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Bridal Fairs and Exhibitions

Photo: Carla van Dyk Photography

If time is tight (or even if it’s not) a bridal fair is one of the simplest and most efficient methods of exploring what’s hot for your wedding. This is your opportunity to investigate ideas, soak up inspiration, compare prices, ask the experts and gain an invaluable glimpse into all aspects of your wedding planning.

If at all possible, don’t go to a bridal fair on your own. Take your fiancé, your mum or your chief bridesmaid – you’ll have a great day out together. And you’ll also appreciate having their help and advice both at the fair and later, when you can think about what you’ve seen, compare products and options, and discuss what you’d like to incorporate into your own wedding.

There’s so much to see at a bridal fair, but don’t be overwhelmed. Stroll around at your own pace and take everything in. Most fairs will have an exhibitors list to help you locate what you’re looking for. If you can access a copy of this prior to the event, plan your visit in detail so that you make best use of your time.

From flowers, stationery and photographers to venues, cars and cakes, it’s all there. You’ll be able to meet representatives from companies you’re interested in, discuss their services, collect business cards and brochures, and compare prices.

As many service providers are busy for months in advance, find out how far ahead you would need to book so you know right away whether they fit with your timeframe.

Most bridal fairs include spectacular fashion parades with the latest designs from top fashion houses. You will have a very much better idea of the way various fabrics and styles fall and ‘move’ by the end of the parade. Fashions for the entire bridal party are usually modelled, from the bride and groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen, to flower girls and pageboys.

If you visit a bridal fair early in your planning process, you’ll get a very good idea of the costs for various services. Check to see what’s included in each price range, and whether any discounts or extras apply. Having that information available when you start building your budget is invaluable. From there, you can calculate a detailed and accurate expenses checklist. Knowing you can afford what you are planning for is one less wedding day headache.

Allow for a full day at the fair. The more time you have to stroll around, look at displays and ask questions, the better. This is a golden opportunity to discuss your preliminary wedding ideas with experts, who will often suggest an option or approach you hadn’t thought of. Remember, the better informed you are, the more likely you are to get real value for your money.

Bridal fairs are held throughout the year in most major cities around South Africa. Go to the Bridal Fairs calendar for upcoming fairs around South Africa. Smaller bridal fairs will often be advertised in your local newspaper.

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