Just How Useful Are Wedding Fairs?

We're in middle of the season of wedding fairs. Every weekend, there are about two or three different local fairs on, all vying for your attention. That's not to mention the big national ones that pull in the thousands.

I remember when I was getting married and the thought of going to a wedding fair simply filled me with dread. Saying that I also found looking through the wedding magazines a pretty tiresome task too.

Everything was the same - the ideas, the dresses and the venues. Or at least they were to me. I simply couldn't believe the amount of commercialism that went on behind having a wedding and I absolutely hated it.

There was nothing different five years ago, but now, there's lots of ways to find those points of difference and make your wedding less 'commercial' and a little bit unique.

Many of the 'big' fairs, such as the National Wedding Show or large local fairs in the big hotels in your local city centre are all still pretty commercial.

Vendor after vendor is the same and you can go from one fair to the next and see the exact same thing. There's little to differentiate them. Even with the national shows, I still struggle to see exactly what it is that they offer that's different, unique or interesting.

It's simply a big money spinner for those that put on the event as it costs hundreds, even thousands of pounds to have a stand at some of these fairs.

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On several occasions I have been to a fair, more so, after being married then before, I've found the whole process to be incredibly intimidating and extremely exhausting. Coming away from the event with a blurred vision of the whole thing. I'm not sure what you think, but I'd be interested to know your experience.

Saying that, last autumn, I went to a vintage fair in Worcester and it was a sheer delight.

The whole venue had been styled by a couple of the vendors involved, there was a vintage style tea shop and 1950s crooner. All the stand owners were small businesses that were incredibly friendly with a genuine interest in your wedding rather than your wallet. Many of them made handmade items or bespoke designs.

There was little repetition of ideas and each stand stood out on its own merit. A stark contrast to the larger shows, which I don't feel offer value for money for those getting married. At this little fair the whole setting was delightful and an experience to really get into the mood of a vintage style wedding.

I think it's because, not only was it a 'vintage' wedding fair with vintage stalls, there was the whole 'ethos' of vintage which permeated the event, making it an experience for the visiting and her entourage.

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