Updated: Sep 19, 2019
I often attend wedding fairs as a 'bride to be' to meet new suppliers and see what they're like from a bride's perspective and, I don't know about you, but wedding fairs tend to make me cringe! I feel like I'm being herded like cattle and when I finally get to see a stand, 90% of them are trying to sell me a wedding that looks exactly the same as Sandra from Sheffield's wedding (sorry Sandra). And don't even get me started on the cringe-fest that is the catwalk shows...
So it's no surprise that there is a rise in 'alternative' wedding fairs but sadly I couldn't find any in my corner of the UK down here in Kent. So naturally, we created our own!
And after a LOT of planning and visiting venues in Kent (and a lot of doors closed in our faces) we launched the Quirky Wedding Fayre with three dates at three exciting venues!
The first of our fayres is rapidly approaching (2 weeks to go!) and I am ecstatic at how it is shaping up! So I thought I would write you all a blog post to show you the exciting things we have planned and how (I hope) we are helping to reinvent the currently stale wedding fair market!
Let's start with the venue - Longton Wood - what a stunner! As soon as I stepped into this woodland wonderland I said to myself 'yes, yes, yes' (quite literally) and I was so happy that the lovely owner was just as keen! Hidden away in the depths of the Maidstone countryside, is this absolute gem of a wedding venue and every boho bride's dream. It features wooded areas, a ceremony clearing, a grassed clearing perfect for bell tents, marquee area complete with fire pit and some beautiful hidden gems including the most beautiful use of reclaimed doors I've ever seen! Granted I haven't actually seen many uses of reclaimed doors but take a look at this image and you'll get what I mean...
So in this fabulous location, we have signed up over 35 exhibitors who we have handpicked for their unique offerings. I have somehow given them all space in this blog because I love every single one of them!
Let's start with the cake makers! Because I bloody love cake!
Yes your eyes are not deceiving you, there is an upside down cake (Crackpots) and a Lord of the Rings wedding cake (Bake to the Future). As someone with two LOTR tattoos, I actually 'wow-ed' when it popped up on my news feed the other day!
Then there are the photographers! Each one unique in their style and approach and I love all of them (but then I suppose I'm biased). It can be very hard to pick a photographer, there are so many of them and sometimes they seem to all blur into one. Not these guys!
I came across Lauren Henson a few months ago and from just reading her website, I knew we would get along as we seem to have to same sense of humour! Her use of light and quirky perspectives makes her a fab fit for this fayre!
I have now nicknamed Florence Berry the 'Colour Pop Queen' (sorry Florence). Her recent shoot will be featured on this blog soon so watch this space! Her images are always fun and bright and she sure has a way of putting her couples at ease to get the shots that she gets.
I first met Emma Migden at another wedding fayre and she was genuinely one of the nicest suppliers I spoke to. Her beautiful light and airy (is that a word used to describe photos?) photography style captures all of the romance of your day for images that just make you go 'awwww.'
Tom Cullen's candid images capture those beautiful often missed loving glances and his colour composition (yeah, I know my stuff!) is magazine worthy. I'm really looking forward to working with him on one of my wedding planning couple's weddings next summer so I'm very glad he's joining us for this fayre.
And last but by no means least is the lovely Ash from The Enlight Project. I met Ash a few months ago and we got on so well that we are currently embarking on a styled photoshoot in the middle of the woods together (in late October - I hope we don't freeze!). Ash is fairly new to the wedding photography scene but has already created stunning shots. She's an adventurous photographer who really gets to know her couples and is a blast to hang out with!
STYLISTS! As a fellow stylist (but by no means an expert) I appreciate the hard work that goes into styling a wedding and these two lovelies have got it down!
Rebecca Brennan-Brown is a fellow wedding planner and stylist who has such an amazing boho style and an instagram feed that makes me go...
Funnily enough, Locate to Create make me do the exact same thing (if there was a secret camera filming me going through Instagram, it would have enough footage for a full feature length documentary of me making squealing noises!). Furniture hire, props and styling from Locate to Create creates that ultimate Pinterest wedding. From their vintage sofas to their boho bottles, their website is jam packed full of wonderful wedding goodies! Where do they store them all?!
Who doesn't love a bit of sparkle these days? Queen Mab glitter bar bring the party to any wedding! And you don't have to worry about your environmental impact as all of their glitter is biodegradable. I've definitely got my eye on them for my second marriage (don't tell my current husband...I'm joking obviously!).
On the subject of make up, we have the incredibly talented Chloe Campbell, a fabulous makeup artist, joining us. Her editorial background gives a whole new edge to her work in weddings that I absolutely love! She's been featured in Vogue and has even done the make up of celebrities so I am chuffed that she is joining us!
No bride is complete without a gorgeous hairpiece or accessory and Lovers Walk London lovingly handcraft their gorgeous pieces! Their pieces are bespoke so that truly means that no one else will have the same as you! Unique-tastic!
You may have heard of the term 'artisan florist' before but to be honest when I heard it, I thought it was only a term commonly used to describe great bread but as soon as I looked at Eliza Rose, I instantly knew that artisan can definitely be used to describe flowers as well! Their sophisticated arrangements are sure to bring a touch of class to any wedding!
Or perhaps you would like to have a bouquet that is totally different, unique and fun? Charlotte Laurie Designs creates intricately detailed textile bouquets that you really can treasure forever. I'm so excited to be working with this lovely lady on a shoot soon as well!
Forget the 3 course wedding breakfast, let's talk grazing tables! The new craze that is sweeping the nation! And Plentifull are the cream of the crop! Beautiful arrangements that make my stomach rumble every time they pop up on my feed! Super sophisticated and totally unique!
Forget going to that over priced high street jewellers, many couples are opting to have their rings customised. Smooch rings allow you to customise your rings from the comfort of your own home! Yes, they come to you! Is there anything more personal than that? And they will be at the Quirky Wedding Fayre to show you what they've got!
And then to finally tip this fayre over the edge into the realms of quirky-tastic, The Panic Room will be showcasing their mobile escape room available for hire to entertain your wedding guests (yes, you heard that right, a mobile escape room!) Now that is definitely the type of wedding I want to attend! If you book them for yours can I have an invitation pretty please?
But it doesn't end there! Every bride has to arrive in style for their big day and Retro Rides 4 Brides have the cutest little campervan on the planet! Come along and meet Hector at the fayre!
Thinking about having a ceremony that is different from the usual standard ceremony? Create your own ceremony with the help of Katie Keen from True Blue Ceremonies! Yes, anything goes! I'm quite glad I didn't know about this when I got married as I am pretty sure my husband and I would have had some sort of Star Wars ceremony in Elvish! And I don't think my traditional Catholic mother would have been impressed! Meet the lovely Katie in our ceremony area on the 29th and talk through your ideas for an out of the ordinary marriage ceremony!
Speaking of ceremonies, how do you like the idea of creating a casting of yours and your loved one's hands during your ceremony? Well the Edinburgh Casting Studio sell amazing casting kits which do just that and it is quickly becoming a new wedding trend! On the day of the fayre they will be doing live castings and you can even buy your kit there and then!
Having a festival wedding? Are you daring to make your guests camp? Well why not upgrade them to glamping with Brighton Bell Tents - gorgeously decorated bell tents set up ready and waiting for your guests to clamber into after the party winds down! They even offer a booking service for guests to book their bell tent directly on their website.
And that's not all! There will also be live music from Alan Oliver, a S'mores bar by the fire pit from Let them Eat Cakes, hay bales to relax on from Kent Party Props, mix and match wedding dresses from Matchimony and a wacky styled table set up by yours truly (Lily Jones Events to be precise).
If you pre-register you get a free glass of prosecco for yourself and a guest courtesy of Premier Bar Runners who will be showcasing their range of free mobile bars for hire (yes, you read that right, FREE!), plus a goody bag featuring gifts from Popaball, Avon, Lily & Wren, Let them Eat Cakes and more!
And let's not forget our wonderful sponsor who helped make all of this happen - Married in Kent. You can have a chat with them at the fayre about how they can help you find the perfect suppliers to make your day as unique as you are!
So there you have it! The full line up for the Quirky Wedding Fayre on Sunday 29th September! As you can probably tell, I am super proud of how this fayre has turned out and a lot of love has gone into making it a fayre that lives up to its name! We really hope to see you there!
And if you can't make this one, not to worry, we have fayres coming up in January and February at Dreamland, Margate and Hoath House, Edenbridge too!