Congratulations to everyone who got engaged during “proposal season!” After you’ve had some time to enjoy your engagement bliss, it’s time embark on the crazy path of wedding planning.
It can be overwhelming when you think about everything that comes with planning a wedding… venues, vendors, decorations, colors, bridal party, dress, tux etc. Wedding fairs corral all of this information into one location and can help you survey wedding options in an efficient way. Fairs are especially useful if you’re planning your wedding sans a wedding planner.
If you’re ready to jump in, the next local wedding fair is coming up. The Wedding Faire is having a 2-day fair at the Santa Clara Convention Center on Jan. 7 and 8. Learn more at www.californiaweddingfaire.com.
Going to a wedding fair is a fun and easy way to get a feel for this billion-dollar industry. There will be a lot of information there–and probably a lot of people–so the following are some thoughts on wedding fairs and how to approach them.
These events are usually pretty affordable. The Wedding Faire is $12 per ticket if you pre-register and $15 at the door but there is also a “Bride & Entourage” ticket deal for $35 for four people. However, always look for discounted tickets. There is a Groupon for the The Wedding Faire for $10 per ticket and also group deals. Check it out here: www.groupon.com/deals/the-wedding-faire.
Fairs usually feature local vendors, which is great if you want to connect with vendors in your area. These vendors are usually advertising specials and even giveaways for fair attendees. Be sure to visit any table that interests you and see if they have specials. Be wary though, if you give them your information these vendors will contact you after the fair. If you don’t like that sort of thing, just grab their card.
Still trying to figure out how much this whole “wedding thing” is going to cost? Collect as much pricing information as you can from the vendors. If you know you want a wedding planner, check out a couple of tables and ask about their pricing. Same goes for florists, caterers, photo booths… anything really. This will help you wrap your mind around a budget for the wedding you imagine.
Fairs aren’t an all-female event. Grooms-to-be don’t need feel awkward about attending because there will be many men there and some of the tables are geared towards his wedding needs. However, you also don’t need to bring your partner with you to a fair–you can bring a close friend or family member. Basically, bring anyone who you want to be involved in the planning process.
If your partner does decide to attend, this is a great opportunity to discuss what you like and don’t like. Bounce ideas off of each other and see if you’re on the same page. For example, there are usually wedding photographers at these fairs–look at their portfolios and get an idea of what you both envision your own wedding pictures to look like.
Fairs usually have shows or presentations too. The Wedding Faire has a show schedule on their website and it looks like there will be workshops. Some fairs also have fashion shows that showcase weddings dresses, tuxes, bridal party outfits and more. If you see a show that interests, you get a seat early because they tend to fill up fast.
Overall, remember to have fun. Eat cake samples, chat with vendors, pocket some freebies and don’t forget to take pictures of anything that catches your eye. Also, look out for more weddings fairs in 2017.