Make a date with destiny

Dates for the diary

Get yourself along to a wedding show. They’re valuable sources of ideas and suppliers

Make space in your diary for one of the many wedding exhibitions and fayres coming up this Winter (see our Dates for the Diary listing overleaf). Line up your most trusted buddies and make a day of it. These events are invaluable for hunting out new suppliers and securing deals but some of the bigger shows can be a bit daunting, especially if you’ve never been to one before. We asked show organiser and wedding planner Janice Grimley-Evans at Blue Thistle Weddings to tell us how to get the best from a show.

Regularly check out magazine and online listings for wedding

exhibitions and shows. These listings will provide you with details of the venue, timings and the organisers’ website and contact details. Make a diary note of the ones you would like to visit and organise who to take with you.

Do your research.

Once you have found an exhibition you would like to attend, visit the organiser’s website to confirm the date, directions and schedule for the event and whether or not you need to pre-register your details to enter their prize draw. You can also check out the suppliers who will be attending.

Prioritise.

Visit the suppliers’ websites and decide who you would definitely like to see on the day and – for big shows – check the map of the show and be sure you know where to find them. Plan which supplier you want to visit first, then who to see next.

Dress for success!

Wear comfortable shoes and layers. You will be on your feet for a few hours and don’t want to be distracted by your shoes giving you blisters. You don’t know the temperature of the venue or whether or not you will have to walk outside, so wear layers of clothing to keep you comfortable.

Prepare lots of pre-printed labels.

with your name, address, post code, telephone number, email address and date and venue of your wedding. This will save you lots of time at the event when you have to register your details for prize draws or supplier contacts. Simply peel off the label and stick it on their sheet.

Gather lots of information.

Take a bag with you for freebies and leaflets. Pop everything available in your bag because you never know when you might need it. Think about any questions you want to ask suppliers you meet on the day.

Take all your bridal party with you.

It’s good to get other opinions and to have people to help you carry things and to ask any questions you might not think of. The groom can check out the different types of groomswear and taste wedding cakes.

Be open minded.

Planning a wedding requires lots of organisation and decision-making. If the supplier you have set your heart on is booked, there is always an alternative. Speak to professional wedding planners for recommendations and advice and register your details with them. They are a valuable ‘one stop wedding shop’.

The Scottish Wedding Show at the SECC

The catwalk shows at The Scottish Wedding Show at the SECC are fantastic for picking up dress inspiration. Photo: John McPake

Take colour swatches with you.

These help you to coordinate all your accessories. Also, take a diary, notebook, pen, cash and credit cards with you. You can set up appointments with suppliers, note down any ideas you get and pay deposits or purchase accessories on the day.

Sleep on any major decisions

rather than getting carried away at the show! It is best to visit the suppliers after the show to discuss things before paying your deposits. www.bluethistleweddings.co.uk

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