The Pros and Cons of Wedding Fayres

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 😊

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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).

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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 😊

PROS:

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. 

Getting Ideas:

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!

Goodie Bag:

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!

CONS:

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). 

It’s Busy

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. 

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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! 😊

Lynette x

The Most Fun Things About Starting to Plan Your Wedding

So whether you’ve just gotten engaged, have been engaged for a while, are married and are feeling nostalgic, or single and just curious…this post is for you! Getting engaged is such an incredibly special time, and is exciting in sooooo many ways! There’s a lot of love flying round and when it was such a big part of our lives, it seemed only right to share with you lovely lot 😊

Being a Princess 👸🏻

Whether you’re trying on sparkly jewellery, walking round a Manor House, meeting vendors or the big one, trying on wedding dresses – it’s all just utterly magical. You’ve imagined how it might be for years, so you can’t believe it’s actually happening – it feels like a fairytale!

Admiring your ring at every opportunity 💍

It feels so weird (and very grown up) to have something on that finger, and 6 months later, I still find myself playing with it. FULL CREDIT to Ed for picking the most gorgeous ring ever, I’ve been in love with it since I clapped eyes on it, and will be for the rest of my life. Cringe? Maybe, maybe not. But this is a wedding post, if you weren’t expecting a bit of mush then…well I don’t have any words, because mush is GOING to happen! 😂 Please feel free to click close now if you don’t want mushiness. Because there will be more 😉

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Getting special Wedding Planners 📚

I’m super organised anyway, so this is SO FUN. I actually have two different books, plus a checklist on my iPad (I’m totally ON THIS 😂), and they’re a great way of:
a) The obvious one, planning (Guest List, Colour Scheme, Vendor details etc.)
b) Scribbling down potential ideas (that may come to nothing, but are good to have: signature cocktail, signage ideas, decor thoughts, etc.)
c) Noting down special meetings, dates or thoughts, to look back on in years to come.

Plus they include fun pages! One of mine includes ‘Our Wedding Guest Predictions’ (where we can guess who’ll cry the most, who’ll be the first on the dance floor, and who’s most likely to be found at the buffet). They also include space to write your vows (if you’re doing your own), plan your fitness regime (if you want to do one) and a colouring page, for when you’re mega stressed and need to chilllll.

Seeing beautiful venues 🏰

This was our first port of call when it came to planning, and it’s a bit of a surreal experience…
You get to see beautiful places, gorgeous grounds, get treated like royalty (because everywhere you view wants your dolla)! We thoroughly enjoyed our venue viewing experience, not just for those reasons, but it was the first time it was actually ‘real’. And the love is allllllll around 😊

Browsing on Pinterest 📸

I can’t believe how much you can find on there! My favourite thing has been to put in our wedding’s colour scheme and get ideas for venue decor, flowers, cake design…the list is potentially endless with so many things on there!

Following Wedding Dress Boutiques on Instagram 👰🏻

I’ve never Insta stalked as much as I have on the Bridal Factory Outlet‘s account. Before I got my dress, it was just amazing to get ideas and get wrapped up in wedding-ness. Now, it’s a comparison game, and basically thinking everything is mediocre compared to yours (in the least horrible way possible I might add!)… there are SOOOO many gorgeous dresses out there, but surely, if you’re still falling in love with other dresses, your dress isn’t YOUR dress. So, the feeling of ‘well it’s lovely, but not amazing’ is just a sign that the dress you bought really is ‘the one’. Which by the way, I thought was just a turn of phrase. Until I put mine on. And now I can totally vouch for the fact that it’s not, and ‘the one’ is a genuine thing.

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Starting to Check Things off your to do list 📝

I mean, I love a checklist anyway, but when your wedding checklist is SO long (I had no idea how much there was to do until I started planning, there’s so many things you wouldn’t think of), it feels good to start making a dent in it.

Browsing through etsy 💻

Until I started planning, I had no clue about the amazing-ness of Etsy! For ANYTHING, not just wedding decor, stationery and gift ideas, there’s THOUSANDS of things on there! Things you’ll never have known existed, let alone thought of before; and what’s best, is that you’re supporting small businesses (more on this another time)!

Being in an engagement bubble with your beloved 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨

The first month or so of our engagement became a whirlwind: we were running out of room in the fridge because it was full of Prosecco (#priorities) and everything in life seemed to have a shimmery haze around it, just because there was so much LOVE flying around! It’s almost cringey, and almost movie script worthy, but it really is such a special time, and I had no idea how magical (and insane!) it was going to be. Plus, I had NO idea that Ed was going to propose, so it took quite a while to actually believe it was happening! I was speechless that day (which has NEVER happened before), and I really struggled to be sociable at our celebratory meal that evening with my parents 😂

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Wedding plans have been put on hold for now (we’re distracted with work and moving), but all the BIG things that need booking way in advance, have been done! Which is VERY exciting! More on these another time…

If anyone has any fun planning memories or something they’re looking forward to, please feel free to share below!

Lynette x

I Said Yes To The Dress

This weekend is a double showcase weekend, so the stress is definitely real. Because of that, in my down time I’ve really tried to distract myself. And the way I’ve done that is to binge watch the LIFE out of ‘Say Yes To the Dress’. Which has thrown me back to the beauty and excitement of MY wedding dress experience ❤️

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So I got engaged in February, and I threw myself straight into Wedding Planning – which by the way is the MOST fun. We’ve cracked on and got the big things that need booking in advance, booked, which I will talk about at a later date. But one of the FIRST things I got…was my dress. It wasn’t intentional, it’s just the way it ended up working out! There’s so many suggestions out there for timelines for all parts of a wedding, and my Wedding Planning book suggests getting your dress 9 months ahead of your wedding day. Which I guess is part of the reason why I was so surprised to get it sorted so quickly – I ended up getting my dress 13 months early! But I suppose I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t ticked it off my to-do list agessssss in advance! #OrganisationQueen

Mama P booked a day off work in the Easter Hols and we headed up to The Bridal Outlet in Northallerton. There’s no appointment necessary so we rocked up at about 11am and had no time to wait at all (though there was quite a queue forming when I’d finished so if you head up there, it definitely pays to go early).

The system there works in a simple way…

⁃ Have a look through the dresses
⁃ Pop a tag on 3 you want to try on
⁃ When it’s your turn they’ll take the dresses into the changing room and call you in.
(You do get to try on more than 3, but those are just the starting point, for you and your consultant to get an idea of what you do/don’t like).

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Browsing through all the dresses was probably the hardest part – they’re all in protective translucent bags, and although you can see the top part clearly, you can’t see the skirt, so it’s a struggle to imagine what it’ll be like actually on. But it was fun regardless!

I don’t want to give away any details about dresses I tried on (yet), but maybe in a year or so when I’m actually married! Main reason being, I don’t want anyone (particularly Ed) to have any inkling of what I’ll be wearing. So that’s where the description of the experience ends, soz!

But I can tell you, that the dress I bought was the FIRST DRESS I picked up off the rack. And I love that it ended up working like that, coz it was the same for my mum 😍 I didn’t go with the intention of buying my dress that day as I said, I went expecting to use it as a fact finding mission; to find out what I did/didn’t like, or what did/didn’t suit me…but I fell in love with my dress. And the second time it was on, I knew it was the one.

The feeling really is as incredible as people say. 
When you know, you know ❤️

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It was a very surreal experience, I couldn’t believe was stood in a wedding dress – it really is a pinch yourself moment. If I’m honest, I think I’m going to struggle to comprehend that I’m getting married right up until the big day itself, maybe even after! At the risk of sounding super cringey, our whole relationship has been fairytale-like and I still can’t believe how lucky I am (for those who know us, it was a LONG time coming) 😂So trying to get my head around the fact I’m going to be Mrs Leigh in less than a year is WEIRD.

It was a real whirlwind, I couldn’t believe that less than an hour after walking into the store, I was walking out of the store with my dress in tow…
…and it’s been hanging up in my old bedroom at Mum and Dad’s ever since! And yes, I have sneaked a peek at it virtually every time I’ve popped round there in the last 3 months!

At 5’4, it’ll need some altering, (I wasn’t blessed with long limbs), and although it won’t be for a while yet, I’m looking forward to the excuse of getting back into it! It makes me feel like a princess which is a nice change from the frizzy, sweaty, workout gear wearing dance teacher I usually am 😊

It was such a special day, and every part of it was perfect. I got to share the precious experience with my wonderful Mama P, and that was just incredible – honestly, I can’t put into words just HOW incredible it was, I’m so lucky to have such an amazing relationship with her. I’d never have had it any other way, but she deserves the shout out coz I love her so damn much.

The choice of dresses at The Bridal Factory was top notch, the customer service was impeccable and the help given by my consultant was amazing – honest, informative, helpful…Jamie was a star. I would highly recommend the Outlet to anyone in the North wanting a friendly, magical wedding dress experience.

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And until the next time I get my dress on, I get my fix being judgmental of all the dresses that come on my TV screen!

Lynette x

Images of The Bridal Factory Outlet taken from www.bridalfactoryoutlet.co.uk
Have you got a Wedding Dress story? Let me know below! 👇🏻