Tag Archives: wedding fair

Go Wild with A Most Curious Party

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.”

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Something Borrowed, Something Blue: The Vintage Wedding Fair, Harrogate

This Sunday, 19th February, sees the return of The Vintage Wedding Fair, held at St George Hotel, Harrogate. Organiser Keeley sent over this beautiful ‘something borrowed, something blue’ photo shoot to celebrate and I just couldn’t resist sharing the photos with you too.

With this shoot she not only wanted to promote her fair, but to show that brides don’t have to spent a fortune to wear genuine vintage – the dresses in the shoot cost just £70 (1950s blue dress) and £160 (white lace dress from 1959) and the 1960s box handbag was a steal at £75!

I was lucky enough to attend one of these events when it was held in London last year and the selection of genuine vintage dresses and accessories was phenomenal. If you’re after real vintage for your own wedding dress, I’d highly recommend a visit! Click here to check out some of the exhibitors.

The event is on from 11:30am-4:30pm and tickets cost just £5 on the door.

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How to Get the Best Out of Exhibiting at a Wedding Fair

I’m just gonna come out and say it…as a general rule, I’m not a huge fan of the wedding fair. A little controversial I know. My reason for this is not because I find them boring or a waste of time but because the people exhibiting aren’t making me want to love it. Often they simply sit at their stands with a ‘take it or leave it attitude’ or they’ll just thrust leaflets and samples at me like they’re going out of fashion. This is both annoying as hell and a little bit terriflying.

I don’t think the wedding fair is dead just yet. There are hundreds of thousands of brides (and poor poor grooms)-to-be that attend these shows during their engagement. So, this week, I thought a little discussion and a few tips on how you can make wedding fairs work for you would be in order.

Thank you to Heidi from The Alternative Wedding Fair, which is taking place in London this Sunday, for putting together this article. I’ll be wandering around the fair with Roo – please don’t throw things at us.

♥  ♥  ♥

Ever wonder why some suppliers have unbelievable success as a wedding fair exhibitor and others never see a return? Well, there is definitely a formula to making wedding fairs work for your wedding business and I’d like to share it with you. In this article I’ll reveal my top strategies that will affect your overall success attending wedding fairs so that you can get the most out of your exhibit.

Consider the types of couples the show is targeting

In the past I have found that when wedding fairs target a niche they attract brides who want what you do. That is if you fit into that niche. Be sure to ask the show organiser who their target market is. If they say ‘brides’  then I’d personally run a mile. Do you want to just attract all brides or do you have a specific kind of bride and wedding you’d really love to work with? You need to know your specific target market and gear everything towards making your business attractive to that kind of bride.

Find out how and where the event is being advertised

Couples are now using social media as a tool to help with their wedding planning, more now than ever. Brides turn to Facebook to ask for friends recommendations and to Twitter to see what the suppliers they like are up to. Does the fair have a strong social media presence? Are they advertising on relevant blogs and publications?

You want to make sure the fair you choose is being promoted so that you will get a healthy amount on traffic on the day. Ask the show organiser how the show is being advertised and marketed online and offline. Does this line up with where your target market is?

Research what is included in the cost of the exhibit space to ensure value

Your exhibit space can be anything from empty space to a shell scheme so be sure to ask so that you can plan your costs accordingly. Ask if electricity, wi-fi, tablecloths and basic furniture (trestle table & chairs) are included or how much extra they will cost you. Be sure to figure your marketing materials and giveaways into your budgeting as well!

Make sure to get a list of couples who have agreed to be contacted afterwards

A list of couples who attended is nice but you can’t market to them via email because of CAN-SPAM laws. You can only legally email couples who have agreed to be contacted. If you market to couples who have not opted-in to receive your emails they could report you. Ask the show organiser if their list complies with CAN-SPAM laws. If they say ‘CAN-what?’ run away! Remember, it is better to have a smaller list of people who want your specific service than a large list of people who don’t want anything to do with you.

Review the contract

Contracts for wedding fairs can contain a list of items that are prohibited and list anything that is required by you such as a copy of your insurance policy. As with all contracts, be sure to review it before you sign on the dotted line.

Invite prospective and current clients

You will appear to be on top of what is going on in the local wedding industry if you personally invite these people along. Even if you have already booked a client they will appreciate knowing there is somewhere to go to find their other suppliers. It’s all about making yourself look good!

Promote the fair on social media and blogs

You’re on Twitter and Facebook right? Use this space to discuss what you are doing in the run up to the fair and connect with other exhibitors. The networking opportunities a fair offers are often just as valuable as the potential clients you might book.

Network

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A Vintage Inspired Shoot for A Most Curious Wedding Fair – 2012 Dates Announced

A Most Curious Wedding Fair is going into it’s second year with events being held at St Andrew’s Hall in Norwich on the 11th February (11am-4.30pm) and in York Hall, London on the 31st March (11am-5.00pm). To celebrate, organiser Becky got together with the amazing Joanna Millington Photography and some of the other suppliers exhibiting at the shows to put together this beautiful, vintage inspired wedding shoot.

Organiser Becky explained the new direction of the wedding fairs and the ideas behind this shoot to me this week, “Our suppliers will still favour the 40s and 50s, which continues to enjoy popularity, but we know that the trend aware, fashion forward bride and groom want a little more bang for their buck. They want to widen their horizons, and simply want ‘cool stuff’ at their wedding regardless of era. That is the premise with which the Most Curious Wedding Fair began, but for 2012 we are progressing further with the emphasis on handmade, daring, bespoke-orientated, beautiful, craft, chic, fun, expressive and perhaps a little edgy suppliers. ‘Vintage’ is a recurring theme but not a requirement.”

“For this shoot in particular, we wanted to put across something a little more of the moment, a little more accessible and just down-right beautiful and romantic that picked up on what is happening in fashion too.”

“I think I was a little ‘Movember’ obsessed at the time and specified the idea of hirsute men of a Jack Daniels ilk, think old Americana, Daniel Day Lewis in Gangs of New York, with a bride reminiscent of Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie,” Becky continued, “so plenty of high necked gowns, with boots and bare feet alongside the braces and woollen waistcoats worn by the men. We wanted the couples to look as though they had home made all the elements to their wedding, maybe run away together to get hitched and had a simple affair that they’ve homespun themselves. 1970s does Victoriana seems to be a popular choice for Vogue-esque Florence Welsch inspired brides so we wanted to channel this idea while making sure the men had plenty of styling as well.”

“As the idea developed the image of Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks on the Rumours album cover kept coming to me and in the end we actually did a few images in homage to this. I wasn’t sure it would work but thought it was worth a shot, but I knew we were onto a winner when all the girls began swearing like sailors looking at Jo’s initial pics on the camera!”

Tickets for both shows are available to purchase on the door and cost just £3 each (or only £2 is you’re a bride-to-be!) For further information on attending or exhibiting check out the show’s website or drop becky and email on rebecca@amostcuriousparty.co.uk.

As well as exhibitors, each show will also have a number of ‘how-to’ sessions including how to create your own bouquet and how to make cute cookies for your favours. Plus the Norwich event even has tattooist Gary Donnelly of Gypsy Stables Tattoo Emporium attending. I love the idea of booking a tattoo artist to give you and your beau wedding day commemorative tats don’t you?

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The Alternative Wedding Fair – St. Ives Corn Exchange, 23rd October 2011

If you’re anything like me you’ll be a little bit bored of the usual crop of wedding fairs. I’ll be honest, I do go to a lot of them as part of my job but it is very rare that I really love love love what I see. It takes a lot to impress me I tells you. I am a self-confessed wedding snob I’m afraid! However because of this, I am genuinely really really excited to be backing a small number of wedding fairs that I do believe offer you something different.

Due to be held in St. Ives, Cambridgeshire on October 23rd, the first Alternative Wedding Fair promises to showcase some of the very best alternative wedding suppliers (many of whom I’ve featured on Rock n Roll Bride in the past) including Andrew JR Squires Photography, Assassynation Photography, Elbie Van Eeden, Sassy n Frank, Tux & tales Photography, Anissa Lee Vann-Thomas DesignLiliiaLizzie Jayne. Phew!

The organisers are also planning to run a number of other fairs at locations around the country throughout 2012 including London, Manchester, Bristol and East Anglia (with more to be announced) so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for when these dates and locations are released.

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Unique & Alternative Bridesmaid Fashion Ideas – in Association with The NOT Wedding

Are you loving the mismatched bridesmaid trend but are a little unsure about how to pull it off with your own girls? Avoid them looking uncoordinated or simply like the rest of your guests with a few of my simple tips on how to tie them together in easy and subtle ways. With effortless attentions to detail your bridesmaids really will look as faaaabulous as the girls pictured here. I promise!

This article is illustrated with images of the ‘bridesmaids’ at Atlanta’s NOT Wedding which took place in July.

Photography Credit: Once Like a Spark (image 1 & 2) & Chelsea Patricia (image 3)

Making sure all your bridesmaid’s bouquets are the same is a guaranteed way to make sure no one mistakes them. No matter how different their outfits are, anyone carrying a bouquet is pretty obviously part of the wedding party!

the not wedding scalfsPhotography Credit: Chelsea Patricia

Unusual but matching accessories such as scarves (as illustrated), handbags, shoes, or statement jewellery is another great way to tie your bridesmaids together. Even if they wear each the look quite differently (each bridesmaid pictured is wearing the scarf in a different way) the similar flash of fabric and colour will tie them together beautifully.

the not wedding hair styles and acessoiresPhotography Credit: Once Like a Spark

If their outfits are vastly different, keeping your bridesmaid’s hairstyle or hair accessories similar or the same will again, tie them together in a unique fashion. Floral hair accessoires are BIG for this year’s wedding season as are dishevelled and messy up-do’s. Remember Elsie’s tutorial for the beehive up-do? Her bridesmaids all rocked this look so well!

Photography Credit: Once Like a Spark (main image) & The Long Farewell (detail images)

Fabric details are another subtle way to make your bridesmaid’s look part of the same team. The girls pictured are all dressed in a similar colour scheme, but even if they weren’t, a dramatic and obvious pattern (ie aa distinctive pattern or lace as pictured) would tie them together really well.

Photography Credit: Once Like a Spark

Different outfits in the same colour or hue (different shade variations of one colour) has been a popular option for Rock n Roll Brides for a while now and I certainly don’t see this trend going anywhere. How about taking it to the next level and having one of your girls in a jumpsuit as pictured here? I personally love love love this look!

In a similar way you don’t have to insist your bridesmaids wear the same shoes to tie this look together, keeping them in the same colour scheme will again allow them to make some thoroughly modern and unique style choices.

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