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Feature: 7 things you’ll want to do after visiting a Wedding Fair

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So you’ve been to a Wedding Fair, Bridal Fayre, Wedding Show… or whatever else you want to call it? The post is all about what you do now that the wedding fair is over.

This past weekend, we were exhibiting at Ireland’s largest wedding fair – the Wedding Journal Show. Did you swing by our stand? Did you pop by and say hello to Graham, Andrew and myself while you were there? We had a fab time and spoke to hundreds and hundreds of wonderful brides and grooms, all telling us about their own unique wedding plans. But having done these big shows for a few years now I know just how.

But having exhibited at these big shows for a few years now, I know just how overwhelming they can seem. Sometimes you wonder should you bring a big cattle prod along with you! Anyhow, I know how it feels, having talked to an uncountable number of florists, cake makers, video people and, of course, photographers. Everyone at those shows wants to chat to you, and to be honest, from my own experience, I can’t remember any of them from when Graham and I used to visit shows before we got married. If you are like us, then you will have picked up what seems like an entire rain forest’s worth of flyers… some of which you could swear might have been put in the bag without you even knowing! So the big question is, what’s the best thing to do next?

1. First things first… empty the bag

Ok, so maybe emptying the bag isn’t the first thing to do. May I suggest popping the kettle on and making your favourite drink. Mine is a lovely cosy sugary hot chocolate… that just gets me all set-up to get going… Ok, so back to work… Start by pulling everything out of your bag and piling up all your flyers. Sort the piles by supplier, so all the car flyers in one pile, all the dress shops in another… you get my drift. Next is to look and see are there any of those flyers that stand out to you, now you are away from the madness of the show. Graham and I spend a lot of time designing our brochure for the wedding shows we do, because we know that’s the one thing that people leave with  after the show. You might not even remember talking to us at a show, but hopefully you will remember our pictures… and love our brochure. A great brochure is our second chance to impress. (Helpful tip… if you are looking through your brochures and come across some really badly designed ones… fire them in the bin! If someone can’t be bothered to even try and impress you with a tiny bit of paper, then how is their work going to impress you… Just sayin’)

2. Do I *really* need that thing?

It’s really easy to get completely caught up in the moment at a wedding fair and end up taking brochures out of the hands of everyone you pass by! That means you are bound to end up with flyers in your bag for things you have either already booked or just won’t be incorporating into your wedding. So after the initial sort, ditch all the flyers for the things you know you don’t need. Don’t want a retro-chocolate-fondue-making-swan at the wedding… Fire that flyer in the bin.

3. Oh yeah… I remember you now…

Next is to pick out any flyers that jog your memory. The chances are, if you spoke to someone at the show, you probably had some sort of interest in what they offer. When you go through the flyers, do you remember speaking to any of the people who handed you those flyers? Were they warm and friendly (and someone you could see yourself working with) or were they just not for you? That’s why wedding fairs are great for getting to see how people behave. You can browse a million websites, but without actually meeting someone, you won’t know if they are the baker, hat maker or candlestick maker for you!This is where you can start to make a yes or no pile and can really start narrowing down. If they were not your cup of tea even if they are offering a fab deal if you know you wouldn’t dream of having them around on your big day then weed them out now.

Now this is where you can start to make a yes or no pile and can really start narrowing down. It is also really easy to get sidetracked and distracted by “Great show deals”… so, if any of those suppliers were not your cup of tea – even if they were offering a fab deal – if you know you wouldn’t dream of having them around on your big day then weed them out now. Dunk that brochure in the bin! Equally, if you do remember them being super nice and someone you know will make your day great, then put them in the yes pile.

4. Check ’em out!

Okay so now you should have two piles of brochures on your floor… (now would also be a good time to top up that cuppa… and maybe have a sneaky biscuit…). You will have your “Yes” pile and your “No” pile. The “No” pile can go in the bin and when the kettle has boiled, you can sit down and look at this “Yes” pile. Another great tip is, never ever ever trust a bit of paper or what someone tells you at a show! Now is the time to do a bit of research of your own, it’s time check out these folks online. There is only so much that can be printed in a brochure, even a super fancy thick one like ours! You will always find way more info on a suppliers website, for instance with us you will be able to see our full portfolio, or look at our blog and see lots of full weddings. You can also use Google to look up reviews from past customers. For the likes of photographers, after all the brochure is going to be full of their “show stopping images” – but what about the rest of the day? You will be able to see all this stuff on their websites. Same goes with dress shops or florists. The brochures are only going to have their wow stuff in them, but their websites will give you a real feel for them as a company.

5. Time to “get social”

You liked what you saw on their websites, yay! So now is the time to reach out on social media. Make friends with all the suppliers you liked and look them up on Facebook. Follow them on Instagram and Twitter too. You will get a real feel for them as a company by seeing what they post. What does your tailor do with their down time? Does you cake maker write a secret blog about gooey sponges? Most people put some stuff up about themselves on their websites, but you get a much better feel for them as people through their social media profiles.For us Social media is very important it’s a great way to interact with our current and past clients and also it’s a great way to get ourselves known to new ones.

For us “social media” is very important. it’s a great way to interact with our current and past clients and also it’s a great way to get ourselves known to new ones. We are people people. We love chatting to old ones and making new friends.

6. Check your inbox (and your spam folder too!)

If you left your details with any suppliers at the show, then the chances are they will try and contact you. So, look out for their follow up emails! (Helpful tip: also check your spam folder, as a lot of these might go to your spam folder, because they are trying to sell you stuff!) These emails will often give you a bit more info about a particular suppliers services and, more importantly information about any special show deals that they were running. Follow-up emails are a great way to jog your memory about a supplier. We for instance, always include a photo of our stand (so you can remember us!) and a copy of our brochure in the email so it’s easier for couples to associate us from the show, with our brochure and with our email.

7. Finally… be decisive!

Finally… get in touch with anyone that you think you would like to meet up with again or book if you are really sure you want them as part of your wedding. “Show deals” are usually only valid for a very short time after the fair. So once you know you want to contact someone, get the ball rolling fast… before their deal expires… or you lose their availability to someone else.

About GRAHAM

Graham Crichton is an award winning professional wedding & portrait photographer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. With 10 years of experience and having photographed hundreds of weddings he has photographed weddings all over Ireland, the UK and abroad.

About HANNAH

Hannah Crichton is the principal photographic assistant, blogger and studio manager (and other half of Graham Crichton Photography). Hannah and Graham recently married themselves in Ynysybwl, Wales, where Hannah is originally from. Hannah loves “everything wedding"!

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