And happy Hump Day to you! Can y’all even believe it’s the 2nd of March already?! Nah, me neither! Talking of dates, how are you guys fixed for April 9th?
…You’re free? Awesome! Well, you’ll find us at Manchester’s brand new Indie Wedding Fair, and if you’re in the area (and when say ‘area’ I mean, if you’re within a 300 mile radius! Ha!) you should totally head on over, it’s gonna be such a sick day!
All hosted under 5 giant hat tipis at the Ashton Hall Equestrian Centre, there will be wedding suppliers GALORE (including Festival Bride’s buddies over at Old Bear Films!), delicious food, great music and, wait for it… GOODIE BAGS (my not-so-inner child is squealing with excitement!) Get your Early Bird ticket here (at a mere £4) guys!
All coordinated by super-woman and bride-to-be herself, Ellie of Soft Touch Events, let’s get to know her and her rad event a little better shall we?
Tell us a little about yourself…
I’m Ellie, director of my very own little business (Soft Touch Events) and I founded and curate the Indie Wedding Fair. Whilst I wholeheartedly admit I’m a bit of a wedding obsessive, I tend to seek out (and love to style) particularly beautiful ones that are totally unique, have tonnes of detail and personality, are a bit quirky and most definitely are a reflection of the couple getting married!
I’m super passionate about small business and excellent service, I’m very creative, love a bit of crafting, a total magpie (and subsequently own a huge collection of antique, vintage, retro and rustic memorabilia which I hire out). I live near Sheffield with my handsome beau and our beautiful, 2 year old daughter (she really is the cutest!), but I’m often over in Manchester, from whence we’ve recently moved.
If you had a chance to go to any music festival, which one would it be?
I’ve fortunately been to quite a few stonkers, including Glastonbury, Leeds, T in the Park, Freeze (I also love the mountains) and Bestival.
Now I’m a (little!) bit older, I quite fancy some of the lower key ones, like Wilderness, Kendal Calling or something that celebrates up and coming talented new indie artists.
It’d be good to take our little’ un to something next year (we obviously have noooo money this year, as we are getting hitched!) …But I hope she will grow to love festivals as much as her dad and I do!
What made you decide to create the Indie Wedding Fair?
From being 14 (it was acceptable in the 90s, kids…) I worked in an independent bridal shop and florists in my local village, which I absolutely loved. I subsequently larked off to university, graduated, then worked in events and marketing in the education sector, supplementing this with stints in the corporate and private hospitality industries both in the UK and abroad.
It was only when I came to plan my own wedding, feeling uninspired by many of the ‘traditional’ wedding fairs that I noticed a big fat void for rustic, bohemian and festival-inspired couples looking for wedding inspiration, in a truly fitting environment. I was also inspired to create something that didn’t put smaller indie businesses under massive financial pressures to attend an event to show what they can do.
I promptly set out to create this quite different and unique fair (which takes place a month before my own wedding, in fact! Good job I like a challenge, really…)
I genuinely think there is a place for this kind of event, and to repeat and grow it in the future, really would be ace. I’ve had an absolute beano putting it together.
Creating an event from scratch, with just a paddock to play with, allows me to demonstrate to people that you can create something unique and fun with a bit of imagination. And if you are engaged, but don’t have the imagination or creative skills but you know you want something a little less ordinary- you’ll meet people at this fair who can give you some belting ideas!
Tell us a little bit more about the Indie Wedding fair…
It is going to be brilliant, and I’m so excited to invite y’all (my excitement is turning me into an enthusiastic American, clearly).
It is held in five giant interlinked Tipis (by the amazing Tipi Unique!) on a farm in Sale, just south of Manchester and there are loads of awesome suppliers on board! We will have around 50 in total, with no more than three in any particular ‘category’.
It should be an informal, but beautiful environment, full of creative suppliers offering relevant ideas, products, services and skills. It’s not hard sell pushy-pushy (obviously we’d all be delighted to get bookings, it would be silly not to want that!) but the vibe is just a bit more relaxed, welcoming and lower key.
What do our brides-to-be need to know? Who’s going to be there?
So many awesome people! I am genuinely so proud of our line-up.
First up, I am really excited about the food (I’m not gonna lie, I’m writing this whilst pretty hungry!) Proper pies and mash from a converted horsebox, stonebaked pizzas and sample canapes from Top Table and freshly ground coffee from the Bean Rover. YUM! And cake, of course to top it off! #winning.
Then there’s an array of brilliant, passionate suppliers…
A Wine and Prosecco importer… Da Vin Wines
A Flower Grower… Carol’s Garden
The Venues… Wellbeing Farm and Ashton Hall Farm
A Screen Printer… One69A
A Specialist lighting supplier… Not Just Lights
A Couture Gown Designer… Erica Stacey
The Transport… Great White Occasions and a beautiful split screen VW
A Photobooth… Captcha
An Ice Cream Trike… Love My Trike
…Not to mention Glenda the vintage caravan-come-beauty parlour, celebrants, event planners, stylists and prop hire, Frame your Day streaming, PA and stage hire AND an independent travel consultant; it’s bursting with talent! I have a few more in the pipeline to round up and confirm too, but hopefully this should give the gist of how ace it is looking already!
How can our couples get involved?
There will be goodie bags, free magazines, sample canapes and of course, they’ll have a lovely day out connecting with some absolutely awesome suppliers in beautiful, giant tipis just a stone’s throw from Manchester.
We are also applying for a temporary event licence so there will be a bar, too! Woop!
What’s your best piece of advice for couples who’re planning their wedding?
Have an honest chat with each other and establish what’s important to you both for your wedding and do remember it’s your wedding… So do it your way! You can’t please everyone all the time (so you may as well please yourselves, first and foremost!).
Remember what it’s all about: making a commitment to the person you love most in the world, not about the size of your budget or remortgaging your house to create a Kardashian- rivalling spectacle of an event.
Play it cool, trig.
Finally, what’s your life quote/motto?
That’s a tricky one… I had written something a bit rude, but then thought about it being immortalised in blog form and my ‘rational mum head’ took over and removed it!
I’d say be fair, don’t take liberties, enjoy life, and just be nice to people (unless they’re being a dick, then that’s their problem and to rise above it shows greater strength of character on your part!).
Most of us larking about in the wedding industry, creating beautiful events and memories of a lovely day live a pretty fortunate existence in an environment that’s filled with happy people planning fabulous celebrations, so we should be very grateful for that. Remembering the bigger picture is important too!
Don’t get swept away in the fairy tale; because marriage (and life!) is no fairytale… but you may just get your happy ending!
And if you spot me over at the Old Bear Films stand with my beau, please come and say hi, I’d love to meet you!
Peace + Love