The Oxnead Wedding Show

Hello folks!

Holy guacamole it’s been a while since I last posted! Apologies for the white noise.

With glorious autumn in full swing, wedding show season returns and last Sunday saw Frog & Pencil exhibiting at our penultimate fair of the year, the Oxnead Wedding Show hosted by Norfolk Brides.

Even though I’ve truly enjoyed my previous fair experiences, I’ll be honest, up to this point, being a part of these hasn’t been as successful as we would have liked. In fact, it became a little disheartening. However, I knew that I was invested in two more before the end of the year and I really wanted to make the most of them. This began with the hubby and I having a really forthright chat about the fairs. We typed up a big list of what works well, what to scrap and what we can develop.

The first big issue we both sensed is that on a whole most people who visit my stand just don’t get it. Something isn’t connecting with them and that’s a huge problem. For example, at a previous fair, someone thought I hired out exotic birds…zilch to do with stationery. To rectify this, it was decided that we needed clear signage pointing out what I create and what’s on the table.

The second problem, which relates with the first, is the stand itself. Having been a part of three fairs with a similar set up it was time for a change. I wanted to bring in height, lots and lots of lovely height! With more work displayed around your eye line, it is much harder to walk past while trying to figure out why some Frog is there hiring out exotic birds! 😉 After a little bit of research, I settled on buying these gorgeous wooden crates to elevate my stand to the next level. They required the Frog & Pencil touch and with some sanding, priming, a lick of paint and a bit of love, they were perfect.

The third obstacle is me. I want to be more engaged with couples but I’m not a pushy person and I’ve always led by watching others body language. If they don’t look interested I don’t interrupt but if they do, then I’ll hop in. It’s extremely difficult for me to initiate the conversation and for it to be natural but I’m working on it. Thankfully that’s something Lewie is pretty damn brilliant at! This resulted in a new tactic, to be a more ‘persuasive’ and to have a few handy openers up my sleeve to experiment with.

Further to engaging with couples, I thought it would be beneficial to run a cracker of a competition. A chance to win an original Frog & Pencil watercolour couples portrait. Not only would this enable me with a talking point but additionally be a great way to capture some contacts for a mailing list.

Armed with new luscious props, a fresh approach and most importantly, fabulous designs, we were ready to tackle Oxnead!

Luckily we had the option to set up the day before which was certainly a life saver and helped keep those pesky nerves at bay. Especially so with a new set up, I was able to take my time to place each piece. The boxes were doing their job and height was achieved. My signs were clear and easy to read. The stationery looked fab taking centre stage (through this new set up phase I kept reminding myself that it’s all about how best to show off my work and make that shine) and the paper flowers I created were the cherry on the top. That afternoon I left as one happy frog, it was looking ace!

Sunday morning I was feeling great! With little left to do apart from the odd tweak, I could relax, have a coffee and get settled in my positive head space. I was determined to not be shy…and the whole day was AMAZING!

From 10am Oxnead Hall was buzzing. There was a great atmosphere and so many wonderful couples to talk to, in fact, it felt like I never stopped chatting. To me, something clicked, I found my fair swagger and enjoyed every moment. We received a lot of attention and my new bridesmaid cards were a hit with Brides. The competition was a winner too, I was delighted when I had my first sign up! The moment we had two the game was afoot, we had ourselves a legit competition! It finished with forty sign ups and I am over the moon.

I don’t know if the shift is down to a little more experience but I am positive that taking time to reflect and making some key changes gave us such a boost. It’s so important to look back and analyse and I’ll continue to do so with the whole of my business.

Oxnead was great for us and I even came home to some e-mails…that’s my first! I’m keeping everything crossed that we carry on moving in this wonderfully productive direction.

Norfolk Brides managed to pack Oxnead Hall to the rafters with amazing suppliers, including two of my favourites, Bigphatphotos & Buns of Fun – I’ve mentioned these guys in posts before, they’re awesomely talented & creative, so check them out! Here are a few new businesses that stood out for me on the day.

A SPECIAL CROAK OUT TO…

Lou Lou Loves Vintage Hire: Lou Lou Loves offers a unique wedding hire and styling service and I loved all of her items on the day. If you’re looking for rustic, vintage, boho, festival or retro goodies to adorn your wedding then contact Lou, she’s got loads of brilliant stuff and she’s lovely to boot!

Bottom Drawer Bridal: Brides to be, check out Bottom Drawer Bridal and prepare to swoon! I’ve been a big admirer of this business for a while and I was chuffed to finally meet Victoria. Her gowns are stunning (check out that floral number, LOVE it!) but what I like is that she offers something a little different too. Make an appointment and hop on over to her adorable shop to enjoy a beautiful bridal experience.

Little Horse Box: I’ve followed this company on social media as they transformed their Little Horse Box into a luxury mobile wine bar. It’s just gorgeous and perfect for weddings and special occasions…I especially would like to take part in their ‘pimp your prosecco’ offer! Liddy is super lovely and I have a feeling this is going to be popular! Give her a call to snag your date.

La Belle Flowers: These florals were just delightful and smelt amazing! I loved her little touches to detail, such as the blooms in the welly boot and the shotgun cartridge button-hole. If you’re looking for some gorgeous flowers, get in touch.

MS Provision: Mike creates beautiful storytelling films of your wedding day that are just wonderful. He’s also really friendly which makes you feel instantly at ease. If you’re looking to capture your day on film, give him a call.

La Belle Amour: This company offers a wedding styling and design service for couples and they also hire out props too. Kelly’s stand was beautiful. I loved the simplicity, natural and chic sophistication it offered. If this sounds like your big day, give her site a look.

Thanks for having us Norfolk Brides and I truly enjoyed chatting to all you lovely couples. Competition winner to be announced soon, so keep an eye out on my social media pages!

My final wedding fair of the year is coming up next weekend and it’s going to be a goodun’. Keep your eyes peeled for The Most Unusual Wedding Fair at Godwick Great Barn.

Until then you beauties!

Cx

A Froggy First!

Hello there!

Last week was a wonderful whirlwind while I prepared for Frog & Pencil’s very first Wedding Fair.

Having only launched in February, I couldn’t believe my luck to have found a stand available at a Spring event…I genuinely thought I may have missed the boat and would have to wait for the Autumn fairs. Lovely Norfolk Brides offered me a spot at the Wensum Valley Hotel Wedding Show on Sunday 13th March and I snapped up the opportunity!

My week was spent designing flyers, making sure I had enough samples, thinking of creative ways to arrange my stand and to have everything printed in time. I even invested in a roller banner…this was particularly exciting for me as in my previous marketing jobs I’ve spent many an hour running around beautiful Norwich delivering and setting up roller banners. It felt quite poignant when my very own was delivered and I LOVE it.

Sunday came around in a flash and it was an early, misty start for my hubby and I as set up started from 7am.  We were welcomed by the team and made our way to the Frog & Pencil table and wowzers, we had a great spot (with a beautiful outlook too)! It also turns out that we were fortuitous with our brilliant exhibitor neighbours, Lesley from Short Cakes and Aurora Wedding and Events Hire, both were so friendly, helpful and gave me loads of advice about the Wedding Fair scene, a big heartfelt thank you to you guys.

At 10am the doors opened and I was raring to go! A bride approached my table, looked at my designs, shook her head and said to her friend ‘No!’…a good start hey! It did make us chuckle and thankfully, throughout the day I was given many lovely compliments. There was a steady stream of people and the five hours flew by. It also helped that we were sat by popular stands such as Adnams, Short Cakes and Aurora as they brought welcomed footfall to Frog & Pencil.

I spoke to so many awesome couples about their wedding day plans and it was also a pleasure to be able to give some tips having lived through this adventure last year. It felt amazing to hear that people enjoyed my work and to see their big smiles appear as they clocked my stall. There were a bunch of comments on how ‘different’ my illustrations are and I’m incredibly proud of the fact that Frog & Pencil is unique.

Overall it was an excellent and positive experience. I thoroughly enjoyed chatting to other exhibitors and networking, they all gave some great guidance. Even more so, it was interesting to see how my target audience felt about my work; however the proof is in the bookings. As of yet, nothing’s pinged through but it’s still early days and I’m hopeful.

Being by a window on a beautiful sunny day was just perfect albeit a little challenging when taking photos but thankfully they’ve turned out pretty good with a little editing…so here we are, enjoy clicking through my Wensum Valley Wedding Fair Gallery.

We were honoured to be amongst some brilliant exhibitors and I hope they all had a successful show. I wanted to take the opportunity to give a handful of those a mention and share their details.

A SPECIAL CROAK OUT TO…

Norfolk Brides: Dalia and Tim were brilliant hosts and I’m very appreciative of all their help and knowledge in the run up to this event. Check out their website to see what’s coming up next!

A Most Curious Wedding Fair: Sat in front of us was the lovely Hannah from A Most Curious Wedding Fair. On Sunday 20th March they will be hosting their unique Wedding Fair in St Andrews Hall in Norwich from 11am – 4pm. I visited last year and it was ace, certainly worth having a look around. You’ll also find a familiar froggy face in their Most Curious Directory as a cool, recommended supplier…which is very exciting for me!

Short Cakes: Our super wonderful neighbour Lesley who creates the most beautiful, delicate wedding cakes. We were lucky enough to have a sample of the chocolate cake and it was delicious, so if you’re in the market for a celebratory sponge then get in touch…be quick though, people were flocking to her stand looking to speak to ‘The Cake Lady’!

Aurora Wedding and Events Hire: Another ace neighbour who were also popular! Providing hire items for your big day, give them a look…their sweetie cart is a must for kiddies and husbands alike!

Adnams Norwich: Dishing out tasty tipples these guys were BUSY!!! I can personally recommend the Adnams Prosecco, we served it at our wedding and it is a moreish fizz with a fabulous price tag to boot!

Joshua Patrick Photography: If you’re looking for a photographer, hop on over to Josh’s website. He’s really friendly, enthusiastic and his images are natural, relaxed and just stunning; you won’t be disappointed!

Oops! a Daisy Florist: The gals at the show were gorgeous and they had such a delightful stand full of romantic, whimsical flowers which I thought were divine. I’d pay them a visit if you’re looking for an excellent and creative florist.

There we have it, my first show done and dusted; I LOVED it. Thanks for having me Norfolk Brides and thanks to all the couples who took the time to check us out. Drop me a line if you have any questions or would like a quote, it would be wonderful to talk some more.

Have a tip top evening all and I’ll be back later in the week with a post all about the details from my Christening commission…I’ll warn you, it’s a cute one!

Cx