It’s Not Fayre
One chilly November morning I was awoken by my fiancé, to go to a wedding fayre at the Bristol Marriott Hotel.
I was not happy, not even a bacon sandwich could raise me from my grump. I was under prepared to shuffle around the stalls, looking at various bits of sparky wedding plastic, ribbons, chair covers and other “boring things”. My chirpy fiancé bounced from the car with all the excitement of a puppy released on to the lawn, “come on, first 50 couples get a goodie bag!” great, something to carry all the way round with me.
After waiting in line with 3 other guys and 20 thousand women, I was greeted by a smiling host offering me a glass of champagne, things were looking up.
Goodie bag received and already full to the brim of leaflets for everything from cakes to jugglers. We made our way round the stalls, sampling cakes, watching demonstrations, and talking to suppliers.
I learnt it is not the products you see in front of you, it is the people behind those businesses, on the other side of the table that really make the difference. Why go with a supplier that doesn’t care about you, only your wallet?
One job I had been given by the fiancé was to find a wedding photographer. Being a photographer myself it was always going to be difficult to find someone that works in the same business, and has the same work ethic and high standards as I do. We came across the stall of a very tall gentleman (not difficult being my size) he was about 50 years old and had massive smile on its face. He was a Bristol Wedding Photographer, and I loved his pictures. They had a relaxed candid style and were hung professionally around his stand, with series of coffee table photo books on the table. What I remember most was the laid back approach to talking to us, not the hard sell I was expecting.
If he was available on our day I would have probably gone with him.
Talking to him made me feel at ease, and I realised there are lots of technically great photographers out there. I just needed to find the ones that care about us and not whether we go for more expensive package or not. Too often I come across pictures from other photographers that clearly don’t meet the general feeling of the wedding or couple getting married. High contrast dramatic photography for an English Country wedding, doesn’t work.
I started to see as a Groom why wedding fayres were useful to visit for any stage of planning your wedding. Ideas I hadn’t thought of, services we hadn’t considered were all on offer.
My now Wife found her wedding dress at that fayre; she promptly made an appointment, and tried it on and fell in love with it. From me thinking it would be a waste of time, to her finding the “precious” the most important purchase of a wedding, definitely goes to show wedding fayres are wonderful places.
Now I’m on the other side of the table. When I nervously booked my first wedding fayre, it was hosted by The Milky Way Adventure Park, in Higher Clovelly, Bideford. A small event to give me the start I needed, in the right area for my business. Speaking to people has always been something I have had confidence in, especially about my photography, but now I needed to sell it. I did loads of research about what I should bring, how to talk to prospective customers about my wedding packages. I had leaflets, Photographs and Photobooks designed and printed, and started to build my stand.
I used what I had learnt from my past experiences as a customer to my advantage, too many black boring corporate stands. I wanted mine to be different, informal, and make people feel comfortable; this is it
I built it myself and went for a vintage country feel, the same style of frames to tie it all together. It made my stand, well “Stand Out” from the crowd.
The day went really well, I had a brilliant time chatting the day away to lots of lovely couples, getting excited with them about their plans and ideas. It was a perfect reminder of how much I love my job and capturing that excitement. At end of the day, I was buzzing, and couldn’t wait to get home to contact those couples who had given me their details.
Bride and Grooms go to Wedding Fayres, at your venue if possible. Go to meet suppliers, talk to them and gather ideas. Ask those questions you’ve always wanted to ask. Not all discussions need to be had by email or Facebook. You might find something you really like, or grab a bargain. Some suppliers put on special wedding fayre only deals, which offer real value for money.
I have 3 Wedding fayres this year, why not pop down and have chat to me, click the venue below for more details.
Aston Gate Stadium Wedding Fayre, Bristol – 24th July 2016
Huntsham Court Wedding Fayre, Tiverton – 10th July 2016
Fleet Air Arm Museum Wedding Fayre, Somerset – 18th September 2016
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