Celebrating a Christmas engagement? Congratulations! No doubt you’re enjoying your engagement bubble and are eager to starting planning, which begs the question – where do I begin?

Most couples start with a visit to a wedding fair. With so many vendors under one roof, it can be a great way to start ticking things off that list. I’ve exhibited at quite a few over the years, (including a few coming up – see below) and so I thought I’d lend a helping hand by sharing my top wedding fair tips to help you get the most out of the experience.

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My top wedding fair tips not to be missed

1. Be prepared

First things first – decide on your shows. Most people opt for shows in their local area or if a venue they have their eye on is hosting one. Once you’ve found which is most suitable for you, check out the show’s website. Familiarise yourself with who is exhibiting at the show and make a list of which stands you don’t want to miss.

2. Get a show guide

Likewise, when you enter the show, make sure you grab a guide. With so many exhibitors, you won’t want to miss a thing. The guide will include stand numbers and details of show timings. It’s also useful to make notes on it throughout the day so that you can make contact with vendors when you get home.

3. Check out the VIP experience

Why not continue your engagement celebrations and be a VIP for the day? Many shows offer a VIP upgrade, which includes plenty of benefits (bubbly anyone?). Whether you’re going with your other half or bridesmaids to be, check out the VIP experience and treat yourself to an unforgettable day.

Getting the most out of wedding shows

4. Don’t miss the catwalk show

If you haven’t began your search for your dream wedding dress, the perfect place to start is with a catwalk show. Not only is this a great way to feel excited about wedding planning, it’s the perfect opportunity to get an idea of what you like. Usually several shops showcase different silhouettes by various designers. With plenty of dresses sashaying down the runway, keep a note of which styles catch your eye, as well as the shop they’re available in.

And it isn’t just for the bride either. Often, you’ll spot menswear, bridesmaids and mother of the bride and groom style on the catwalk so all your wedding fashion is covered.

5. Browse at your leisure

The great thing about wedding shows is that they usually start early and wind up in the evening. This means you can spend as long as you want browsing the stands and speaking to businesses, at your leisure. Exhibitors are experts at what they do so don’t be afraid to ask them questions and tell them what you envision for your wedding day.

6. Pay attention to the music

As you browse the show, pay attention to the music, and in particular to what gets those toes tapping. It’s also a great way to really see a musician in action.

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7. Get tasting

Probably one of the best parts of wedding fairs, is the chance to try various delights! From wedding cake to chocolate fountains, cocktails to canapés, get tasting!

8. Get in on the action

Larger fairs often include talks and masterclasses so make sure you check these out. Look out for live hair and make-up demonstrations, perfect for picking up plenty of tips.

9. Grab a deal

You won’t be surprised to learn that weddings can be a costly affair so no doubt you’ll be hoping to make a few savings along the way. At wedding fairs, many exhibitors offer special discounted prices, packages, free samples and demonstrations so it’s the perfect way to grab a bargain.

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10. And breathe

When you’re confident you’ve seen it all, take a few minutes to take it all in over a cup of tea (or Prosecco if you prefer). Check your list to make sure you’ve spoken to everyone and you can leave happy that you’ve covered all angles.

Don’t forget this is the start to your wedding preparations – there is still plenty more to do! Why not download my wedding planning tips and checklist to ensure you stay on the right track.

If you need a wedding photographer for your wedding day, and fancy coming along for a chat, I will be exhibiting at the following shows:

  • London ExCeL wedding show on the 14th & 15th of January 2017
  • Chelmsford City Race Course wedding show on the 4th & 5th February 2017
    – Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 1QP
  • Chelmsford City Race Course wedding show on the 9th & 10th September 2017
    – Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 1QP
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