Before I start, full photo credit goes to the UK Wedding Event website. I made sure that all of the photos used were taken on the day we were there – so you can actually get a sense of the vibe we were feeling when we were walking round 😊
After we got engaged, the main thing people said to me (after congratulations!), was ‘Go to a Wedding Fayre/Fayres’. A lot of Fayres are on Sundays which is one of my work days, so we only managed to get ourselves to one, back in the Easter Holidays. Which some might think was a shame, but honestly, it was a lovely afternoon, a great experience, and we didn’t come away feeling like we needed to source more ideas – we actually had too many!
I’d already done a fairly substantial amount of research by the time we went to the Fayre, hosted by The UK Wedding Event at the Harrogate Sun Pavilions. It was 6 weeks after our engagement, and by this point we already had the venue booked, colour scheme decided, and I’d sat for hoursssss on Pinterest looking at centre pieces, flowers cake, decor ideas… (Yes, organisation Queen is in her ELEMENT with this wedding planning malarkey!) There’s SO many ideas out there for any kind of wedding, and social media has proved to be a WONDERFUL tool (particularly Etsy, but I’m going to come back to that another time).
I’ve put together a list of Pros and Cons about the event. Obviously, this is totally personal so I’m not claiming it’s the gospel truth, but I thought you might be interested 😊
Meeting Local Suppliers:
One of the things that Ed and I had decided quite early on, was that we wanted to source as many LOCAL suppliers as possible. For a multitude of reasons, but the main two being:
a) We want to support local business
b) We have so many ties to the area (including him proposing at Knaresborough Castle)…it just felt like a really nice bow to tie our whole relationship together.
THIS was where the Wedding Fayre really delivered. We were able to meet local businesses (it turns out that one company that we’re definitely going to go with LITERALLY lives round the corner from us!), that we wouldn’t have found had we just sat on Google.
This is the main reason for all of my friend’s Fayre recommendations…there’ll be things there that you won’t find scrolling through Google or Pinterest (unless you have a million free hours). There was a guy at ours for example who did engravings and carvings into a variety of objects for place names, seating plans etc etc. I’d never have thought of using a mirror engraving as a seating plan, but there you go!
YESSSSS who doesn’t LOVE a goodie bag?! With The UK Wedding Events team (who organise Fayres all over Yorkshire), you get a canvas tote on arrival with a floor plan of what’s where, and a bunch of wedding magazines and flyers. You’ll pick up more little freebies as you go round, but my fave (obviously) were the food stands 😉 Stood in Valley Gardens, eating strawberry/champagne fudge is NOT a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
Spending time with your fiance:
Ed and I live together so we see each other every day, but because of work and house stresses the last few months, we’ve not had an awful lot of time to spend together in a ‘going out and doing things’ sense. I value every minute I spend with him anyway, but getting out of the flat and doing something adventurous or different is always lovely – and fun!
As much as anything else, it’s nice to be able to start your wedding journey together. I know lots of partners will have different plans for who does what, as it’s not possible to do everything together. So being able to spend some time ‘wedding-ing’ (just the two of you as well, without any family or friends present) is really special. Especially when you’re recently engaged and it’s all still new and exciting and a bit weird, and people keep on congratulating you!
Businesses going for ULTRA HARD SELL
I would definitely recommend going with a BIT of an action plan about what you want (or perhaps more accurately, what you DON’T want), because some people will try to do the HARD SELL. And I mean like, jump down your throat before you even get to their stand and won’t let you leave without signing up to their mailing list. So BE STRONG and just say no 💪 (Politely of course, you don’t have to barge past them, by all means have a conversation with them…but stand your ground).
We went later in the day in an attempt to avoid the crowds (although this COULD mean you miss out on freebies, but it was a risk we were willing to take). And it paid off for us getting there at 3pm, but I can imagine it being very cramped in there earlier in the day.
Getting emails MONTHS later from companies you had no idea existed
Kind of linked to the Hard Sell point I made. This is the problem with anyone you show any interest in…they insist on you writing down your name and email address. Which is great to essentially get a free reminder a few days later about the suppliers you liked, but I got a GDPR email from a random company a few weeks ago, which sent me into a mild panic: the name wasn’t anything to do with weddings, and it took me Googling the website link to realise it was a wedding ring company! Panic over, it wasn’t a stalker. But I’d totally forgotten I’d even given them my details. We weren’t interested in the slightest but I felt bad for the guy who had very few names on his sheet, so I suppose I’ve contradicted my earlier statement. At the end of the day though, it’s totally up to you how you choose to spend your experience; a s**t ton of emails might be a help to some, but may be a nuisance to others.
All in all, they’re great events to attend, and whilst there are a couple of cons, they really don’t outweigh all the pros – and this post wasn’t necessarily about reviewing the experience, it was to give you a general idea. I hadn’t read much about what to expect from a Wedding Fayre when I googled ahead of our visit, so I’m putting this out there in the hope it finds someone who really needs an honest opinion. OR, maybe you just fancied a nosey…it seems people are curious about wedding related thangs!
If you’ve enjoyed reading this, stay tuned by subscribing/following my blog because I’ve got plenty of other wedding post ideas! 😊