Wedding blogs, magazines and the Internet are the obvious choices for finding great ideas and are often great sources of inspiration.
Wedding blogs...are completely free to look at, are usually updated daily with recent weddings and a list of suppliers that have been used in each wedding so you can contact them for yourself.
Think about the style of wedding you want before you go looking at blogs. Each wedding blog has a theme/style that they cater for. There are specific blogs that cater for the DIY bride, alternative rock chick bride, whimsical bride, ones for festival style ladies and many more.
Here are a few things to think about when looking at a wedding blog...
- Why do you like/love that blog?
- What does it offer you in terms of help?
- Can you source any suppliers through the blog?
- Would you source your suppliers through a blog?
Now onto the wedding magazines – again each magazine has a target audience with price usually being the factor. There are both monthly and bi-monthly magazines available to suit each budget and style.
Pinterest – be specific when you search for the best results. Think of it like a scrapbook - yet it's online and all in one safe place.
Instagram – search for the suppliers you like and check out their work/portfolios.
Twitter – use like Instagram.
Finally, we look at the bridal shows and wedding fairs – they can be overwhelming with so much on offer so have an idea of what you want to look at before you go.
Go to a wedding fair if you need inspiration, vendors, or you're inquisitive about the venue it's being held at. I would never recommend signing up or paying for something huge like your caterer or photographer at a wedding fair, it is something that should take time, not agreed to upon a vendor thrusting an 'unbelievable offer' in your face. Good suppliers won't do this; they want you to choose them in your own time. You can however buy that tiara you've been looking for if you find it, as long as you can take it way with you on the day.
Don't go to a bridal show if you've already booked your suppliers, or to try and win something. Free things only go so far - as they say, nothing is really 'free'.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when attending a wedding fair...
... Take along whoever is helping the most in your wedding planning, be it your best friend, your wedding planner (yes they can come with you) your mum, future mother-in-law, maybe your fiancé, whoever it is. Don’t bring the whole family.
... Get inspired! Take photos (but ask the supplier first), take leaflets, taste free samples but leave it there. Always go to their websites when you get home and take your time to look them up, check out references, past clients and happy reviews.
... If your supplier has some sort of photo album out on display, have a look through, that's what it's there for, don’t be afraid. You will know if they’re the right fit for you from the pictures, but get a feel for the person behind the business too, they may be able to help you out. Talk to them, engage. You must like the supplier or you'll just be wasting your time.
... When you get home, you will have a lot to go through. Your goodie bag could be filled with samples, business cards and leaflets - anything to entice you to book. Go through it all straight away and throw away any bits you know you don't need or will not be following up.
...If you find a supplier you want to book, give it a few days to contact them. They will be grateful for allowing them a day or so to get back to speed after the wedding fair and their response time should be minimal.