Wedding Fayres; the good, the bad; the ugly #1
I recently embarked on my very first experience of exhibiting at a wedding fayre with my own little company. I’ve visited wedding fayres in the past as a “bride” (pretend bride as I’m not actually engaged), and I’ve also exhibited at trade fairs with my parents’ company, but this was Lila Bailey’s debut.
I was terrified.
Because wedding planning isn’t a physical product, I was essentially selling myself (get your mind out of the gutter…), and this is something that – especially for me – takes a whole lot of courage. Although I have a huge amount of confidence in my ability and I know that I can do it, when it comes to telling people I can do it I seize up and just wish someone else could tell them for me. I hate talking about myself and my achievements, and I especially hate ‘bigging’ myself up. Whenever I see or hear anyone bragging about themselves I find it super cringey, awkward, and embarrassing (for them more than me) so when people said to me ‘you’ve just got to let people know how great you are’ I felt like holding up a big fat ‘NO’ sign. But, as I discovered, there’s a way to do it that isn’t cringey, awkward, or embarrassing. The trick is to be open, honest, and – most importantly – yourself.
Wedding fayre #1; Exeter Racecourse
I originally booked the Bailbrook House wedding fayre in Bath first, and then came across the Exeter Racecourse fayre which happened to be the weekend before. Because the Bath wedding fayre was the bigger one, and would therefore be a bigger deal for me, I thought it would be good to experience one beforehand to ‘break the ice’ so to speak. And I am so glad I did! I was insanely nervous and really wasn’t sure exactly what to do/how to talk to people, so Euan and I decided this would be the ‘tester’ fayre to see what needs improving ahead of the next one.
The two main things I discovered were…
- Despite thinking having your stand right by the entrance is a good idea, it’s not.
- Always have something in your hand to give to people. It’s a conversation starter and something for them to take away to remind them of your company.
At the Exeter fayre, we arrived super early (much earlier than we needed to) and I chose a table which was pretty much the first table you saw when you walked in. I thought this would be great because people would come straight over, but what I didn’t realise was that most attendees were pretty nervous themselves and didn’t actually know what to do or where to go, so just walked around and didn’t talk to at least the first two stands. They would eventually come back round again and speak to me then, but by that time they were getting a little bored and tired, and (particularly the grooms) probably just wanted to go home!
I had got some postcard size cards printed to hand out to people, but a couple of weeks before the fayre the organisers emailed to say we could put leaflets in the attendees goody-bags, so I decided to allocate the postcards to them instead. Although putting the postcards in the bags meant that every attendee went home with one, it did mean that I had nothing to offer them when they came to speak to me, and I figured that brides and grooms were having so many conversations with so many different people, if you didn’t actually physically give them any material then they may not remember the conversation they had with me once they were home.
However, as we had discussed, this was just my ‘tester’ wedding fayre and it was the perfect opportunity for me to make a couple of changes for the next one. It was also my introduction into the world of vlogging! Which is super exciting. Here is the Exeter wedding fayre vlog… enjoy!
Keep your eyes peeled for the second blog post about the Bath wedding fayre… and don’t forget to subscribe to my youtube channel (many more vlogs to come!).