With less than a week to go, the final plans are in place for our first wedding fair.
After running an online business for three years, it is actually pretty scary to be putting myself out there. Joining me on this epic adventure of self discovery, is Bramblesky
, aka Kate, my crazy Black Country partner in crime. Together we will be launching a brand new range of decor for hire for 2018 and also showcasing our new collections. Eeeek super exciting.
So why venture down the hire route? Why do a wedding fair after 3 years of running my business online successfully? and why ditch the table?
Along with Julie my business advisor, Kate is always pushing me to step out of my comfort zone. To step from behind the screen and meet my clients.
I have been helping Kate build her online business and she has that one thing that I lack completely. The ability to sell face to face. Online its easy, you learn about algorithms, SEO, you narrow your target market and really put your self out there in a digital sense. But face to face, honestly, I’m not great. Work on your elevator pitch they tell me, describe your business in a sentence they teach. But honestly I clam up, and I kid you not when asked what I do the words leaving my mouth are “I make stuff”. Cringe.
So I’m going to learn from the master. You may think, really the master, slightly dramatic Lisa. But this is the person that walks around confidently with her 90x74cm wooden art, casually hung under her arm (which weighs a ton by the way, but you would think it was as light as feather), and ends up supplying high end home decor shops by just popping in and saying “alright” (insert Blank County accent here). If your a small business you will probably be thinking ‘how does she do that', I hope to find out.
The idea of hiring came from my own wedding planning. I have the decor planned to perfection but yet to agree on venue or even settle on a date, we are getting close though. Kate’s super talented dad “Pimp Daddy Palmer” has been helping create my decor vision and what a waste it would be for his stunning craft work to be used for just one event, Mine.
My clients have these amazing visions of their perfect wedding day and we are always being asked if we can do something or point them in the right direction. Which is when I realised that really rustic, country styled decor was very hard to find. So Pimp Daddy Plamer to the rescue.
Just to go completely off topic, Kate has just popped in with her new stationary and she’s brought cake. After asking me to print off my price list, imagine a very basic spread sheet created in numbers, she tells me how wonderful it is and then BAM, hits me with can only be described as stationary porn. Im not sure at this exact moment whether to compliment her on an elegant piece of stationary or poke her in the eye. But apparent my flared nostrils said it all. You know i'll be trying now to get glossy leaflets printed in time.
Now lets get back to the matter in hand. We are ditching the table, yes thats right no table at our wedding stand.
When I first said to Kate, fancy doing this, she said “alright mate, not a problem but fook it lets think big”.
So BIG it most certainly is, adding a little, ok, a lot of theatric staging and height.
We have found whilst visiting various wedding shows around the UK, that they can be rather stuffy affairs. Everything is laid out pristinely with precision point accuracy. It’s stunning, your jaw drops and a little inner ‘eek’ of excitement may slip out. There is a table, sometimes the vendor is behind the table, sometimes in front, but you just stand by a table being handed more and more leaflets. When you get home you now have two of everything as they were already in the welcome bag. I'm usually rather parched by the second table and I have my cake-dar sniffing out tasty samples. Which on some occasions non have been found, but thats another issue for another day. Each vendor has the same line, “Hi have you set a date or picked (insert their service)". From your answer it then determines if they are going to talk to you and go into full sales mode or look over your shoulder to catch the next persons eye. Now don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why they do this from a business point of view. They have a few hours to meet with as many potential clients as possible, but by stand three I’m avoiding eye contact as I feel like I’m being interrogated. Waterboarding aside I’m now trying to get out of there as quickly as possible. Only one company has stuck in my mind from all the shows we have been to, opening line, “Ladies try this it’s going to change your life” as a tray is presented in my general direction. The next few minutes I feel like I’ve been transported to heaven, as my taste buds go into spasms of pleasure. It was divine, now I have a mouth full of the most amazing cheese biscuit I have ever eaten in my life, and I’m waiting for the question… but it never comes, instead I’m listing intently to a wordy description of what’s currently going on in my mouth followed by a simple conversation of how much they love food, I’m nodding intently as I finish the last crumb not really wanting it to be over, is it rude to ask for more? I really want more. The conversation ends with them asking if we would like to take a leaflet and don’t forget everyone always remembers the food. I recall that conversation and the cheesy, crumbly biscuit. They spoke to me in a way that I felt connected to them and the people they are. Also the cheesy nibble was amazing so I have no doubt that the rest of the food they create will be equally mind blowing. They will be my caterers (I haven’t a clue how much it will cost though) and if a venue will not allow outside catering they are off the list.
So drawing on our own experience of attending wedding fairs we have ditched the table. Our stand is going to be fully interactive. We want you to take photos behind our new rustic DIY photo booth, gather around our bar, pick up signs, try our drop top guest book or leave us a note on the guest board. Ask us questions, get to know us better and most importantly have a glass of fizz, we are after all celebrating our first wedding fair and your engagement. Ok I admit it any excuse for a glass of sparkly. Maybe get there early just incase. Kate is also planning my wardrobe for the event, apparently leggings and boots are not quite the look she’s going for and asks to view my collection of LK Bennet dresses, Seriously…
Will we regret not having a table? Will our idea be a success? Are our expectations too high?
Well I guess we will find out on the 29th October ….
If you would like to join us please visit Off The Wall Weddings
for more information. We would love to see you.
Our hashtag for the event to see all the photos from the day and tag yourself in will be #otww2017