When you're a little bit socially awkward, the words "Wedding Fair" can sound immensely daunting. Trust me, I know, because I have been there. Since I got engaged just over a year ago, I've put off going to Fairs because they sound like my kind of nightmare. I hate crowds, I hate talking to people that I don't know and I hate Sales Pitches!
However on February 15th, I pushed myself hard enough into actually going to a local Wedding Fair and I have to admit that I probably will not be attending another one any time soon. Despite that, I would definitely say that it was worth going and I don't regret it one bit.
So, I basically wanted to put together a guide for fellow introverts to help prepare you for the scary task of attending a Wedding Fair.
Never Go It AloneIt's easy to say that when you are not looking forward to something, the best way of dealing with it, is to never try dealing with anything on your own. I know it's cliche, but the old adage that "a problem shared, is a problem halved" really is true, when it comes to Wedding Fairs.
Wedding Fairs are - quite literally - social events, so don't be afraid to turn it into one, bu involving people who you feel comfortable around (your Mum, Gran, Aunts, Bridesmaids, even your Other Half), because you're more likely to relax when surrounded by people who you know and trust.
Prepare for Sales BitchesThere is no going about it, you will be bombarded by a lot of people desperate for your attention and desperate to sell you everything that you probably don't need. Most Assistants are really lovely, but others - however - really aren't.
There are several ways of dealing with this:
- Listen to the Sales Pitch, nod politely, accept all the paraphernalia you are offered (you can always browse it at home) and thank them for their time.
- I found that a lot of Sales People tended to ask if I already had a particular aspect sorted (ie the venue, decorations, hair and make up etc). If you don't want to talk to people, put yourself into automatic "Yes I have, thank you!" with a polite smile, and move on. Sometimes, they will get pushy and ask more questions, but generally saying that you have something covered is enough to get rid of them for a little while.
One thing to note here, is that some Sales Bitches (and they really can be Bitches), will try to trip you up by asking you for more details about which venue you're using etc. The best way to handle this is to just throw an answer at them, or if they seem to be particularly rude, consider ignoring them and don't let them upset you. They're not worth it.
The Switch UpIf you find yourself becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the whole thing, it could be worth taking a step back and pretending that you are not the bride.
My friend noticed that a lot of company's were scanning left hands to check for engagement rings, so I started to take mine off periodically. This didn't always work, as I'd been handed a bright pink bag when I walked into the building which my acceptance kind of gave me away.
Nevertheless, if you have a friend or relative who knows what you want incredibly well, it could be an idea to ask them to pretend to be the bride and start conversations going on your behalf. If they (and you) build a rapport with a company, that could help you build up your confidence to speak out as the actual bride.
Building a RapportIt is incredibly easy to feel suckered into something by pushy sales assistants in most situations, but when it comes to your wedding it's even more important to not be pushed by them, because more often than not we are talking a lot of money.
If there is something that you are keen to purchase and/or put a deposit down for, but are torn between several companies, the best thing to do is talk to them. Even using the switch up method, mentioned above, if it helps.
In my opinion, the Assistants job is to provide you with a service and that service should not include making you feel uncomfortable, because you'll never be happy working with someone like that. Therefore, if you find it easy to talk to the person representing the company, it is more likely that you'll feel more comfortable working with them, and asking questions about the nitty gritty things.
Just remember that Wedding Fairs are there to benefit you. Try not to commit to anything firmly - take time to go away and think about things. If a company has an offer for the day of the event only, there is no reason why you can't go away to think about it and then return later on.