If traditional wedding ideas aren’t your thing, then The Indie Wedding Fair is most definitely for you! Here Elinor Softley tells us all about her exciting concept…
What inspired you to set up The Indie Wedding Fair?
“When mooching around wedding fairs in the midst of planning my own wedding, it didn’t feel as jubilant and exciting as I’d hoped, really. Some of the wedding fairs I went to were pretty uninspiring, and it all felt a bit corporate for my taste. I don’t particularly like shell schemes or chair covers, diamantes and a lot of what is weirdly considered ‘traditional’ wedding décor. Needless to say I was inspired to create an alternative option, and The Indie Wedding Fair was born. I did visit one or two smaller events that were much more inviting and soulful, but there didn’t seem all that many up North that really tickled my fancy.
I didn’t want to travel to London or Brighton or elsewhere for this inspiration; I knew there were amazing folk right here on the doorstep, many of whom sell through Etsy, Folksy and Not On The Highstreet, who also weren’t fond of these style of fairs.
I have a penchant for creative weddings: be it an urban, industrial space, an outdoor wedding in a tipi, or a non-traditional ‘blank canvas venue’ where you can really put your own stamp on the space, and where you have a lot of flexibility around tailoring the celebrations to your wants and needs. I couldn’t find anything around that matched the vision I had for my ideal fair, so I went right ahead and created it!”
How did you get started?
“I ran the first Indie Wedding Fair last April on a farm just outside Manchester in five giant interlinked tipis; thankfully the inaugural fair was exceptionally well attended, the sun shone, the Tipis were beautiful, and it was proof enough that I wasn’t on my own with what both exhibitors, and a lot of couples, wanted from a wedding fair. I also learned some very valuable lessons about just how much work goes into organising something of this scale and design. Whilst I was hugely proud of what I had achieved and the feedback I received, I could have slept for a week after it was all over!
One of the things I really loved about the 2016 fair was that the suppliers all got on really well and did some great networking; it felt collaborative over competitive and the passion and motivation from each and every one of the Indie traders there really shone through. It really was a good vibes fair.”
Tell us about this year’s fair!
“The Indie Wedding Fair 2017 takes places on 30th April, and will again see over 50 awesome indie suppliers who love getting creative with weddings and want to help you make yours awesome! This year sees the fair move to an incredible venue in Sheffield: 92 Burton Road, where I was lucky enough to help coordinate a wedding last summer. I really can’t say enough good stuff about this venue – I love it and I just know you guys will too!”