Wedding Fair Season is in full swing and although there are arguments that the Wedding Fair is an outdated model, that blogs and magazines have it all covered, there is nothing like meeting your supplier face to face and viewing the products in the flesh.
I find this particularly important for stationery. It is no mystery that in the age of online shopping, numbers stationery shops pop up along the highstreet and thrive. People love the tactile nature of all things stationery.
My favourite stationery shop, Papersmiths in Clifton Village, Bristol.
When I started out, I read up a lot about whether I should bother with wedding fairs; they can be expensive, require a lot of planning and take up a whole day of your precious weekend. You also might be given a less than desirable slot in a dingy room, there may not be very many customers.
In my first year I have experienced some real highs and lows when it comes to fairs, but as an exhibitor, I have benefited from building on my community of wedding supplier friends. Each fair is a great excuse for a catch up and to compare notes, to try out a new stall design or promotional tactic. I have found that each fair has paid for itself (lets face it, I don’t know many wedding suppliers, who through getting a single booking, haven’t covered their wedding fair costs). I believe, like many elements of the existence of a wedding supplier, there are many experiences that could be seen as hardships if you weren’t just so damn thrilled to be doing this as your job! Don’t get me wrong, this year’s experience has definitely shown me which fairs I prefer and which aren’t right for my product, but it has all been valuable experience. I offer face to face consultations for my couples, but I also make the effort to travel a little further afield to meet more people. This is the joy of the wedding fair for me.
For the couples wondering whether they should fork out the entry fee (£1 in this instance on Sunday), it is equally a gamble, but we have alternatives to the conference centre fair exhibiting diamante invites and lycra chair covers (no offence if that’s your bag). Fairs have embraced the couple’s individuality and tailored their exhibitors down to a tighter theme: vintage, bespoke, alternative, rustic, steam punk, goth, classic. All you need to do is have a vague idea of your personal style before you sign up. There is the argument that large conference centre fairs will have everything under one roof, just in case you’re torn between a rustic barn and a steam punk theme, but I have always felt like I’m in an cramped airport terminal and treat it more as a military engagement than a fun day to gather inspiration.
All I would say is there really is something for everyone these days. No bride or groom need to be backed into a corner to choose when they deep down feel there is nothing that reflects their own personality.
So I’d say mix it up a bit. couples should seek out their dream wedding elements in the same way that we suppliers choose to advertise across a number of media: internet, print and face to face.
This weekend the de Winton Paper co. is exhibiting at the beautiful Guildhall in Bath as part of The Vintage Wedding Fayre company.
And what’s not to love, when their very own logo has a splash of watercolour on it!
So come and say hello if you are in the area, and you can see the samples close up and be able to make an informed decision about whether our beautiful handmade wedding stationery is for you!