So . . . I've been to three different wedding shows in the last month even though I'm married! Yes, I got a few funny looks and comments, but I wanted to write to you guys about the lovely people I met and the experiences I had at the shows, as well as give you some tips on how to get the most out of them! I visited Scotland's Exclusive Wedding Event at Hampden, The Glasgow Wedding Collective's Wedding Fayre at the Lighthouse in Glasgow City Centre, and today I helped out at my friend 's stand at the humongous Scottish Wedding Show at the SECC.
First of all, I want to rave about the show at the Lighthouse! The Glasgow Wedding Collective is a group of handpicked wedding suppliers throughout Scotland who all follow a strong vintage theme. I've already mentioned suppliers like Butler and Taylor and Sparrow and Rose in my post about Lisa and Chris' wedding and this wedding fayre is very much inspired by these specialist, vintage style suppliers. This fayre also highlighted a few venues which aren't the obvious 'go tos' like The Arches and The Lighthouse itself. You can have a little tiny wedding on the viewing platform of the Lighthouse overlooking the whole city!
Another supplier I would like to highlight from this fayre is the wedding video company Cinemate, purely for having the cutest branding and a downright fabulous website! Good design sells, and this was proven by the fact that I didn't even have to speak to anyone at their stand to love them!
This fayre is small and extremely cute, targeting the more creative bride, and possibly the smaller wedding. We saw some beautiful vintage jewellery, dresses, and also some fabulous handmade stationery!
In stark contrast to The Glasgow Wedding Collective's fayre is the the Scottish Wedding Show at the SECC. I remember going to this as a bride to be and being utterly overwhelmed! It is ENORMOUS! But if you put in a bit of pre-planning you can get a lot of boxes ticked and also save some pennies!
Here's my top tips for going to a big show like this:
1. Less is more! And by this I mean your outfit; within 10 minutes of being at a show like this you'll be stripping off all your layers, it's hot hot hot! You get handed A LOT of goody bags, magazines, and flyers, so take an over the shoulder handbag so you have your hands free to grab all these things, and to write your contact details over and over again when entering competitions!
2. Again, less is more! And by this I mean your entourage; within 10 minutes of being at a show like this you'll be starting to get frustrated at the 8 people you brought either lagging behind or going way too fast! It's overwhelming enough without trying to get your bridesmaids/mothers/mother in laws/cousins/friends opinions. I would say take a maximum of two people to the show to keep you on track. I saw a few brides today with just their Mum and I though that was a nice thing to do together. I also did see quite a few fiancés tagging along, which I was surprised at. Good on them!
3. Be ready to chat! Wedding suppliers are usually genuinely interested in your wedding, I know this from chatting to a few who told me the reason behind starting their business came through planning their own wedding, which is why I write this blog so I can definitely believe it! Don't feel like they are just trying to sell you something, get your money and be done. From my experience, if you like the person and their service you'll buy/book it. I think suppliers know this too, and the more they find out about your wedding the better they will be at helping make it perfect.
4. Enter ALL the competitions! Suppliers offer some fabulous prizes, you've got to be in it to win it!
5. Go to book... if you're wedding is a year or less away. Go with a list, and get it done. Most of the suppliers will offer substantial discounts for booking with them on the day. I booked our looklook photo booth at the SECC wedding show and saved a good couple of hundred pounds. We were two years away from our wedding at the time and almost every band we saw at the show were already booked up, so as I said, if your wedding is less than a year away, get booking! If you're not fast you're last!
6. Make the most of the freebies! Ring cleaning is my favourite... I cleaned a couple of rings on bejouleds stand yesterday and it was great to see the brides face light up as I handed back her shiny sparkly diamond! You don't realise how dirty they get! There's make up trials, massages, wedding cake, champagne, you name it! Give it laldy girls, you'll only do it once! It's certain your wedding party will be all over it, make sure you don't miss out!
7. Buy a weekend pass. I heard a couple chatting to someone yesterday who said they didn't manage to get what they wanted done on the Saturday so had ended up back the next day. This is mainly for the SECC show, if you're going with the intention of ticking a few boxes, get the weekend pass. Do not underestimate the size of this show! It can be very overwhelming for the first couple of hours, or the whole day, as this couple learned!
8. ENJOY. Have fun! Remember it's your wedding.
Last but not least, here's a few more of my favourite suppliers from the recent shows . . .
I'd love to hear what you guys thought about any wedding shows you've been to recently! Let me know on Twitter or Facebook about your experience!