Surviving the bridal fair

I have been planning parties, events and joined in coordinating weddings for family and friends for the longest time now.  You would think that I would be used to the whole cycle at this point:  fawn over engagement, hit the bridal fairs, haggle discounts, fittings/proofing/redesigning, mock set ups, the whole enchilada.  But the second one still gets on my bones each time:

The bridal fair attendance.

Bridal fairs are amazing events by man.  Really.  I remember some older women in the family saying that before, there were no bridal fairs to go to.  You had to search for your supplier one at a time; all of them are never in the same place.  So you can only imagine the convenience you will gain by going to a bridal fair.

So I went to the first one I can find, just a week after Le Beau left for the US.

Fair

These fairs will only be convenient if you want it to be.  Otherwise, it’s just a pool of information that will probably only be 10% useful.  So here are some tips for your bridal fair trips.

1.  Register.  Really.  Most of these things have a pre-registration period so it’s best to do that so you can avoid the long lines on the day itself.  Some fairs allow unregistered guests, but most of the time, those who have signed up qualify for raffles, instant prizes and other wedding giveaways.

2.  Bring a bag for the fliers.  At this point, fliers are everywhere and I mean everywhere.  Suppliers will hand these out to you the moment you set foot in the fair.  And they are never the same size.  There are leaflets, brochures, business cards, DVDs of accomplished works, one after the other.  You will need a bag for those.  They can be plentiful and it’s really hard to hold them.  Funny though, no supplier situated by the door ever thought of immediately giving out ecobags.  I definitely remembered the first supplier that gave me a bag, ALBERGUS.  Love it.

3.  Be polite.  The entire floor is filled with suppliers of the same everything.  Photographers, videographers, florists, event stylists, coordinators, makeup artists, couturiers, invitations, mobile bars, nothing is unique.  And sure, it does get repetitive — flier here and there, “Free sample makeup!”, good morning mamsirs — but please do not lose your composure and become bitchy.  They paid for their space there and surely it is not cheap; they’re making the most of their investment.  Just smile, say “No, thanks” if uninterested, walk away politely.  No need to become so rude over declining free cake tasting.

4.  Plan ahead.  This has to be the most important tip of all.  To avoid all the nuisance, research way ahead of time for the suppliers and vendors you are interested in.  Check the bridal fair’s website and see if they’re joining the fair.  If you are just on the scanning and scouting phase, decide on a budget frame, so you’ll know immediately which vendors to avoid and which to approach.

Planning any event is supposed to be fun and exciting; it’s the complete behind-the-scenes look to what could be the best event of the year.  Make you do not lose the fun in it.  With all that effort being exerted in perfecting every detail, make the most of it and have a good time.

That’s it.  Yeah.  Another bridal fair this February.  I managed to secure a couple of suppliers for the first one, and this fair comes right at the time when I’m supposed to be booking coordinators, florists and printers.  And it has wondrous promos that question if Lady Luck is on your side.  So… who’s joining me?

weddings-and-debuts-2015

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