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Are Wedding Fairs Worth It? | Readers Share Their Experience

After sharing some highlights from a Dublin wedding fair on Instagram, some Only a Wedding readers got in touch with a few questions; was the venue worth checking out, what were the packages like, did they not kick you out when you kept going back for cake sample after cake sample? After chatting for a bit, many returned with one big question; are wedding fairs worth it?

Are Wedding Fairs Worth The Money?

The ‘it’ in the question is usually cost. While most wedding fairs are free to attend, because they’re paid for by exhibiting vendors, some charge customers a ticket fee to boot. Some are still reasonable, around the €5 mark, but others can really add up, especially if you’re bringing pals.

In these instances, you can only be sure if the cost is justified if you take a step back and weigh up what you’re getting. Is there a goodie bag that isn’t just samples you’d get in a chemist? Ok, good. Will they be passing around booze? Even better! Will there be talks or Q&As with experts, or are vendors just given microphones and allowed to rattle off their sales pitch?

Do some recon on their website and judge for yourself.

Are Wedding Fairs Worth The Time?

There were two groups that told us their time at wedding fairs was well spent. Women who already had a lot of their weddings booked were able to sign up with vendors on the day, availing of discounts as they went. They were happy with the savings and chance to meet their vendors before the wedding.

The second camp of men and women who are in the early stages of planning, super open to ideas and happy to linger at the prosecco bar. They didn’t get anything concrete out of the fair, but they enjoyed the atmosphere and getting inspiration.

Readers who didn’t enjoy fairs felt that they’d paid for the privilege of hearing sales pitches. They felt too pressured to linger, so they didn’t learn anything or get inspiration.

via We Heart Pictures

Are Wedding Fairs Fun?

That last point brings us to whether or not wedding fairs are any craic. While this will vary vastly from fair to fair, there are some common themes at a lot of events.

The first point of minus craic is the hard sell. As mentioned above, vendors often pay a lot of money to exhibit at these fairs. Florists and bakers also have to invest their time and money into producing display items. They’ve got to make sales to see a return on that investment, so it’s not a surprise that guests of wedding fairs are sometimes hit with a hard sell, or at least at less-soft-than-average sell. If you are quite shy or have trouble saying no, bring a more assertive buddy or avoid.

However, if you can hold your own, if you’re not already overstretched with wedding planning and if you quite enjoy window shopping, a wedding fair will probably be your idea of a good day out. Especially if there’s cake.

via We Heart Pictures

Who Should I Bring?

Having seen the inside of a million wedding fairs, we’ve got some harsh words of warning about uninterested partners. If your main squeeze hasn’t gotten excited about cake flavours and balloon arches by now, it’s unlikely that they’ll have an epiphany in the middle of busy and weirdly cold exhibition call. In our experience, they end up just trailing behind their partners, looking put-upon. If that’s your partner, leave them at home with some colouring books.

Pals who have an interest in the wedding can be good fun and helpful. Brief them on your main objectives, whether that’s being nosy or getting shit done, and make sure you don’t lose the run of yourself in the excitement.

The Takeaway

If there’s a fee at the wedding fair door, suss out what it’s funding before you part with your cash. If there’s value in it for you, perfect. If not, don’t line somebody else’s pockets at the expense of other fun wedding stuff (we mean willy straws).

If there’s no fee and the vendors you like will be at the fair we say yep, head along, even just the once. It’s handy to meet your vendors in person before the big day, you’ll get discounts if you book, and we’re never gonna knock the chance to test out some cake flavours!


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