THE UN-WEDDING SHOW February 2019 - A Look Back
Written by Erin Balfour
Photography by Parrot & Pineapple
Back in February of this year, a brand new wedding fair experience made its debut. And what a debut it was!! It crashed onto the scene and the buzz was insane. It was the creation of Melissa of The Un-Wedding, who is one of our wedding industry FAVE mates, and going by her amazing website, directory of cool wedding suppliers, her Instagram feeds (plural! And addictive!), and well everything she does, we just knew her shows would be amazing.
If you missed out on the February shows, do not worry even one bit because the next round of shows is on sale right now - details here! - woohoo!
Would you like to see what happened in February in detail? We’ve got all the action shots from all three shows from hero shooter Parrot & Pineapple plus an exclusive interview from Cool Bride Style Queen herself, Melissa Woods. Read on! Oh, and get your bank card out - you’ll be wanting in on this round of shows FOR SURE. Links to ticket sites below!
interview with melissa woods of the un-wedding
WOW: So how did this year's fairs go?
Melissa: If I had to choose one word - EMOTIONAL.
Putting on three shows in one month was a massive undertaking. There were so many things to consider, but the main thing for me was to create a new wedding fair experience for our niche audience of modern brides who don't feel represented by the traditional wedding industry, and to be able to showcase the talented suppliers who are listed in our online directory - Book of Love. We had a collective of 130 of the UK's coolest independent wedding suppliers across three major cities - Leeds, London and Birmingham - and we exposed them to around 2,500 brides and their tribes. I think it's safe to say WE SMASHED IT, but it was far from easy. We made 1,000 mistakes and learned 1,000 lessons. That's the important thing, right?
WOW: What were your fave bits and moments?
Melissa: Meeting all of the AWESOME people in our UN-WEDDING community! Cool brides and their tribes who were totally on board with what was on offer to them and not just there for a free day out and lots of free cake! ... Not to mention our INCREDIBLE suppliers who blew us away with the level of detail they went to in order to present themselves to their dream clients! It's so inspiring to be surrounded by such talent; I think it rubs off on everyone, and the atmosphere was electric at all three shows. I feel really proud of the fact that THE UN-WEDDING attracts such wonderful, friendly, infectious people.
We also absolutely LOVED the rainbow ceiling that we created for our London show at the stunning Core Clapton, especially on the Sunday when the natural light bleached it out and it felt as though we were walking beneath an actual rainbow! DREAMS!!!
WOW: Any bits that led to a stiff drink?
Melissa: I have had no previous experience with events, so the entire process was a minefield! Space was a big problem, especially for our Leeds event. Too many people, not enough space. We had to keep a queue of brides outside waiting to get in as the show was just too busy. This was far from ideal. In a nutshell, our events were so popular with suppliers and attendees alike that we have already completely outgrown our initial choice of venues and have had to seek bigger ones for our AW19 shows!!
WOW: What were the exhibitors saying?
Melissa: They absolutely LOVED IT! We had exhibitors who were taking multiple bookings on the shop floor!! Feedback has been amazing, in all honesty. The shows were only a few months ago, but we have had reports of some suppliers who are now in double figures with regards to orders as a result of the show! We could never have predicted this. Just recently, I received a lovely email from one of our suppliers who has already signed up for the next show:
''I thought I should let you know I secured at least six jobs from the previous show, and the work I have had as a result of the publicity is insane. I literally can not thank you enough.'' - Alice, All Frills Studio
WOW: What were the attendees saying?
Melissa: All in all, we had great feedback from attendees, and the fact that so many of the exhibitors got huge amounts of business from our brides speaks for itself, but we had a handful of complaints too... less than 1%. I mention it because it made me feel so, so bad. People keep telling me to stop bringing it up, but it has been an important part of the journey. I hadn't prepared myself for the negativity and it hurt because we had worked so hard to make the shows something that were of benefit to all involved. It's also too easy for people to get nasty over social media these days. The tiny minority of people that had something bad to say tended to do it publicly. That was hard because I am still a small and independent business myself, so it can feel quite damaging. What I have learned is that people only care about their tiny little individual experience, which is absolutely fine. You can't expect everyone to see the bigger picture. We listened to everyone, even the incredibly rude people. We will make sure our shows are bigger and better each time! One thing I can say to those who complained that our shows weren't free entry is that they never will be but we will always try to make them as reasonable as possible. We only want attendees who are truly invested in the experience. We want people to turn up and book our suppliers. It's not just about the free cake!
WOW: tell us the Successes
Melissa: THE UN-WEDDING SHOW created a lot of opportunities for a lot of people, and the number of people who are back on board for the next shows, including people who came along as attendees, has been phenomenal. Proof is in the pudding, and all that!
WOW: (Fishing…) What was it like having Way Out Wedding as a sponsor?
Melissa: Well, the fact that we have asked the lovely Erin to sponsor us again means it was a fucking honour!!!
WOW: bloody love you, melissa!! <3
WOW: Will you be doing anything differently?
Melissa: HELL YEAH!
We have a really exciting theme for our next shows - DAYTIME DISCO. It has been inspired by the beauty of the mirror ball and our love of partying! We felt like the last shows had a real party vibe going on. We want to explore that further for the next shows and make them even more lively with our very own disco balls and disco dollies. Oh, and this time our cocktails will be served from a giant golden pineapple! Yep! Our Book of Love directory babe Hayley will be showcasing her Lucky Pineapple bar. We are over the moon to have Lucky Pineapple on board as sponsors for the events! We can't wait!
book tickets to the un-wedding show
Soooo, now you’ve seen exactly what went down at the previous shows, you’ll be wanting a ticket of your own to the next ones! Well, my friend, simply tap one of the pics below to be taken straight to the booking site! You’ll soon be entering a wedding planning DREAMSCAPE. You are welcome.