Monday, 4 October 2010

Why I don't like wedding shows/fairs/fayres

...Mainly because they're depressing.

I went to the National Wedding Show for the first time this weekend and have to say I did not enjoy it that much.

It's not that I'm saying that I wasn't impressed with the suppliers exhibiting there (although there did seem to be a lot of identikit, 'genericness' present); it was more the whole atmosphere.

In a nutshell I think it destroys originality and challenges the whole concept of enjoying the planning process, from discovering a supplier you like to how to implement exciting ideas.

Okay so if you're overwhelmed by wedding planning or looking for one stop shop I can see how a wedding fair is useful. But if you want a personal, original wedding I think you'll only be disappointed. I certainly would be if I'd gone as a bride.

So let's be objective. They allow lots of brides to be access to suppliers they can meet in person. This I'm obviously not against. It all just felt a bit sad in a way. As I was walking around the N.W.S I could feel the neediness in the air, from brides to be looking for something that catches their eye to suppliers wanting to connect.

Maybe I'm naive or romanticising things too much but I don't think this is what planning a wedding should be about. Yes it can be hard, stressful and daunting. But it should be exciting and personal and certainly not feel like a cattle market.

I'm not ruling out the concept of a wedding fayre in principle. The idea is good. Introducing suppliers to potential clients and couples to potential suppliers. But my experiences of them so far is negative!

I'm willing to have my mind changed however and I'm sure this won't be the last wedding show I go to. But for now I remain unconvinced.

I'm hoping in time as weddings are becoming increasingly creative and unique that wedding fairs will follow suit. In fact in the UK we do have The London Vintage Wedding Fair coming up so I will be checking that out and by the title assuming I will like it a little more.

Gosh what a super whiny post this morning! Big apologies! I want to know what you think?
What are your experiences of wedding fairs? Have you been to any good ones. What made them good?

Maybe in time I should get all the fabulous suppliers I know of together and organise a big fat awesome wedding fair to show them how it's done!


  1. I've never participated in a wedding fair as a supplier, but visited as a bride, and I agree with you. I don't know exactly what it is, but it feels like wedding fairs are lacking a soul, a spirit or smth. That's what weddings are all about I think - celebration of love between two people, I just didn't feel that.

  2. I couldn't agree more. NWS is actually quite scary (my other half was petrified and went and sat in the corner!) it's really busy with pushy brides and mass market suppliers that on the whole (other than a select few) aren't of a high calibre. I went a few years ago and have never been back since. There are however fairs that are challenging the big commercial ones and they are small, boutique with a handful of well chosen suppliers and I think these are the kinds of fairs that will be more useful for Brides.

  3. I tend to agree, I like Flo & Percy to appear a little elusive and exclusive and we don't attend such fairs.

  4. I went to one wedding fair when we first got engaged and it was truly awful, the desperation, the dodging of models in massive dresses and avoiding all the sales talk.

    But I realised it just wasn't me and if you were wanting a standard out the box wedding and didn't want to devote hours of your life to googling things then they could be quite good if a little uninspired.

    I'd be interested to see what the vintage fairs are like.

  5. I haven't been to any of these, mainly due to horror stories from friends about what a nightmare they were.

    That said, there's a Vintage Wedding Fair at Bush Hall in Shepherds Bush on November 14th and I'm going to pop in there. Might be the sort of place you're looking for?

  6. On the flipside, we (Pollen Nation) did attend as part of the Designer Flower Zone.
    This is the 3rd time I have done the show and I have to say was the first one I enjoyed. Yes, there are the snatch and grab brides and the very stupid questions, but there are a number of lovely brides who are looking for inspiration and also to book suppliers there and then to save precious time trawling around the city over the coming months.
    I know it has the mass produced, high street brands that kind of spoil it, but it did feel good to be one of the independent, more niche suppliers offering sanctuary!

  7. I totally agree! I also went to the National Wedding Show this weekend, both as a bride-to-be and a supplier. I barely stopped at any of the stalls and couldn't get anywhere near most of them. I do think that a more exclusive wedding fair or bridal evening would be so much more helpful.

  8. I agree..kind of seems like it flattens the whole process and lets vendors get lazy in coming up with creative ways to connect with brides.

  9. Good to know I'm not the only one to feel this way then!

  10. Wedding fairs are SCARY. Never again.

  11. I agree! As a retailer, I couldn't bring myself to participate in a wedding fair. Every time I went to one to check it out all I could think about was how quickly I could leave! While there are some really great vendors that show at them, they get lost within the great yawping whole. So maybe a smaller niche one is the answer? Since as you say, the idea is good...just not the execution!

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