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Wedding Fayre’s – Are they really worth it?

Ok … so, I had planned to get a blog post up ages ago, but the general end of year busyness and festivities meant I didn’t manage to get anything blog wise down on paper (or into cyber space!). Sorry! If you remember far enough back to one of my previous blog posts, I mentioned that I would soon be attending my very first wedding fayre as a wedding planner and stylist, representing my own business. Scary!

That was quite a while ago now, but since we are soon going to be in ‘wedding fayre season’ for 2018, I thought I’d give you a little snippet of what it was like, and what you can expect from attending, and of course answering the all-important question; in my humble opinion, are they really worth it?!

I must admit that when the first of my best girlfriends got married a whole nine years ago, the idea of going to a wedding fayre was pretty new to me! This was before my love of design, styling and all things weddings had begun, and so to be honest at the time I wondered what the point was. We went along, the four of us who were to be bridesmaids and of course the bride herself to the National Wedding Show in London not really knowing what to expect.

‘WOW’, that was my first impression! It was huge! We spent hours walking up and down the various aisles looking at wedding favours, wedding cars, bridal attire and suits for the groomsmen. We sampled wines, champagnes, canapes and delicious wedding cakes. We watched a fashion show of some gorgeous designer wedding dresses, and the bride to be even tried a dress on at one of the stands that had a built in changing room! A few hours later, we left, without having bought anything or booked anything, but we’d had a great day collecting ideas and just generally getting in the wedding mood!

Fast forward to the beginning of last year when I was getting ready to launch my business, I planned out what I needed to do in order to get ready. Top of my list was social media, we all know it is a really powerful tool in this day and age and a great way for people to get to know you, your brand and what you offer. I didn’t consider attending a wedding fayre at all! I think that my initial experience of one had stuck with me, and I wondered if it was worth it.

So, to answer the all-important question, now that I have been to a wedding fayre as part of a bridal party and as a wedding industry supplier… Is it worth it?

The bride’s perspective:

YES! Wedding fayre’s seem to have moved forward from that first one I attended 9 years ago. Back then, apart from the dresses, cars and the odd bit of stationery there wasn’t any real physical or visual evidence of what your wedding day could really look like, or feel like. Florists, for example, would just show you albums of their previous weddings, which mainly consisted of bouquets and boutonnieres, and it was difficult to piece everything together visually. Now though, you get to see beautiful stands set-up by talented florists and stylists to show you exactly what is possible. Looking at Pinterest gives you an idea of the ‘perfect’ wedding but some brides and grooms to be find this difficult to envisage in real terms, and this is your chance!

Take a look at this beautiful floral set-up by the talented Andrea, from Luna Flower. Just incredible!

Here are a few close up shots of my set-up, which showcases a simple and delicate table setting. All very affordable, all very real!

The beautiful flowers, intricately placed in bud vases were provided by Hen Dy Garden Flowers, and the pale pink stationery created by Design by Gemma.

And take a look at Hayley’s Piped Dreams amazing wedding cakes! You can’t not be inspired by these! … and you get to taste her samples!

Many wedding suppliers also offer really good discounts and offers for couples who book their services as a consequence of attending a wedding fayre, and, so it is definitely worth speaking to as many as possible whilst you are there. They will also have their diaries with them, so if you are keen to book someone’s services, do! Wedding suppliers get booked up quickly, and sometimes well in advance of your wedding date.

It can be very busy at a wedding fayre, and there is a lot to see but just try and take your time and take it all in. Even if you are, like we were all those years ago, going in a little blind and just wanting to soak up that first bit of happy wedding vibes!

The wedding industry suppliers’ perspective:

Meeting brides and grooms to be is always lovely. Engaged couples and their families are embarking on a wonderful journey and it is so special to get to be a part of that. I really enjoyed the wedding fayre! It was a little daunting, I won’t deny that. I’m a very friendly and approachable girl, but I wouldn’t describe myself as overly forward, and in a busy environment like that, I think you have to be a little. I’ve been working within the events industry for many years and am super confident in my abilities to style and plan your wedding, but I’m not one for shouting that from the rooftops just yet (something I’m working on!). I loved having the opportunity to chat to couples about what I do though, and there is no nicer compliment than when someone likes your styling and wants to know a little more about how you’ve done it. It's also great seeing fellow wedding industry professionals and hearing about their plans and thoughts for the next few months. I'm always inspired by others around me, and how creative they are. As a wedding planner it's also really important for me to be able to collaborate with others and identify which suppliers would best suit my clients wedding style.

So, will you see me at a wedding fayre again? Yes, I’m sure you will! I’m definitely aiming to be at the Autumn Venue Cymru wedding fayre again. Autumn is a really cool time of the year as a stylist, because you can start identifying what the big trends will be for the next year and so I’ll have something exciting to show you then, especially if you are getting married in 2019!

I’m busy working on two styled shoots at the moment, so another chance for me to show you how you can style up your wedding! If you want to catch me in person, I’ll be at The Silk Loft’s bridal celebration on Feb 4th, which I guess is like a chilled-out wedding fayre! I'll be joined by some super cool and talented wedding industry suppliers all ready to chat all things wedding. I’ll be showing you how to style up your tables on a budget, with two contrasting tablescapes, bang on trend for 2018!

See you soon!

Jade x

PS. The wedding fayre that these pictures are from is organised by Celebration Wedding Fayres - check out their facebook page for their next dates!

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