You may remember back in March 2016, Clare wrote this post about The Indie Wedding Fair, a cool and alternative fair for indie couples looking for creative suppliers in the North of England. Well it went down a storm! It was easily one of our most popular posts of 2016 and the show itself was a huge success. So much so that it is back for 2017 and is even bigger and better than before!
With inner city urban venues and industrial style weddings on the rise, this years Indie Wedding Fair will be taking place at the uber cool 92 Burton Road, an ex industrial warehouse that offers such a cool blank canvas space for your wedding. As before, the fair’s ethos is to support artisan small businesses that are fueled by creative minds and who have a passion for what they do. Suppliers such as the amazing Folky Dokey, Rewritten, Frock and Soul and The Wellbeing Farm to name but a few.
Ellie, the curator of the show, has worked hard to make this an event that will stand out from a crowd and provide you with some amazing contacts to help you plan your wedding. This is dubbed as a day out rather than a wedding fair, so if you are based in or around the north and are planning your wedding you need to be attending this event!!
We asked Ellie a few questions about the show and what you can expect. Look out for the details on the VIP goodie bag and her tips on getting the best out of the show. Oh and if you are already sold on attending, you can buy your tickets here.
Over to Ellie…..
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hello! I’m Ellie, and I plan, style and coordinate awesome weddings and events, via Soft Touch Events which I set up in 2015, and Inner City Weddings and Events, which I have been one glorious half of since 2016.
I live on the outskirts of Sheffield, and get involved in weddings and events across the breadth of the North of England (and beyond!) – from planning advice and on the day coordination to full planning, styling and coordination.
I am particularly partial to urban, industrial venues, tipi, yurt, sperry tent and outdoor gatherings, ‘DIY weddings’, blank canvas locations and non-traditional venues (it all started with a Treehouse wedding… now I find myself a bit of an alternative venue magnet)
Whilst I wholeheartedly admit I’m a bit of a wedding obsessive, I tend to seek out (and love to style) weddings and events which 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 of course, I am uber organised and enjoy a good list.
Things I like the most: succulents, gin, pink hair, the snow, and my family and friends. Things I dislike: chair covers and sashes, unimaginative prescriptive weddings, and fish pie. I really hate fish pie.
Why did you decide to create the Indie Wedding Fair?
Back in 2015, when I myself had been on the receiving end of a (long overdue) proposal, and was subsequently merrily engaged, I found myself pretty uninspired by the wedding fairs I attended. They were often a bit corporate for my taste and poorly curated, or held in venues which just weren’t my jam at all…and very few in the mighty North of England really tickled my fancy. So, I founded the Indie Wedding Fair, an alternative offering in the world of wedding fairs in my beloved North.
The inaugural event was based in Manchester, in five giant interlinked tipis, and was a great success by all accounts, and this year’s fair is held at the gem of a venue that is 92 Burton Road, an amazing urban space I’ve had the pleasure of working with since my move to Sheffield (Inner City Weddings coordinated the first wedding reception ever held there, you see).
I’m big into supporting indie businesses and hard workers – whether they be in a studio, shop or still creating, crafting and making from lofts/kitchen tables, or those time-honoured veterans in their respective fields managing small (but perfectly formed!) businesses. I wanted to create a collaborative arena for interesting and emerging talent alongside well established and long-standing industry professionals when curating the fair.
There are many wedding fairs across the UK, what makes yours unique?
I’m really picky! The vibe has to be right, the aesthetic and the brands and what is being offered all needs to be of a high quality with reputable (and lovely) suppliers – and it’s really important to me to keep it fresh and keep it indie friendly. I guess what makes mine unique is my ethos and vision for the event.
2017 sees you moving to a new venue and city. Why the change and how will it affect the style of the show?
I love a tipi, I really do (in fact you’ll see Serentipi amongst my exhibitor offerings!) but they do have their drawbacks (a biggie was the unreliability of the British weather circa April time – we were lucky last time – the sun shone, but it could have been a verrrry different event had it not!) A massive portion of my time these days is spent on inner city, urban and industrial weddings – so it made sense to go with a new venue in my new home city that I have experience of working with, and where I know you’ll be looked after if you book your wedding celebrations there.
In a venue like 92 Burton Road, you can really put your own stamp on your day… and (especially with the use of the right planner and stylist – shameless plug!) you can achieve a really personal (and totally bonzer) day.
Tell us about some of the suppliers who will be exhibiting? Anyone you are especially excited about?
I have to say, I am so proud of the awesome line up this year! They’re a bloody magnificent bunch. To list them all would be a bit mad (there are more than 50 of us…. So you’re just gonna have to come down and explore for yourself)
Here’s a sneak peek though:
What else can our readers expect if they were to visit the show?
Good vibes, great company, reputable, awesome indie suppliers, and excellent street food as standard!
If they plump for the VIP ticket option (£7), they’ll also get a glass of fizz, a tat-free goody bag including sweet treats, several magazines, Team Hen goodies, biodegradable confetti, a Veronica Dearly ‘Engagement Bingo’ card and some lovely gifts from ‘And so Wed’ blog. (The retail value of the goody bag is over £20 – YOU’RE WELCOME! Only a few remaining though so get them snapped up, squirrels.)
So where do we buy the tickets!?
The Eventbrite link is: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-indie-wedding-fair-tickets-31179189796?aff=es2.
It is also linked from the dedicated website: www.indieweddingfair.co.uk
NB: On the door, a £2 cash entry fee will apply.
All of the pictures in the gallery online at www.indieweddingfair.co.uk feature suppliers and products which will actually be there on the day.
Finally, how can our readers make the most out of their visit to the Indie Wedding Fair?
It’s a pretty one-of-a kind affair, so we expect it to be busy throughout, maybe a little quieter for the last hour or so.
Plan ahead – have a think what else you’ve got left to sort out for your wedding – but also come with an open mind and enjoy it as more of wedding-related jaunt than a mission! We have worked hard to avoid it feeling like a meat market and hand selected lovely suppliers we know you’ll want to chat with. Check us out on social media by searching the hashtag #indieweddingfair. On Instagram you’ll find me @elinorsoftleyweddings so follow away… and on twitter, follow @softtouchevents and @indiewedfair for posts about the fair and our super line up.
Another tip: bring cash in case you see something you want to buy on the day. Intermittent t’interweb signal is available (food traders at peddler often us iZettle etc on the 4G service fine, but bear in mind that not all traders will have this facility.)
Finally, pre plan your travel; it is a venue in a city; so there isn’t a massive dedicated free car park like there might be at a trade expo or a huge country house. There is lots of free on street parking around Kelham Island and it is also well served by buses and trams. If you can walk down or grab a taxi, do it! It’s not far to stroll into the heart of the city of Sheffield.
The postcode for 92 Burton Road is: S3 8DA
Don’t be a fool: Googlemap it before you come, yeah?!
See you there!
With special thanks to the following photographers (who won’t be with us on the day.. but are OBVS awesome!) for these glorious images:
Helena Marie Photography; Helen Russell Photography; Hacker Wedding Photography; Dan Hough Photography; Kindred Wedding Photography; Jenn Brookes Photography; Leah Henson Photography; Ellie Grace Photography; Paul Joseph Photography