Keep your sanity at your next fair with our bridal fair cheat sheet! You’re most welcome.
No matter how much you’ve looked forward to your special day, there will come a point during your planning stage when the music fades and you feel like giving up. Our guess? That point came while agonizing over either your guest list or your suppliers. So we’ve taken upon ourselves to compile our very own bridal fair cheat sheet, and hope it saves you some money on painkillers. As for your guest list, well, that’s another story.
Bridal Fair Cheat Sheet
1. Do your home work (At home, where else?)
While you should keep your mind open to new ideas at the fairs, it can be a bit overwhelming and confusing if you don’t have an idea of what you want. Our readers recommend doing most of your research and deciding on your budget, theme, favored suppliers, etc. beforehand. So even though we promised you a bridal fair cheat sheet, there’s no getting around the homework. Sorry! (But it’s for your own good, we promise.)
“Get referrals from the married folks.” – Yve, married
“Drop by at the fairs when you’ve narrowed down your choices through referrals from married friends. Book them there for the discounted prices. Also for the free makeup trials on your top 3 hair and makeup artists.” – May, married
“If you pick the wedding coordinator first, they can recommend the suppliers they know and trust. Also, organize your brochures from the fair at home and see which you’ll consider. Visit, contact, or check them out at the next fair before you make a decision.” – PM
2. Feed the fiance (and bring reinforcements)
“Kain muna before anything else. Mahirap mag-isip or mag-decide kung gutom.” – Bodit, married
“Prepare the husband! During our first bridal fair, we hadn’t even gotten through one aisle when my fiance wanted to leave already. He got overwhelmed. So bring girlfriends along as well.” – Clarissa, married
You might not have said your vows yet, but planning the wedding does foreshadow having to love each other “for better and for worse”. Our next tip in this bridal fair cheat sheet? Give your fiance a leg up by making sure he is well-prepared prior to the fair, both physically and mentally. And if that doesn’t work, send for back-up. (Don’t forget to treat yourself too! You’ll burn off those calories quick enough.)
3. Have a battle plan
Different people have different goals when it comes to bridal fairs. Is it to get ideas or to canvas for suppliers? Is it to claim discounts on your chosen suppliers and do the make-up trials and food tasting? Whatever it is, make sure you know yours—and stick to it! Also, once at the actual fair, make sure you ask the important questions to maximize your face time with the suppliers.
Come prepared! Set goals and do your research prior to going. If you intend to look for specific suppliers, keep your eyes on that.” – Elda Almario
“Don’t go there without having a firm grasp of the basic concept of your wedding. It’ll help you choose which booths to spend more time on. Plus, don’t hesitate to ask! You’ll get a better feel of whom you can work with if you talk to people.” – Dessie, married
“Have a list of questions to ask prior to booking. Also, check their cancellation clause. Most of the time, the cancellation clause is one sided: a [verbal] promise not to cancel is not enough.” – Summer, bridal fair organizer
4. Learn to say “no” (or “not yet”)
There are many great bridal fairs throughout the year, so our readers recommend going to more than just one. Don’t feel pressured to book everything on your first! Take time to think things through before you do sign off on something so that you only end up with deals and suppliers you absolutely love.
“Check all options and discuss the different offers before settling with a supplier. Don’t be swayed to pay [if you’re not yet sure] during the fair since some offers still stand until months after.” – Diana Hicarte, soon-to-wed
“Don’t bring money or your credit card if you don’t have a target supplier yet.” – Analyn Bejasa
“Because my fiance is an OFW, I attended bridal fairs alone. Once, I booked a very cheap package for entourage flowers but when I sent the pictures to him, he didn’t approve of it. I ended up having to upgrade, which costs more. That was when I learned my lesson to always consult him and to not decide right away.” – Kristel Dianne Ramos
5. Love your decisions
Booking suppliers is good practice for getting married. Once you’ve signed those contracts, you have to see them through. So we hope you’ve really prayed and thought hard about them (with the help of our bridal fair cheat sheet, of course) because you’re tied to your dream team ’til death do you part!
“After booking them, don’t look for other suppliers any more. Focus on them and follow their work so that you’ll be more in love with what they do.” – Joanne de Leon-Agregado
“Research and compare first [when choosing suppliers]. Never stop asking questions and set your budget limit. Once you decide, stop comparing and move on to the next assignment.” – Jami Malonzo
6. Beyond the fair
“For my major suppliers (food, photo, video), I didn’t book them through the fairs. Instead we really reached out to them beforehand because we were sure they were who we wanted.” – Evan Mae Cavizo-Mamon, married
Of course, not all suppliers have to or can be found at fairs, which is why our bridal fair cheat sheet goes beyond that too. So many overseas brides can go with planning their wedding without attending a fair once. Use your typing and Googling skills to your advantage by researching online, getting referrals from other couples and checking supplier’s client reviews, and initiating conversations with your dream suppliers for good deals. Shameless plug: Check out the Top Knotters marketplace for suppliers with great reviews!
As you plan for your wedding, make sure you give enough time for your marriage too. The wedding will last for a day, but your marriage is for eternity. Most people look at the Pre-Cana as an unnecessary requirement but it can be enriching to your marriage if you choose the right one.
“The most important thing you can do is research and get a good premarital counseling class. Your wedding will not be perfect! If the chiavari chairs you rented didn’t have ivory ribbons tied to it, who cares?! None of the guests will notice. What’s more important is your marriage.” – Sheina, soon-to-wed
There you have it: the best tips from our readers, both newlyweds and soon-to-weds, for a fool-proof bridal fair cheat sheet. Memorize it by heart or print it out and tape it under your shoe (Have you ever done that trick before? We haven’t either.) so you don’t forget. We hope it helps!