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A wedding fair is an exposition or convention where wedding suppliers and vendors gather to showcase their goods and services to you the bride and groom to be. It is a fabulous way (sometimes overwhelming) to get your imagination and creative juices flowing for what you would like at your wedding. 

What you will find

Every type of vendor and supplier possible ranging from the wedding planners, venue managers, transportation, entertainment, caterers, wedding cake makers, dress makers and so on. These fairs only happen a few times of the year so a lot of effort goes into them to provide you with as many wedding solutions you can think of.

Most people nowadays look online when trying to find suppliers and this only gives you half an idea. Most of the services you buy for your wedding are intangible (which means you can’t touch them) so by attending a wedding fair, theses products and services are made tangible to you the consumer.

Being able to see live demonstrations of entertainment, hearing how the band or vocalist sounds live makes a huge difference and will enable you to decide if it’s what you both want for your wedding. Tasting wedding cake or caterers canapés will give you food for thought, also being able to talk to suppliers and have advice from them definitely helps!

There will be wedding dress and wedding attire suppliers available to try on or simply browse through, whether it’s for yourself or for your bridal party or groomsmen, being able to touch and feel them (without having to book an appointment in a bridal shop) goes a long way. Most wedding fairs have a catwalk show too to be able to show off the latest wedding trends, this gives you a good idea how the dress and suits etc really look and move when it’s being paraded up and down the aisle.

Set-ups of top tables and reception tables will be on display in it’s finest, the best materials are used to show off the endless possibilities. Decorations and floral displays, colour charts and portfolios will be available giving you further inspiration and ideas for your own wedding.

There are even motors on site to show you the logistics side, ranging from campervans to the luxury vintage motors.

Caterers will have food and beverage on offer to tempt you with their cuisine, some even have live cooking stations, the smell of food drawing you in.

How to prepare

This is a serious day of being on your feet for long hours so make sure you wear comfortable footwear and wear clothing that is easy to get in and out of, if your planning on trying the wedding attire available.

Take a notepad and pen to make notes, unless you use your mobile for taking notes. Some wedding fairs may also create an app that you can use and this then would be ideal for making notes.

Be organised – take a clipboard or plastic folder to keep all the business cards, and pamphlets you will pick up through the day. Plus a shopping bag as you will no doubt collect many a magazine and brochure along the way.

If you already have an idea or have booked some of your services ready then have a plan as to what you’re looking for. If you are going as a ‘blank canvas’ try and see the entire fair and then go back to suppliers/vendors that have interested you.

If you don’t want to take your partner or they can’t make it, take someone who wants to be there with you. There is nothing worse than your friend or family member becoming bored or uninterested halfway round.

When you return home either give yourself some time to process everything you’ve witnessed and go back to it in a couple of days. Or if you’re like me go through all the leaflets cards and notes, keep what is necessary and pin to your wedding board and recycle the rest.

Even if you’ve opted for a destination wedding, wedding fairs would still be of interest as you will find some relevant services under the same roof, such as invitations, wedding attire, rings, etc. which you can already organise from home.  Research the list of exhibitors taking part in the fair you are attending as there might also be vendors in relation to destination weddings such as wedding planners abroad, venues abroad, etc etc.  Nowadays, there are also wedding fairs particularly targeted to destination weddings only so that’s always a bonus for the adventurous couples who decide to elope and get married away.

We at I DO KNOT usually attend a few wedding fairs.  Fortunately we have been very busy organising and planning future weddings to be able to commit to more than one fair in 2017, but if you’re around Belfast in February it would be fabulous to meet you lovely brides and groom’s to be and to be able to show you what we offer as an award winning destination wedding planner.

Come visit us at the Wedding Journal Show taking place on the 4th & 5th February 2017 at the Titanic Exhibition Centre – we are at the entrance on Stand F1.

Article submitted by our guest blogger Charlene McKenzie