Wedding fairs are a great way to meet suppliers face to face so when blog buddie Kirsten, owner of Freefall Design updated us on her first wedding fair at the Hotel du Vin St Andrews, of course, we wanted to know more.
Regular readers will know that Kirsten designs wonderfully original bespoke wedding stationery. Taking a stand at the Hotel du Van’s fair was such a super opportunity for Kirsten to get her stationery ‘out there’ so that couples could see actual examples of her work and chat to Kirsten about their stationery requirements.
So many of us buy and sell online as it’s convenient and wedding suppliers are able to reach a worldwide audience if they wish. All of this is brilliant, but it’s so nice to have the opportunity to meet your supplier in person.
With the wedding fair season in full flow, we thought it would be lovely to hear how Kirsten got on at the Hotel du Vin. She also has some great tips for couples attending wedding fairs too. Over to you Kirsten.
Tell us about the wedding fair at the Hotel du Vin at St Andrews
This wedding fair is set in a beautiful hotel with lovely views over the beach and North Sea. I was invited to this fair by the fantastic events team, as I am on their preferred supplier list for wedding stationery.
As this was my first wedding fair as a supplier, I didn’t really know what to expect (not to mention I was stupidly nervous). I had practice run of my stand a few weeks before the big day, when it came to set up I knew exactly what I wanted and where it was going. I was glad I took the time to do this as it saved precious minutes on the day and potential angst that things wouldn’t look right (or fit) on the table. Plus it allowed me to see exactly what I would need and pack spares in case of emergencies.
There was an abundance of lovely items and services from unique, luxurious suppliers. Amongst them where Loren Brand Cakes, Eden Mill Distillery, Moria Heatly (a Marriage Officer), Jo Jo Malone and many more fantastic and friendly exhibitors. This in itself was a real treat to see and experience.
It was a lovely personal event with suppliers set out in the Swilcan Suite and the foyer leading into it. Not only was it a fantastic chance to showcase my stationery designs and speak to visitors, it was a brilliant opportunity to network with fellow exhibitors.
The event was very professionally run by the Hotel, it was well advertised and visitors were greeted with a delightful goody bag, glass of fizz and delicious cakes. They were also provided with a tour of the bridal suite which is simply stunning!
Massive thanks to Hotel du Vin St Andrews for inviting me to take part.
How is going to a wedding fair different from say just looking though magazines?
Wedding fairs are a fantastic opportunity to see the items in the flesh. A magazine cannot provide the textures and colours of the different types of cards used to enhance the design of the invitation. My work really needs to be seen, picked up and handled to fully appreciate it.
Designs can look different in real life than in an advert or online, colours can come across differently. Due to restricted space in an advert it can be hard to properly showcase an invitation in its full glory.
What advice would you give to couples attending a wedding fair?
Have a real honest chat with the exhibitors and get lots of information out of them about their products and how it can work for you on your big day. Chat over potential ideas and have a rough timescale of when you would like things achieved by. Suppliers love to hear and chat about your plans. I felt very honoured to potentially become part of someone’s big day.
Most of all go and enjoy the fair, sample lots of goodies and take away lots of enthusiasm and excitement for your big day.
What was your favourite moment from the Hotel du Vin fair?
Engaging with the first couple that came to my table, they were absolutely delightful and very complimentary about my designs. They showed a real interest in what I do and we had a fantastic chat about the plans for their big day, St Andrews amongst various other topics. It was a real confidence boost for me.
Can couples see examples of your stationery at a fair?
Yes, I have a wide variety of designs on display. I feel it’s really important to let potential customers see what they could choose for their big day.
We know you sell mainly online, so how does it feel to actually meet potential customers at a fair?
Absolutely fantastic. I love hearing about their up and coming big day, how they met and their exciting plans for the next chapter in their lives.
There is nothing more enjoyable than chatting about design and sharing the enthusiasm couples bring over to the table. The feedback from visitors is helpful and constructive.
I would prefer to meet as many of my potential customers face to face as I can as this enables me to get a true feel for their design requirements and to let them see my designs, feel the quality and textures of the cards and hand finishings.
Will you be attending any more wedding fairs over the next few months?
Yes, I have one booked on the 29th October at Bachilton Barn, and potentially an event at The Malmasion in Dundee on the 3rd November. I am trying to line up at least one a month to really push Freefall Design out into the local wedding suppliers scene.
All images courtesy of Freefall Design