Photography: Assassynation, Dresses: The Couture Company & Rawhide Corsets
Dear internet, there are a lot of wedding fairs in 2013. A LOT. There’s also a rather disproportionate amount of them claiming to be of the ‘alternative’ persuasion. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever heard a word over-used so much to describe something wedding-related since the dreaded ‘vintage’ invasion of 2011. Whether this is a good or bad thing is still very much up for debate, but here on this little alternative wedding blog (ahem) I pride myself in only showcasing the very best and most exciting wedding fairs in all the land.
Photography: Toast of Leeds, Cake: Black Cherry Cake Company
Alternative, vintage, festival, quirky, eclectic… quite frankly all these buzz words can make your head spin, but rest assured dear reader, the Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza is going to be one of the few wedding fairs not to miss. I promise. In fact I am so certain of this that I’m making the trip up to Birmingham on 24th March myself despite the fact that I’m due to fly to The States two days after. Living on the edge people, living on the edge…
I mean any wedding fair that showcases a Back to the Future cake, Batman shoes and a variety of corseted, tattoo motif embellished, coloured and gothic wedding dresses in the same room is surely got to be worth a visit right?
Photography: Toast of Leeds, Shoes: Revive Me Boutique
Last October I was honoured to be asked to act as a judge for the bridalNEXT! awards which were taking place as part of A Most Curious Wedding Fair. Alongside fellow judges Peta Hunt, fashion editor of You & Your Wedding Magazine, Rachel Atwell, owner of swanky London wedding boutique Luella’s Boudoir, and Hazel Holtham of vintage store & blog Rag and Bow we selected Veronica Dearly as our overall winner, and the one to watch for 2013.
As part of the prize Veronica and the three runners up were invited to take part in an editorial fashion shoot. Now I don’t know about you, but if this is the caliber of bridal talent coming out in 2013, it’s going to be a very exciting year indeed.
“We were so thrilled that Veronica was named the winner by our judges last year”, writes Rebecca, the genius behind the show and awards. “In her we feel we have found a graphic designer and stationer kindred spirit as her work stands apart from the vintage crowd and is influenced by everyday lifestyle trends and pop culture, not necessarily just weddings.”
“This is a very special photo shoot to promote bridalNEXT! put together by Gemma Goodwin or Gemma Most Curious as we call her. Gemma is always a huge creative force in the team and steers the visual side of our brand amazingly- but this is her first shoot as art director and as you can see, I better watch my back.”
Are you having a festival themed wedding? 2012 was certainly the year that this idea exploded into weddings, but it would appear it isn’t going anywhere during 2013 either!
This festival-inspired wedding shoot was pulled together by wedding photographer Becky Joiner and Muddifords Court in order to promote their latest venture, the FabulousWedFest wedding show which is taking place on 16th March. Shot in and around the venue itself, and using suppliers that will actually be exhibiting at the fair, this shoot shows that festival weddings are far from over. It’s clearly a theme that we’re going to see gaining popularity in 2013 and beyond. Wellies at the ready guys!
“The inspiration behind this photo shoot was to create festival inspired event in a day”. wrote Becky. “I aimed to conjure up the feeling of wilderness, fun, freedom, love, glamour, magical, party, music, creativeness as an eclectic mix and represent it in the photographs.”
“I totally loved creating this shoot as I had the freedom to create the whole look. The dresses from Alexandra King were particularly great as they helped to showcase the idea that wedding can be whatever you want it to be. I also took some of the shots on an old 35 mm film camera as I wanted the pictures to look a bit dirty, grungy and most of all festivally!”
Let’s be honest, there are A LOT of wedding fairs to choose from these days. In fact British brides & grooms have never had so much choice. Which is clearly awesome, but let’s be honest, it can be quite confusing. How on earth are you supposed to know which ones are the best and which ones to actually go to? Aren’t they all the same anyway?
Well today I’m here to share with you just one of the shows that I think you should check out. I went along last year (and judged an award!) and I can hand-on-my-heart say that The Most Curious Wedding Fair is one of the goodies. If you like all things vintage – but with a twist – then this is the fair for you. Think less cute mismatched crockery, cupcakes and bunting and more quirky, awesome and almost slightly weird (but certainly wonderful) wedding ideas. High fashion inspiration sits with ideas you didn’t even know existed, and the fashion show is more of a modern dance performance than anything else – something hugely influenced by artist and set designer Gemma Goodwin joining the Most Curious events team in 2011.
“Cool wedding fairs are almost becoming exactly like the very weddings that they initially rebelled against – a little bit cookie cutter and a little bit formulaic”, writes organiser Becky Hoh-Hale. “You almost know what to expect and a lot of them are already very set in their ways. Well with A Most Curious Wedding Fair I really want to push above the parapet, and to let it stand apart and do it’s own thing. We still love classic vintage but today ‘vintage’ can be so much more. A Most Curious has taken a solemn vow to bring you the emerging fashions but to be changeable, en vogue and never tired or standing still. If it’s beautiful, fresh, cool or just about to be cool, we will incorporate it into our wedding fair! We want you to see actual new ideas that you can incorporate into your day in your own way.”
With 15 years experience as a fashion stylist, Zoe Lem, who pioneered the concept of dressing to suit your shape, has now turned her hand to wedding fashion and design. Zoe was controversially revealed by The Daily Mail in 2006 as the brains behind Trinny and Susannah’s ground breaking show ‘What Not to Wear’ so as you can imagine, she knows her stuff! Zoe’s passion for style and weddings (she used to run the iconic My Sugarland wedding boutique in London) has converged to create the brand, Zoe Lem – Vintage Shape Mistress and to launch Zoe Lem’s Vintage Wedding Fair.
I’m obsessed with this shoot, set up by Becky Hoh-Hale to promote her new breed of vintage wedding fair, A Most Curious Party. If you’ve been reading Rock n Roll Bride for a while you might recognise that name – I’ve been lucky enough to feature two of their shoots to promote previous events (as well as Rebecca’s own gorgeous wedding).
Alongside the amazing Joanna Millington Photography and some of the other suppliers exhibiting at the shows, Becky wanted to showcase a unique twist on the vintage wedding trend – it’s not all tea length 50s dresses and mismatched crockery here! “We had big plans for this shoot”, explained Becky. “Originally we wanted to shoot in the Norfolk Woods, where much of the flat landscape looks like the set of Spike Jones’s ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ but on the day we were strewn with drizzle, which eventually turned into full blown rain, which eventually turned into hail. So onto plan B!”
“Luckily our make up artist Nova of Milk & Honey, had put on an amazing night market event the month before, at a beautifully crumbling down and disused 18th century building close by, where the layers of wallpaper were in just the right state of shabby. If a battered, period house had been plan A you know that we would have spent years looking for this exact setting, so when adjusting our mindset from Max and his Wild Things to something more akin to Wedding Creatures in the Attic, we realised how lucky we were to have it.”