Are wedding shows worth a visit? This is a question often asked by couples planning their wedding day and no doubt you’ve questioned it yourself at times.
The simple answer is yes, absolutely! Whether you’re searching for a specific supplier type or a general starting point, wedding shows give you the perfect opportunity to find your suppliers, sample the latest trends, fill you with inspiration and ideas, and view the wedding venue in an informal manner too.
Of course, you could plan your wedding and book your suppliers with a simple internet search, but the reality is this is far more time consuming than you’d think. After you’ve spent hours searching aimlessly through google and supplier websites, you then spend several more hours trawling through their social media platforms and hundreds of reviews – this is all before you’ve even met them to see if you ‘click’! By visiting a wedding show, you can meet suppliers face-to face in a relaxed setting and view their work in person either through the display on their stands or within an inspiration zone. Weddings are such a visual and interactive experience, which is exactly what a show is too. You’ll get to see the products, feel the quality, and taste samples - all of which you just can’t do online!
*Visit a wedding show* should definitely be on your wedding planning to-do list, and when you do, here’s our top-tips on how to make the very most of one of our Whitewed wedding shows, including the wise words of Kate of Copper & Blossom and Cece of Dymond’s Shoes & Accessories; two Whitewed approved suppliers that are regular exhibitors at our shows…
*Photo credit: Copper & Blossom
When should you attend a wedding show?
Kate of Copper & Blossom says 'It's never too early to attend your first fayre. It doesn't matter if you haven't set a date or found your perfect venue yet - if you are engaged and there is a wedding fayre happening locally, pop in and give yourself a head start on the planning. Pick up as much literature as you can - believe me, there will be plenty on offer. No-one will mind if you're not quite at the stage of booking venues and suppliers just yet, but you will give yourself a much better idea of where to start. You may pick up a brilliant nugget of information or stumble across some amazing inspiration. You may even be walking into your perfect venue without even realising it.'.
Turn up and take in the atmosphere of our shows, or if you have an agenda that you need to tackle, why not plan ahead. For every show we host, we have a Facebook event page set up, leaking sneak previews of Whitewed approved exhibitors, mood boards for the inspiration zones and a whole lot more. They are worthwhile taking note of suppliers you'd like to meet, and gives you the opportunity to check out their Directory page, website and socials to find out more about them before you head to the show. It'll also provide a great tool to have questions at the ready, and Pinterest boards prepped to share with exhibitors who will love to see them!
You may also like to plan who will be accompanying you on the day. Will you be visiting with your fiance, friends or family members? Wedding shows make the perfect girls' day out for you and your bridesmaids, but equally if you're ready to get suppliers confirmed then your fiance may be the partner in crime you need for this occasion.
When you've decided on the shows your visiting, why not pre-register for your free event tickets. It's not essential to do this, however by planning ahead and pre-registering, you'll receive an exclusive VIP envelope on arrival filled with offers and discounts from suppliers. Who doesn't love a discount code!
*Photo credit: Copper & Blossom
The beauty of a wedding show is you get to see a supplier in action. From their stand set ups, to samples of their delights - you get to see the 'real' them and their personalities too! From decor hire to DJ's, bridal gowns to bespoke cakes, we have LOTS of suppliers ready to help turn your vision into reality. Cece of Dymond's Shoes & Accessories says 'Looking at a stand will give you a good indication of the attention to detail a supplier will pay in the products and services they provide. Seen an outstanding display that catches your eye? If that's the effort they make for a "little ol' wedding fair" imagine what they could do just for you on your day!'. It's true, if the effort isn't there for a wedding show, will it be there for your day? Cease the opportunity of viewing a supplier in this environment, as it's a real insight into the supplier and their company as a whole.
Kate of Copper & Blossom says 'This is THE best thing about wedding fayres - you get to meet the people behind the business. Weddings are a hugely personal thing. Yes, it's possible to book all of your suppliers online or over the phone but I believe that meeting your suppliers face-to-face is vital. For example, you may absolutely adore the work of a specific photographer so if you see that they will be at a local fayre, go along and say hello and make sure that you will feel comfortable with them - after all, you will end up spending most of your wedding day in their company! Talk to people, discuss your ideas and then trust your gut instinct - it will serve you much better than sticking rigidly to a certain budget.'.
Can't find the supplier you're looking for?
We try our very hardest to make sure our shows are full of choice and a great array of supplier types, but occasionally we can't have it all! So, if you can't find your supplier, where do you turn? There is of course the Whitewed Directory filled with 200+ vetted and approved suppliers, but recommendations are also key. Cece says 'No recommendation can come highly enough than that of another supplier. These people work with each other on the circuit all the time. They will know who to run to (or away from!). If your photographer is recommending a particular bridal boutique because they give the best experience, then sure enough they will be worth a look. Suppliers only offer recommendations to companies they are happy to risk their own reputations for'.
Join in with our interactive elements...
Our shows are full of interaction, so make sure you take advantage of all that is on offer. From live beauty demonstrations on exhibitor stands to photo booths in action, you can get interactive with the suppliers, so enjoy doing it!
You'll also find Whitewed being super interactive too, with our 'Style Hub' featuring the Whitewed original 'Style A Bride' where we create bridal looks in front of your eyes, or our 'Planning Hub' where we offer demonstrations, workshops or interactive styling tips. If that wasn't all enough, you might also luck in with visiting one of shows with our roaming bridal models or a full runway show. These are ideal for viewing an array of bridal gowns on different shapes and sizes making it a realistic and enjoyable experience of viewing the latest trends in bridal gowns.
With your glass of fizz in hand, why not take a seat and enjoy the show!
Inspiration zones are the ideal place to see the latest wedding trends and gather ideas that you may not of had otherwise. Pinterest is great, but isn't always realistic, whereby dressed tables at a show can provide a credible vision for you to take inspiration from. The exhibitors are always on hand to chat through their set ups and discuss how their decor could work for your vision, or suggest suitable alternatives. They've showcased their products and services to inspire you, so take notes, take photos and chat to them!
Top-tip for you - Place the business card of the contributing suppliers in the photo so you can remember who to make contact with following the show!
Wedding shows are a perfect way of viewing a venue in a relaxed and informal manner with no pressure to talk packages if you're not ready too. If however, you love what you see, the venue team are always on hand to chat through your wedding day wishes and share a little more about their venue too. Chances are their catering teams will be in attendance offering delicious titbits for you to sample, so win win here! Quite often you'll find that the exhibitors have worked with the venue on numerous weddings before, so don't be afraid to pick the brains of suppliers, ask their advice or for their suggestions - they'll have plenty! If the host venue isn't quite your cup of tea, again chat with suppliers as they'll have hundreds of ideas and suggestions for you. Nobody knows venues better than wedding suppliers so steal their knowledge!
Enjoy the samples...
Isn't this one of the top reasons why we all love a wedding show? Sampling the goodies, products and experiences of suppliers is key, and at a wedding show you can truly save hours or even days by sampling the cake, catering or services of several suppliers all in one day. Wedding shows have been described as the place for 'speed dating suppliers' and we think this is a genius phrase - its totally true. You sample, you chat and you move on before going home to compare notes and pick 'the one'!
Everyone loves free tastings of cakes and canapes don't they!?
Take advantage of offers and discounts...
Wedding shows are often filled with discounts, giveaways, competitions or freebies so take full advantage of them! Suppliers will often have exclusive show offers on, so if you're at the point in planning for securing your suppliers then now is the time. All the small savings can add up to a huge saving over-all. As mentioned before, don't forget to pre-register for our shows as it'll get you an exclusive VIP envelope on arrival filled with offers and discounts - see the savings start as soon as you arrive!
So there you have it, our top reasons why visiting a wedding show is a MUST for any couple planning their wedding. Thanks to Copper & Blossom and Dymond's Shoes & Accessories for adding their professional input, we know how valuable it is to have the pro's share their thoughts! They've both written their own blogs on weddings shows too, so why not head to their websites and take a read! You'll find the links on their Whitewed Directory Pages.
Love Team Whitewed