Wedding Fair or Wedding Venue Open Day: what couples and suppliers can expect from each - yes they are different!
13th January 2019 saw Sunninghill Weddings attended the Weymouth Pavilion Wedding Fair: the turn out was fantastic and we spoke to over twenty newly engaged couples who were at the very start of their wedding planning journey. Thank you to everyone who stopped by our stand, it was lovely to meet you all and we look forward to welcoming you to Sunninghill Weddings venue in Dorchester for an informal viewing.
What is the difference between a wedding fair, wedding exhibition, wedding show, wedding showcase and a wedding venue open day ?
To clarify, within the wedding sector all but the last (wedding venue open day) are the same thing! The objective of these events is to bring together a wide selection of wedding suppliers for wedding couples to both talk to and do business with each other, under one roof. It is a huge convenience for couples to have the opportunity to meet suppliers in one place, face to face.
Often this large scale event will also involve a fashion show for bridal gowns and grooms outfits such as that provided by Dorchester based Wedding Time Bridal Salon and Mens Formal Wear or other wedding attire such as ladies special occasion wear for the Mother of the Bride or Groom such as that provided by Poundbury based Boutique at No.6 at last Sunday's event.
Wedding couples can expect to find suppliers offering a wide selection of products and services from catering, venue dressing, wedding prop hire, bridal wear and grooms outfitters, music performers of all types including DJ services, Master of Ceremony, independent Celebrants, cake makers, florists, wedding venues such as Sunninghill Weddings venue in Dorchester, stationary designers, jewellers, specialist crafters offering unique services such as wedding favours, cake toppers and bridal hair accessories, photographers, videographers plus many more as each fair is different in the type of suppliers exhibiting.
The advantage to wedding couples of attending this type of event is that you can gain inspiration, often seeing the latest wedding trends on display.
You also get to meet suppliers face to face which helps you to get a feel for each other and to gauge how well you might get on (you might be spending the whole day with some suppliers such as the photographer or videographer so do make sure you feel at ease and comfortable with each other).
Often at these events you can also purchase on the day some of those outstanding items on your wedding planning list!
Approaching each other: suppliers and clients
If you are new to wedding events either as a wedding couple or supplier it can be quite daunting - they often have very small walkways with many stands competing for attention and lots of people, especially when the event first opens.
The best survival tactic is to smile and be polite towards each other, you might not need the product or service on offer however the person offering has made the effort to establish your interest and they have paid not an insignificant amount of money (often a three figure sum) to exhibit at the event.
No one can predict how many wedding couples will attend an event; if you find a time of day that is less busy use this time to have more in-depth discussions with suppliers. For exhibitors this is an opportunity to network with other exhibitors.
What is a wedding venue open day?
A wedding venue open day is an opportunity for couples to view the venue dressed for the occasion. You often find the venue set up for a wedding ceremony so you can experience what this will be like and what you will get for your own wedding.
This type of event is generally much quieter in visitor numbers as its aim is attract newly engaged couples at the very early stages of planning their wedding journey.
At a wedding venue open day you will have more time to chat with the event team about your plans and the venue's ability to meet your requirements. Sometimes (but not always) there may be a promotion or incentive offered to visitors for bookings made within a certain time frame.
You might also have the opportunity to meet some of the venues key suppliers such as their florist or catering team.
Where to meet the Sunninghill Weddings Event Team
During February 2019 you can meet the Sunninghill Weddings Event Manager during one of our weekend dates scheduled for informal tours. This is an opportunity for wedding couples, sometimes accompanied by their parents or bride tribe, to have an exclusive look around the house and grounds. There is ample time to talk through your wedding vision with tours generally lasting around 50-60 minutes. Viewing appointments are scheduled between 9am and 5pm and will take place on the following dates:
In March 2019 we will be exhibiting at The East Dorset Wedding Show on 17th March at Corfe Hills School. This event is open from 11am to 3pm and it is set to be one of the largest wedding shows in the county! You will find the Sunninghill Weddings Event Team attending along with our venue florist Old Chapel Flowers. If you are thinking of attending the show we will have two pairs of tickets to give away - follow Sunninghill Weddings on FB to enter our competition to win!
In April and May we will be opening the doors to Sunninghill for wedding couples to visit the house and grounds. On Easter Monday, April 22nd 2019 we are holding a wedding venue open day between 11am and 3pm to showcase our new 2019 floral decorations. You will be able to see a selection of fresh and dried flower installations created from British flowers, grown locally free from pesticide and displayed in an environmentally friendly way without use of florist foam.
Our venue florist, and flower grower will be on hand to talk through how she can match the venue decoration to your colour scheme with flowers direct from the field. There will also be a number of workshops where you can learn how to make your own floral wedding decorations. These workshops will be ticketed with a limited number of spaces available: they will be free to attend, however we would ask that you make a donation to our chosen charity on the day in return for the tuition, flowers and floral supplies used in your creation. We will be posting more information about this on our Facebook page.
On Bank Holiday Sunday 26th May 2019 between 11am and 3pm we will be holding a larger scale wedding fair where couples both looking for a wedding venue and those already booked can meet a range of local wedding professional suppliers. Sunninghill Weddings will be showcasing our 'Living Greenery' venue styling which is included as part of our full day hire fee.
You can see up to date with both open days through our FB event pages.
We look forward to meeting you in the months ahead.
The Sunninghill Weddings Team