Last Sunday Andy and I headed over to Nottingham with my mum and both Andy’s parents to a Wedding Event with a Difference which is put on by the fab people who bring us Save the Date magazine (if you’re an East Midlands bride make sure you subscribe!). It is the only wedding fair in the area that I had considered going to (most seem too wedding-y for me, oh the irony!) and the only one I plan to go to. The day absolutely did not disappoint.
The whole fair was beautifully segmented so I’m just going to run through those segments and highlight the bits that I liked the best – get ready for an essay!
Before we’d even entered the fair we had to stand outside and take a pic with the bea-u-tiful green VW campervan outside from CW Campervans. It was so cute with it’s little ribbons on each side and absolutely spotless inside. How can a vintage vehicle be so clean? I have no idea!
The ladies at the registration table were very helpful, especially when I explained that I had bought tickets for four, then an extra one and I’d turned up with only three with two more to turn up a little later. That didn’t faze them at all. They just wrote down the names of the extras and handed me a tote bag with lots of leaflets in and some treats too. I’d scoffed the heart shaped shortbread cookie before I even moved onto the first section!
Right at the entrance was this beautiful arrangement of flowers inside a stack of vintage suitcases, this style definitely set the precedent for the day. All over the venue were lots of vintage suitcases, birdcages, lamps, plus more – all supplied by Vintage Style Hire (what a fantastic service!).
All kinds of beautiful crafts were to be found here…
I visited the Mouse’s Den stall who hire out bunting in every shade and pattern, I think hiring bunting is a great option and could possibly work out cheaper than buying metres and metres of fabric and making it myself.
I also stopped off at Debbie Bryan‘s table, who makes the most beautiful handmade brooches and scarfs. I actually bought a brooch from Debbie Bryan a few years ago at Lincoln Christmas Market for a Christmas gift. Debbie’s crafts would be ideal for mother of the bride gifts or for older bridesmaids.
My favourite stall in the creative corner was Vintage Magnolia who featured lots of vintage and handcrafted inspiration for wedding, from handkerchief bunting to fuchsias in teapots – I LOVED that idea.
It was fab to see bloggers that I recognised, those who I’ve visited before and new blogs that I hadn’t heard of yet. Adore Blog by Chloe‘s stall was spectacular with her pom pom wall, Festival Brides had the most beautiful bunting and lots of free spirited inspiration, Boho weddings brightened up the whole room with striking pops of yellow and Lucy Locket‘s stall featured loads of cute paper crafts.
One thing that brought them all together was the wild flowers in jam jars – obviously I’m following the latest trends there!
Andy had joked in advance that this would be more like a creche for grooms and it did sort have that feel with leather sofas and table football. The stalls in here were more groom focused – suits, rings, etc. It would have been nice of the grooms’ stalls were as modern as the bride’s (a bit more Boho, DIYish) but maybe that’s because local suppliers haven’t caught up with the groom-y trends yet.
Location, location, location / Food glorious food
Venues and catering were together in a side room (which you can actually hire for a wedding), as soon as I walked in The Kit Mason Trio were playing Reet Petite which is one of my favourite dancing tunes so that got my feet tapping straight away. Some of the bakers in this room had the most spectacular cakes; lots of modern fun styles mixed in with elegant traditional styles. They also had lots of treats to try, I think I ate two cupcakes and a cake pop within a few minutes! Simply Cakes was a stand out vendor for me, hers were the bright, modern and fun styles (just like me!).
Some of the venues that were exhibiting looked beautiful, as well as the Nottingham Conference Centre there was the Mercure (check out my review of Leicester Mercure here) and a recently opened venue in East Stoke, Stoke Hall. I used to live near East Stoke as a teenager and the gardens in that place are stunning.
The Style Lounge / All Things Pretty
This was the largest section of the event but here are some of the stand out stalls that I enjoyed…
I had already caught sight of Ms Moo Make Up before the fair on the Save the Date blog, it was the Katy Perry inspired blue hair and yellow eyes photo that caught my eye. These girls had some fantastic photos of brides and models that they had made over before. Really made me think about whether my budget can stretch to a make up artist.
Next I was attracted to the sparkly jewels that were featured on Ruby + Diva‘s stand. They showed me their website which is full of one off hair pieces, unfortunately all more than my budget allows but they do have a fantastic range.
One stall that really stood out in this section was the Fabric Theatre, for one they had a bridal model with a rabbit’s head handing out flyers, and secondly their stand featured lots of striking photos of fairy tale weddings; velvet, chandeliers and luxury draped fabrics – it brought back the themed wedding planner in me.
The Lilac Tree featured some breathtaking headwear; lots of sparkles and vintage flourishes. Unfortunately even with the 15% off voucher they were still out of my price range (and I plan to wear a sparkly slide) but for anyone looking for unique bridal headpeices this is definitely the place to go.
Although I am designing all of the wedding stationary myself I had to take a look at the Mary Loves Bob stand, they have such a fab range that is right up my street – cute, modern and fun.
The lady who runs Blush bridal boutique was so friendly to me and was very interested in my plans for my dress. She’s similar to my dressmaker in that she makes all of the dresses by hand and she had a beautiful range from vintage inspired to couture masterpieces.
I popped along to the John Lewis stand to sign up for their registry service (this is where we had planned to register along with a charity option) and they explained that we’ll be able to go into the store and have fun scanning all of the items we’d like, then any gifts that are bought through them will be delivered all at once after the honeymoon.
Finally I went to Peach Blossom and made a big order for glassine bags, paper bags, straws and other fun stuff to decorate my reception room with. I had written a list before the fair of suppliers I wanted to visit and Peach Blossom was top of that list – they have such a nice range.
There were also some Mother of the Bride suppliers in this section but they all seemed a little formal for the look that I am going for and the knee length dress, jacket and fascinator combo just isn’t the style that fits either of our mums – although it seems to be the only one on offer out there. Hopefully they’ll find outfits soon!
Dotted around the whole venue was some dressed tables, some more formal than others, some more stark than others. They provided some nice inspiration as to how to balance out white linens but there was nothing that I would transplant straight to my wedding. The nicest table I saw was downstairs in the catwalk area and featured lots of green and pink florals with patterned napkins and lace details – there was even a coordinating vintage suitcase for the table plan.
The last thing we did was watch the the catwalk show which featured bridal and formal wear from lots of different suppliers, vintage to couture. Some lovely inspiration but nothing that hit the right note for me – luckily I know exactly what I’m wearing!
We had a lovely day, got lots of inspiration and saw some beautiful things. I did have a little moment with my mum because she was taking so many pictures of me every time I even looked at something sparkly. We’d had a big roller derby event the day before, Andy and I were both a teency bit hungover and not really in the mood to be papped every five seconds. But you know what, this is the only wedding fair I’m going to. It could be the only one my mum and I will ever go to and she is mother of the bride so she wants to cherish these moments and I need to remember that. Even if I do look like death warmed up in some of the pics she has captured all of the things I liked and took all of the photos in this post so I am very grateful.