If you don’t wanna talk all things ‘going to the chapel’ I’d leave now. Just giving you a wee heads up y’know?
As I type, I kinda hope my bridesmaids are opening their ‘HEY YOU ARE THE ONE’ cards and it feels me with butterflies and confetti because it means it’s actually happening.
I mean, who knew anyone would want to marry me? I know, it flummoxes me too. WTF.
Anyway, in case the boy changes his mind I decided to throw us into the deep end with all things wedding this weekend and get this show on the road. On Saturday, we skipped over to The Wedding Fair at the Excel, London and on Sunday we went to not one, but two, venue open days.
Baptism of fire, baby.
THE WEDDING FAIR, EXCEL
Okay so as some of you may know, I’ve gone to the excel wedding fair before when my now sister-in-law was getting married. It was back in 2015 when I thought it was cute to put insane filters on my photos. You can read about it here – we had a bloody good day. So naturally I was super keen to get back and see it through my newly engaged eyes and be like ‘gimme gimme’ all the inspo.
I’d like to say it was bloomin’ marvy. I’d like to tell you it was more magical than Disney. But unfortunately it was a bit naff.
There wasn’t as many stands, the quality of exhibitors was in some cases poop and there wasn’t even a crafting corner (um, say what?) There was only one stationary stand, which wasn’t all that, and we only spoke to one standard marquee supplier, who did traditional standard marquees.
The bar area was super tacky (whoever chose blue sequin chair covers and plastic candle holders needs to reassess if they should be in the event planning biz TBH) and there were far too many charities there. Which, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for supporting but it’s not exactly gonna help me plan my wedding, is it?
I hate to put a downer on it. I really do. But I’m not gonna lie to you chickeroos. I say it how it is y’know?
Looking on the positives of the day, we did meet a few suppliers who were pretty ace and I feel like they need a bit of a mention. Because some stands made such an effort and their stand decor was hashtag goals.
For example, on first arrival we were greeted by an adorbs vintage mini van (We ‘R’ Fizz) which served prosecco and peroni on tap. I was a wee bit wary of the good stuff coming out of a tap, but it passed my fizz test and I’d probs hire him for the cute little van alone.
Oh and guess what? He’s from just up the road from where we live. I mean he’s practically a neighbor. Mates rates yeah? Lols.
Second up, I mentioned these guys last time but oh my gosh all the love still. The Dotted Crochets are a string quartet who will play anything. Like seriously, anything. So they can play your classics, but they can also play things like Britney Spears, Adele and Arctic Monkeys.
Heck, they played me Mardy Bum yesterday and it was amazeballs.
Another stand 100% worth mentioning is Inverve Stills & Cinema, Baaaasically a group of photographers and videographers and yup, their stand was super flashy. Slick and professional. Glossy natural photos, cinematic videos that made me wanna shed a tear and I didn’t even know the couple.
Not only did their stand say volumes about what they did, but I actually had a down to earth conversation with one of the guys who didn’t talk to me like just another bride that day. He was interested. And real. And that’s very important when looking for someone to work with on the biggest day of your life. Other exhibitors; take note.
THE OLD PARISH ROOMS, RAYLEIGH
Slightly jaded from the night before (we drank all the rum after the excel) we headed to The Old Parish Rooms in Rayleigh for a butchers.
This place is hashtag venue goals. It’s all white and brick and wooden floors. And it’s local, which gives it around 10 gold stars and a big thumbs up.
Doing something really local is so important to us as it means everyone at our wedding can be super relaxed and let their hair down and go bananas on the dance floor, without worrying about a long journey home.
The venue is teeny tiny. But actually, we’re swaying towards a teeny, tiny wedding so that’s a-okay. There’s something about an intimate wedding that really strikes a chord.
Certainly has given us tons of food for thought.
THE LAWN, ROCHFORD
Okay so I’ll be straight up; we’re not looking to get married here. We’ve been to so many fabulous weddings here and seen it done so many different ways. We have very fond memories of weddings here, probably too many for it to be the place we’d get married. So I think we’ve decided that it just wouldn’t be our wedding venue, y’know?
But if you haven’t been before and you’re looking to tie the knot – check it out. Stunning grounds and a fantastic orangery space for the wedding breakfast. As a venue, it has a lot to offer.
The best thing about checking in there today was discovering Little Yellow Bus – a brand new converted VW camper which is totally adorbs and ready for it’s first trip out to a special couples wedding.
And that was our weekend fueled by all things wedding inspired (and rum, but that’s another story for another post).
I hope you guys are defying blue Monday and having a flippin’ ace day.