Alternative Beach Elopement in Lisbon

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Anja and Almir eloped in Lisbon, Portugal. They started the day with a legal ceremony, followed by some photographs around the city. However their second ceremony, on a beach in Bafureira was the one they felt most connected too.

“Our wedding was about celebrating ourselves and starting our new life together the way that felt most natural”, the bride said. “We did it just for the two of us. We were inspired by Lisbon itself for the photos we had taken.”

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“Nobody knew about our plans to get married”, she continued. “We informed our family and friends after our ‘weddingmoon’. We also did things very quickly, planning it all in under a month. In that time we booked flights (we are from Vienna), our hotel, hair and make up, flowers and made a wedding arch. We spend less than two hours finding out outfits. My dress was from H&M. We had no formal reception, we just booked a restaurant for dinner the day before! We also booked a tuk-tuk for a ride across Lisbon’s oldest parts to take photos.”

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Non-Traditonal Henna Bridal Shoot

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As someone who loves tattoos, its probably not that surprising to you that I’m also pretty obsessed with henna. In fact after getting some really great artwork done in Marrakech last month, its my new favourite thing!

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So when Sanna’s bridal shoot landed in my inbox, I knew I had to share it. “Sanna is dressed in traditional Turkish wear and the shoot took place in Stockholm, Sweden”, photographer Lena told me. “The henna on Sanna’s hands isn’t traditional – they normally just have some in the palms of their hands, but Sanna wanted some anyway. Simply because it’s beautiful.”

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The Little Mermaid Girls

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There’s been all sorts of uproar in the press about Ariel having given blonde hair (shock horror!) in the Little Mermaid reboot that’s set to hit the silver screen in 2017… but imagine if they made Eric a girl! How amazing would that be!? OK so that’d probably not going to happen in Hollywood, but it did at Fremantle’s South Beach, Western Australia!

“I get stars in my eyes when I look at these two girls who are such spunks as well as being clearly smitten and up for adventure!” photographer Natalija said. “I told them I just must do a photo shoot with them and Emma suggested this idea. It’s purely about fun for all of us. I also liked the idea of gender bending the Little Mermaid story.”

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“Emma thinks Katie looks like the Little Mermaid with her stunning long red hair and Emma has always liked the idea of being a prince. We decided to play up the theme and dress up for a seaside adventure. As a photographer, I love the idea of adding more elements into a shoot to inspire my clients and have fun myself, so I handmade the sea crown and the epaulettes. They brought their own clothes and we ventured to Fremantle’s South Beach dunes.”

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Maps & Metallics: A Three-Day House Party Wedding in Somerset

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I often say that the weddings I blog are like my children, and to choose a favourite just wouldn’t be possible or fair. But Carly and Tom’s is definitely way up there. Not only because I’ve known Carly for ten years (she was the first person I met at University and we’ve been BFFs ever since), not only because I was maid of honour (my first time being a bridesmaid no less!) but because it was such a wonderful and special three days and I just know you guys are going to love nosing at their beautiful pictures just as much as I did.

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I remember vividly when Carly first met Tom. She’d booked a last minute (impulsive you might say!) six week trip on her own travelling all around Asia and she met him on her very first night. “We met in a hotel bar in Bangkok”, she told me. “He’s British but was living in Australia at the time and he ended up extending his trip when we met. We then spent the next six weeks travelling around before he went back to Sydney. I think we both knew fairly early on that it was more than a holiday fling but we lived on opposite sides of the planet… A few months later he emailed me saying he was going to try and get a job in London, making out that it was because the employment market was better. He turned up where I lived a few days later, and we’ve never really been apart since.”

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Don’t Tell The Bride: Vibrant Bollywood Wedding in Brighton

Don't Tell The Bride Vibrant Bollywood Wedding in Brighton_Rosa and Harry (78)

I’ll admit, I don’t always watch BBC Three’s Don’t Tell The Bride, but I’m so glad I caught Rosa and Harry’s episode. In fact it’s probably my favourite wedding that’s ever been featured! For those of you that don’t know, the premise of the show is the couple get £12,000 to spend on their wedding, the proviso being that the groom does all of the planning… in three weeks! The couple are separated for that time and bride can know nothing about the wedding until the day. Cue ridiculously bad decisions, overspending on crazy things and tears… lots of tears. This is reality TV gold my friends.

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When I saw this episode, I immediately fell in love with Rosa and Harry, I thought he did so well! Although it wasn’t what the bride would have picked, the fact that he planned a colourful Indian wedding (to reflect the fact that they got engaged there) was so incredibly sweet and thoughtful, and anyone who has a mechanical elephant to ride on at their wedding is OK in my book!

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How to Get the Best Results from Exhibiting at a Wedding Show

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I’m sure you will have heard by now, but Rock n Roll Bride is partnering with the National Wedding Show, the UK’s biggest bridal event, to host an area for alternative suppliers in the spring. It’s VERY exciting indeed!

The exhibitor stands are filling up fast, and today I wanted to share some of my top tips for those of you wanting to come along and showcase your products or services. If you’ve ever wondered why some companies seem to be overrun with business after doing just one show a year, whereas others struggle to get any bookings from them, read on!

Before the show

Invest in your stand

Exhibiting at wedding shows can be expensive, not only is there the cost of the stand itself to consider, but there’s the travel and accommodation around it, as well as decking out your space and printing any marketing materials. However its true what they say, you have to speculate to accumulate and you really do get out what you put in.

If you just turn up and plonk your products on a table in front of you, don’t be surprised if you don’t get an amazing reaction, especially if the person next to you has gone all out on the décor and props! Even if their product or service is inferior to yours, if they’ve made an effort with their stand, they are going to get more people stopping by to have a look.

You don’t have to spend a fortune, but you do need to get creative and put some effort in. In a sea of boring, bland, white on white on white stands, people will FLOCK to you if yours offers something interesting and different (even if its just to borrow your decoration ideas for their weddings) Hey, there’s no shame in hooking them in with your amazing-looking stand and then starting to talk to them about what you do.

Research the market

It is vital that you know what kind of audience the show is going to attract. Ask the organisers for information on the kind of brides and grooms that usually attend. Are they having city weddings or countryside ones? What’s the age range? How far in advance are they planning? What are their budgets? It is up to the organisers to know all this so that you can plan accordingly.

Not only will this information give you an idea of which of your products or services might be most attractive to them (remember you don’t have to bring along everything you’ve ever made!) but on the day it will also enable you to speak to them in a language they understand.

Ask questions 

Before you book your spot, don’t be shy about asking the organisers what they can do for you too. Find out where they’ll be marketing the show to ensure they get a good turn out on the day (wedding blogs and magazines, national press, radio, TV, email newsletters, social media?)

Be sure to also find out what your booking includes. Will your name be mentioned in any marketing? What about on the programme of the day? Where will your stand be located? Does your booking including a plug, tablecloths or any furniture? Some wedding shows will give you a booth and nothing else, others will provide a table but no sockets or walls. Does the venue have WiFi? Can you contribute items to the goodie bags?

Promote the show yourself

Getting people through the door is the job of the show’s marketing department, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help out too! Make sure you’re promoting the event on your own website and social media, and let your clients know about it. It could be a great opportunity for those that have already booked you to come along and meet you, and anyone that’s following you online also might be interested in attending if they know you’re going to be there.

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During the show

Offer a show-only discount or deal

People LOVE a discount so offering a ‘show-only’ deal is a great way to encourage people to book or buy then and there. Research shows that a discount has to be significant to really make an impact, 10% off probably isn’t enticing enough for people to make a quick decision (unless you are selling really big ticket items and the saving will be significant), but a 30% reduction probably will!

If you don’t want to discount, you could always included something extra instead, such as free shipping if they purchase on the day, or a little gift.

Be memorable but not OTT

As I mentioned earlier, its vitally important to make an effort with how your stand looks so you stand out, but you yourself must also be memorable!

Never just sit, watching people go by. There’s a fine line between being enthusiastic and friendly and annoying and pushy, but you do need to be on your feet, smiling at people as they walk past and trying to encourage them to chat. The British are notoriously reserved so this can be tricky at first (for both exhibitors and attendees) but do persevere! After a while you’ll get into a flow and it will feel less awkward. Remember, no-one is going to come up to you if you’re sat on your phone, or chatting to your friend at the next stand.

Here’s another little pro-tip for free, please, for the love of all things holy, think of a more interesting opening line than “So… when are you getting married?” Couples will have heard that so many times that they’ll probably start to tune it out. How about asking people what their favourite thing about wedding planning is? Or what they’d buy for the wedding if money was no object? You could even offer them a cheeky cocktail (have a stash at the back of your stand!) Honestly, they’ll probably be so stunned that you seem like a normal human being that they won’t be able to help themselves but stop and talk to you!

Host a workshop or seminar

A lot of wedding fairs put on workshops or seminars that attendees can book into. Why not speak to the organisers and see if you could sign up to host something? Not only are they great ways to interact with potential clients, but they showcase your product or services in a really organic, non-sleazy way.

In the past I’ve taken part in flower crown workshops, watched make up demonstrations, and once I even got to paint (and then keep!) a pair of shoes. But one of the best I’ve ever been to was a wine tasting, and let me tell you, it was PACKED. I mean, who doesn’t want to try some free wine!? The person putting it on was also offering discounted bottles if you bought them then and there and you know what, even though I wasn’t looking to place a bulk order for a wedding, I left with two!

Network with other suppliers

Wedding shows are a great place to meet other wedding suppliers. In this industry a lot of opportunities that come your way will be because of who you know, so don’t be shy, go up and talk to other people exhibiting at the show and make some new friends!

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