Photography - @summerphotography
Last month, for the first time, I exhibited at two Wedding Fairs in the South East of England. My first was Bride the Wedding Show, held at the Royal Ascot Racecourse. The second was Kensington & Chelsea’s Secret Wedding fair (hosted by Elite Events) which was put on in my local neighbourhood (I literally walked across the road to set up my stand, oh so convenient).
They were two amazing and consecutive weekends, with so many highlights…
It was the first time I put my collection out in front of people (outside of my Instagram page and Website). I was completely blown away with people’s reaction to my robes and stand. I received so much positive feedback, with people loving the colour range and my bespoke embroidery service. My robes even featured on the London catwalk, which was such an amazing moment!
It was lovely meeting and talking to Brides and their loved ones. It reminded me why I wanted to get in to this incredible industry. The buzz, love, excitement and good vibes that whizz about is unlike any other industry I have ever been involved in. You can never not have a smile on your face.
My ever so gorgeous boyfriend (/Financial advisor/dog carer/general life saver), Adrian, also made an appearance at the London show, and got involved talking to Brides. Seeing him educate them about my personalised embroidery service is a sight I will not be forgetting any time soon.
Adrian & me (mirror selfie)
I also ran a competition whereby visitors could win a complimentary Georgina Keeley robe with bespoke embroidery, and I am delighted to announce the two winners on this blog. Gabby Meads was the first winner from the Ascot fair, and is getting married on 28thAugust this year. The second winner from the Kensington & Chelsea fair was Léan Collins who is getting married on 21stAugust this year. It is such a happy thought that they will be wearing my robe on their special day. Thank you too for all those who entered.
If you are thinking of attending a Wedding Fair to plan your own wedding, after three days of ‘fair-ing’ myself I feel like I learnt some pretty valuable insights about how to have a successful day out which I thought I’d pass on…
My Top Tips to Wedding ‘Fair-ing’
Tip 1– Plan to get your wallet out. Research ahead of the day and see if there is anyone you might want to strike a deal with. The majority of suppliers have special offers on, and you could save quite a lot of pennies if you book and order things then and there.
Tip 2– There is a definite ‘rush hour’ of Wedding Fairs. This normally is bang in the middle of the day. With this in mind, I’d advise therefore getting there for opening time, or going a couple of hours before closing time. This will mean that the stands will be less busy, and the suppliers will be able to give you more of their time. Especially important if you are looking to book a person for example (e.g. a photographer) and you need the time to see if you like them personally and could see yourself working with them.
Tip 3– Find out what time the shows are (catwalk shows) if there are any. These are FUN and are very light hearted. Unlikely to find your dream wedding dress, but you are guaranteed a feel-good feeling.
Tip 4– Avoid driving if you can, so you can all enjoy a glass of bubbly (or two). There are so many free drinks and nibbles. Additionally, there are bars where you can buy a bottle of fizz and take it with you to watch one of the shows or talks. I saw quite a few groups of girls walk round with their bucket of Prosecco. It looked so enticing that I nearly left my stand to join them!
Tip 5– Sometimes the smaller fairs can be a nicer, less overwhelming experience versus the larger shows (like the National Wedding Show) so look out for them online. I also learnt that a lot of venues have shows too, where they invite a selection of hand-picked suppliers, so have a little investigate into which fancy venues in your area are putting on an event and sign up. Even if you don’t plan on booking at the venue you can still go. Would make a nice day out, especially if they have an afternoon tea on offer!
Tip 6– Going to fairs is a great way to find out about suppliers. Especially small businesses like me! Have an open mind and be curious. I was amazed about the range of things you can tap into which could really add to your wedding day. From magicians, to toast masters to singing waiters. These fairs really have it all.
Over the course of the two fairs, I myself met some other pretty lovely suppliers. Read below for a list of some of my favourites
The lovely suppliers I met & recommend
Summer Photography.The lovely Steph came bounding up to me, camera on hand with bags of energy and enthusiasm. I’ve got her to thank for some of the lovely photos on this blog post. I can’t think of many friendlier photographers than Steph, and I am sure she’d be an amazing addition to any wedding party! Check out her website, and awesome Instagram page.
The Remi Collection. I was lucky enough to be opposite the guys from The Remi Collection, a lovely company specialising in British made rings. Their main business is in making weddings bands, but Graham (the founder) assured me that he can make a dazzling engagement ring too. What I loved most about this is that they offer an incredibly personal service in the comfort of your own home (they come to you!), with the aim of supplying couples with their perfect rings at affordable prices and with no hidden charges.
Call them today to book your free consultation on 01932 222337.
Timothy Lee the Toast Master. So, turns out Toastmasters don’t just have to be the Uncle in the family that tells terrible jokes. You can actually hire a professional for the day, and more specifically you can hire Timothy for the day. Aside from the fact his name is Timothy (I am immediately biased as my beloved dog is called Timothy too!) he also has an infectious personality and I felt like after a weekend of him popping in and out of my stand I had known him for a life time! What a great idea to have someone who can command a room, and he will even wear the old school Toastmaster outfit too!
If you are interested give Timothy a call for a chat, 07769704315, or alternatively visit his website.
The Pink Giraffe team. The guys at The Pink Giraffe team have a pretty fun collection of products. Specialising in interactive mirrored photo booths that you can annotate and decorate, they also have pretty flower walls (swoon) that you can hire for your guests to take photos against. I even got in on the action with my robes. I wish I could take this flower wall everywhere with me, instead I have the picture on this blog post as the backdrop to the title <3
UK Fab Functions. The clue is in the name, ‘fab’ indeed they are. This business is a venue styling service, and they too have the most gorgeous flower walls for hire. Sandra the founder is so sweet, and also let me borrow her beautiful wall for some photo ops.
Loco for photo. Farrah was the lovely supplier that was opposite my stand. We have both just started out in the Wedding Industry and immediately bonded. If you are looking for a fun photo booth, look no further than Farrah. She has every possible prop you can imagine, and I can really see how much fun it would be to have her booth and set up at your wedding.
Aylin White Designs. A fellow designer, with a similar expat background to me (we both have lived overseas in the Far East), Sally has started a beautiful business which specialises in painted wedding gowns. I know, paint on a wedding gown you might be thinking… But trust me when I say you need to check this seriously talented lady out.
Royal Berkshire Wedding Venue. Could I have been neighbours with a nicer Venue? I think not. Colleen, the Wedding Co-Ordinator and myself hit it off from the word go. We got chatting about all things weddings (of course), and I was so impressed. Colleen would be a dream to work with, and the Royal Berkshire in Sunninghill is a beautiful venue that would make the perfect backdrop for any wedding ceremony.