Call me cynical, but these days, I can’t seem to move for a new ‘alternative’ wedding fair. They’re cropping up all over the place this year, but there was just one that started it all…
In early 2012, Sassy of Assassynation Photography, Jo of The Couture Company and Rawhide Corsets and Vikki of Liliia had a dream. They dreamt of a wedding fair that was truly alternative and that showcased only the best of the best alt wedding suppliers. They wanted to have a place to host the kinds of suppliers they saw ignored by other, mainstream and vintage, wedding events.
Over the past few years I’ve heard hundreds of stories from brides about searching for their dream wedding dress. Some have been fantastic experiences, others not so, but the resounding overall message was that finally finding ‘the one’ was an amazing feeling.
One of the names that seems to pop up again and again with the American brides that I interview is David’s Bridal… and today I have some good news – they’re coming to the UK!
With over 300 stores all over the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, America’s largest bridal retailer is finally opening it’s doors to UK customers. Boasting 11,000 square metres of bridal heaven, including wedding gowns; bridesmaid, mother of the bride and special occasion dresses; handbags; shoes and jewellery, the brand spanking new branch of David’s Bridal is opening in Westfield, Stratford City on October 3rd.
Sure to be a go-to destination for any discerning London bride, they are throwing a massive party to celebrate… and you are all invited! Festivities throughout the day will include a fashion show, an official ribbon cutting by the mayor of Newham and an after party with live music, wine and canapés galore! They’ll even be a raffle where you can win some amazing prizes including an all inclusive 7 night stay at Rendezvous in St Lucia and jewellery from Ernest Jones.
It’s hard to believe that in just under a year The Blogcademy has taught over 300 women (and a few token men!) about blogging and how they can conquer their corner of the internet. When we first launched the workshop we thought we’d meet some people, teach them some stuff and that would be about it. Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine just what an impact attending this two day class would have on the attendees lives… and ours!
“I had spoken to past attendees who raved about it BUT nothing quite prepared me how amazing the classes would be, the epic people I would meet, the rush of euphoria I would feel afterwards (it’s still going) and the self-belief it would instil in me that ANYTHING is possible!!!” Helen, Gwen’s Bridal Bazaar
It sounds cheesy as hell but I mean it when I say The Blogcademy is so much more than just a workshop. We spend two days together, laughing and learning as we go, but it’s what happens after class that is really amazing. Bursting out of each class comes an army of passionate, driven bloggers who help and support each other way past those two short days. The secret graduates forum is something we created just in case students would like to connect with each other outside the classroom, but’s it’s become a life unto itself – a bustling place of love, support, advice and sharing. Many of our students continue to meet up with each other regularly and it’s so thrilling to see what they’re all achieving – together.
“Hanging out with so many other creative women in a positive and encouraging environment was really inspiring. I wish I could bottle the feeling and open whenever I need a boost – it was magic. That feeling is probably one of the main things I will take away from The Blogcademy. One of the quotes that I noted at the time was ‘surround yourself with talented people you trust’ – and it still stands out to me as one of the most valuable snippets from the event and very reflective of The Blogcademy in general.” Lynsay, Miss West End Girl
Although times they are a-changing, gay and lesbian couples have been long overlooked in the wedding industry. While there are many amazing wedding suppliers that cater for and love to work with same-sex couples, there has yet to be a really cool, all inclusive wedding event that all engaged couples – no matter their preferences – can go to and feel comfortable and accepted. Sure, there have been a few magazines and events dedicated to gay weddings, but (and I hate to say it) but most of the ones I’ve seen have been slightly cheesy and erring on the side of tacky.
So as you can imagine I whooped with glee when my friend Becky of the Most Curious Wedding Fair told me she was organising a cool, stylish and edgy wedding fair for gay and lesbian couples alongside Sara Smyth of Ruby+Diva bridal boutique. Both of these babes know what’s up when it comes to fashion-forward, edgy and achingly cool wedding stuff and I couldn’t think of anyone better qualified to tackle this uncharted territory.
Vintage has become a bit of a dirty word in the wedding world. It’s been overdone more than any wedding trend I’ve ever known… and in many cases pretty badly. But vintage weddings as a concept are beautiful, and some of the most creative and beautiful weddings that I’ve featured have fallen under that ‘vintage’ banner. In fact vintage weddings are not limited to pearls, lace and mismatched crockery – they can be so much more than that, the only limit is your imagination.
If you have a love of things from the past, The Vintage and Alternative Wedding Fair is for you. Taking place in Cambridge on Sunday September 15th, this is a show that boasts a plethora of weird and wonderful wedding suppliers just aching to help you with your vintage or alternative wedding. The show takes place at Cambridge Union Society from 11am-4pm, is completely free to attend and entry even includes a complimentary goodie bag!
When I suggested the idea of doing a Blogcademy in Austin in August Gala and Shauna looked at me like I’d gone totally mad. ” You know it will be utterly boiling down there then? It’s practically on the Equator!” they replied. “Ahh ya wimps, how hot can it really be?” I responded. Well more fool me because when we stepped off the plane last week and were greeted with 40°C+ temperatures, I’m finally understood what living on the sun must feel like.
OK, so I’m exaggerating… but give me a break, I define porcelain. I’m so pale my skin is practically see-through and I wear factor 50 when there’s even a hint of sunshine! The intense heat was totally worth it though, and I would have stayed all summer long to spend more time with the amazing girls (and token dude) who came to the workshop last weekend. Is it bad to have favourites? Maybe… but this class was totally up there as one of the most enjoyable so far. As our last US date for 2013 we certainly went out with a bang!
The workshop was held at VUKA, a giant co-working space near where we were staying. Although there was no natural light inside (something I wish we’d known before but oh well!) and the service from the staff was less than wonderful, the food trucks over the road and juice bar two blocks away made it the perfect spot for us. It was also huge and it was really great to have the option of using tables this time too – like a proper classroom!
As usual, the custom city totes that each Blogcadette received were packed with useful and glittery things! We like to go from the sublime to the ridiculous with our goodie bag gifts, I mean who doesn’t need a glittery pineapple to wear in their hair? This also might be my favourite tote design so far. What do you think?