remember, that these elements are normally just style suggests. They are NOT how you have to style your big day. If you have an idea of how you would like to decorate your venue, then it is best to discuss this with them early. You can then establish if they have any restrictions that might affect your plans.
The venue will also be packed full of recommended suppliers. This will give you a feel for which creative professionals the venue likes to work with and endless amounts of inspiration.
What do you hope to get out of your visit?
It is really important you think about this before you arrive. You don’t want to have a wasted trip.
Common reasons couples attend are;
- To view the venue
- You have booked the venue and want to show parents/grandparents/bridal party etc
- To get inspiration of how you might style the venue
- To chat to the venues recommended suppliers
Know what you still have to source
There is no point making a beeline for the recommended photographer when you organised yours 6 months ago. Be mindful of why you are there. Is it because you want another sneak peek at the dining room or gardens? Is it because you really want to speak to the cake designer? Or is it because you want to show your parents? There isn’t a right and a wrong reason for attending a wedding fair. It’s just important to know what you hope to get out of your visit.
Still have suppliers to source. Then this is a great opportunity to speak to a whole host of different ones all in one go. Most suppliers there will be ones who are recommended by the venue. This means they trust them to provide the best product and service possible. However, don’t feel restricted to picking from these. It is worth checking to see if your venue are happy for you to select your own suppliers. Some do have restrictions on this due to the nature of the building or licensing requirements. For instance, a lot of venues only work with a select few caterers. Make sure to find this out before you sign a contract.
How to navigate the suppliers and what to ask
It can sometimes feel overwhelming being in a room with so many different suppliers, but remember they just want to help you create your dream day. They really are there just to answer any questions you may have and love discussing all things weddings.
It’s good to go with an idea of what suppliers you still have to source and any initial questions you may want to ask them. This helps you to narrow down who you want to talk to and helps you to stay on task.
The suppliers you meet should be able to provide you with enough information to answer your initial questions and will be able to send you over more details following the fayre/open day.
Don’t be afraid to take photos
This is a great opportunity for you to see the venue at its best, all dressed beautifully, so don’t forget to take photos so you have something to look back on. There might be details down the line which you want to draw on or discuss with your suppliers and nothing says it quite like a photo does.
Attending wedding fayres and open days has to be one of the fun parts of wedding planning, so just enjoy being nosey . Drink the free prosecco and taste the delicious canapés and just enjoy getting lots of ideas for your big day!
Images by Wynn Davies Photography
Venue Denton Hall