The Wedding Open Day, this is where the venue wants to show of all its glory and what it can offer to potential couples and this is what you also want to see if you have shortlisted this venue or thinking of booking it for your special day. This is where they may use a few of their preferred suppliers to help transform their venue; everything they do on this day is to convince you that their venue is the one you want to book. They will ask a venue decorator to come in and dress the chairs with maybe chair covers and sashes, top table skirt and swagging, a post box, then there's the florist who can design some lovely fresh flower centerpieces and top table arrangement, a cake designer to provide a dummy cake and of course let's not forget the photographer, who can show you lots of pictures of weddings which they has shot there. They will have free prosecco and canapes with lots of their brochure's on tables and places that you can freely pick one up,, but most of all, they will have a few of their wedding planners on hand to answer any questions you may have and spend time with you to go over their packages. This is what I call a Wedding Open Day or Wedding Showcase Day!
The Wedding Fayre Day, is a totally different experience and one which you may want to attend once you have found your venue to have your special day. This is usually also where some venues make extra money. They invite wedding suppliers from all different categories to exhibit with them on the understanding that they may receive interest from their couples or even bookings, but at the same time it is a good opportunity for wedding suppliers to get them self's notice, so over all it works well for both. The only gripe I have is some of these venues are making a fortune from suppliers, when there is no need to, yes I believe that they should covers some of their costs, if they provide table clothes, coffee and lunch. A lot of suppliers put a lot of work in to a Wedding Fayre, I know I do, losing their only day of rest, as these events are usually on Sundays, then there is the travelling expenses, some suppliers travel miles, especially photographers and of course spending money on stock, florist's and cake designers seem to have the biggest expense.. This day is for the venue's couple who have booked with them to come down and talk to suppliers, remember they will invite their preferred suppliers, but if they cannot make it, they will then invite other suppliers who they may not know much about or even worked with. I love it when a venue says" all our suppliers are handpicked". The venue will have their own stand with lots of brochures displayed as well and yes they will have their wedding planners available to answer questions, but they don't seem to spend as much time with you like they would do if it was a Wedding Open Day.
What do I prefer? Well that's easy to answer, it's Wedding Open Days, I love these days, it's lovely to come in to a venue and see a blank canvas to work from. The venue may have a theme or colour as a starting point for me but on the odd occasion they will give me full rein which I love. At some venues I have been given the opportunity to pick my own florist and photographer and I would always have to say, I ask my daughter Emily from Em'z Flower Boutique to work with me, we work well together and find we bounce ideas of each other, I have a couple of favorite photographers who I work with as well. These days are great days, you have plenty of time to talk to couples to discuss their wedding inspirations, and it's a great opportunity for me and the other suppliers to showcase our work which you cannot really do at Wedding Fayre Day, especially if you are put in front or behind a singer and they always seem to sing just as you start talking to a couple, so you end up having to shout. You usually only get a 6 ft x 2ft table to display your items, which for me is not that good, as I prefer a round banqueting table and chairs to really be able to show a small part of what I offer.
A Wedding Open Day and Wedding Fayre Day are both good in their own right, and I hope I have explained a little about how they do work. I would always say if the venue you are looking at offer Wedding Open Days then I would suggest attending as this is a really nice experience and can help you make your mind up about a venue. Regarding a Wedding Fayre I always say attend one just for the experience, but remember most venues will have a preferred suppliers list, and usually if you contact them directly they will offer you a free personal consultation!
Remember, planning your wedding should be a enjoyable experience!!
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