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

Hopping Over to Suffolk

Hello there!

Last Sunday Frog & Pencil exhibited for the first time over in beautiful Suffolk. We met lovely Donna at A Most Curious Wedding Fair and she invited me to show my illustrative stationery wares at the Truly Vintage Wedding Fair at Glemham Hall.

I find it rather difficult choosing between wedding fairs as I feel F&P needs to find the right audience. So far, from the two I’ve been a part of, only one couple have been in touch (who are awesome btw) and I’m so happy that they’ve hired me. You do need to invest quite a lot of money into a wedding fair and as this is my first year it’s all trial and error…so much is a gamble. However, I decided to bite the bullet and 1) try a new County, 2) see what a summer crowd is like.

My glamorous, hairy assistant joined me and we rocked up to Glemham early Sunday morning to set up. When we arrived, we were greeted by the chickens and a peacock…I knew then that this was going to be a fun day! Glemham is just gorgeous and the grounds are incredible…if you’re looking for a wedding venue, certainly give them a look, you won’t be disappointed.

It’s been a few months since my last fair but we were quick to put our stall together and it was such a great feeling to see new work on display and how it’s all evolving. Definitely pretty proud of what I’ve achieved so far. Once again, I was super lucky with my friendly neighbours, Hopes & Dreams Wedding & Event Dressing and Events Under Canvas. In all, there were around 30 exhibitors set up in a large and pretty marquee; it was light, airy and spacious, perfect for showcasing my wedding stationery.

10am arrived and the queue of couples drifted in with their family and friends. We spoke to many lovely people, mostly those who have just started their wedding planning process. I relish talking with people about their plans, it’s such an exciting time, you can literally do anything you want! The sunshine made an appearance and the weather was simply delightful. I did find though that quite a few times we had a lull in ‘foot traffic’ which I feel was brought on by the weather; who wouldn’t want to be outside…I was a smidge jealous.

In the quiet spells, I wandered around to meet the other amazing suppliers and managed to chat to most people, exchanging business cards. The Truly Vintage team looked after us too and we were given a tasty packed lunch which I thought was a nice touch. The event came to an end at 4pm and we had a pleasant day at Glemham, however I did come away feeling unsure if we’d caught enough interest. We’ll just have to wait and see… 🙂

Check out my snaps from the Truly Vintage Wedding Fair 2016.

I like to share the love after attending these fairs, so here are a handful of suppliers you should check out!

A SPECIAL CROAK OUT TO…

Hopes & Dreams Wedding & Event Dressing: Lorraine is brilliant and it was ace being her neighbour on the day. She specialises in styling your big day and hiring out items. Her stall was a treasure trove of loveliness, she has something for everyone…if I had a bigger car or a van, I would have snagged her gorgeous dresser! Loads of people were buzzing around her stall, so get in touch to hire those goodies!

Events Under Canvas: Oh snap! These guys hire out giant tipis for all events and they are amazeballs! A great alternative to your traditional marquee and there is no end to how you can style them up to looks gorgeous! Another popular stall and also super friendly; give them a bell and don’t miss out…I have a feeling they have one full diary!

Wisheart Tiara Design: Jacqui came on over to say hello right away which made us feel really welcome. This is one talented lady; she creates beautiful tiaras, combs and wedding hair pieces which are all bespoke. With so many styles to choose from, one of these vintage accessories will be a stunning way to finish off your bridal look.

Myrtle & Mint: This florist’s stall was gorgeous with an incredible colour palette. There was a lovely country garden feel to her stall, so if you’re looking for flowers with a relaxed flair, pop into her shop to say hello!

A big thank you to Donna and the Truly Vintage guys for having us, we had a great day! We’re also keeping our fingers crossed to hear back from you lovely couples…you can always hop over to www.frogandpencil.com to discover more.

Things have been a bit quiet on the blog recently, lots of projects I’ve been a part of or working on are under wraps right now but soon I can divulge all. I have a few posts up my sleeve so keep your eyes peeled!

Until next time you lovely bunch!

Cx

Stay Curious!

Hello there!

You cannot imagine the little squeak of excitement that escaped me when I opened up an e-mail last Wednesday from A Most Curious Wedding Fair (AMCWF). There had been a last minute cancellation and they wanted to know if I was free to exhibit…OH HELL YES!

I had been in touch shortly after launching Frog & Pencil to see if they had any spaces but of course, they were full. I spoke with Gem (the lovely gal organising the fair) and she mentioned that I could still promote myself via their directory list and I happily signed up…but holy moly I was over the moon to have the chance to exhibit!

I attended the fair last year, as a Bride, and I took my gorgeous Maid of Honour with me. It was exactly the kind of fair I had been looking for, something a little more quirky and personal – a refreshing alternative to the more traditional fairs I had been to. So, when Frog & Pencil hopped into the world, I knew that this was my kind of event!

AMCWF describes themselves as a fair for the ‘style savvy couple’ but I think it’s so much more that that. The suppliers are cool, unique, chic, individual, whimsical, eclectic and offer couples something fresh within the wedding industry. I believe that weddings are changing, they’re becoming so much more personal and couples can do whatever they want…if they so desire. You don’t have to have a ‘cookie cutter’ kind of day and I love that AMCWF embraces this idea.

The Fair is held in St Andrew’s Hall in the centre of Norwich and it is a stunning venue. My hairy, glamorous assistant and I arrived early to set up, which thankfully didn’t take much time at all – we’re becoming pro’s now! I had seen the list of exhibitors prior to the day and I genuinely felt honoured to be one of the suppliers among them; there were some amazing people showing off their wares! Seriously, Norfolk is overflowing in creative talent; you lucky, lucky Brides!

Doors opened at 11am and there was a queue to get in for most of the day. With a friendly atmosphere and a steady flow of people, it had all the ingredients for a great day. I spoke to many lovely couples and I really enjoyed hearing about their plans. Frog & Pencil received so much love from the public and fellow exhibitors, I was smiling all day with pride…I still am! In the last hour it quietened down and I took that moment to explore the show, peruse the stands and chat to the wonderful faces stood alongside them.

Here’s my Most Curious Wedding Fair gallery – I meant to take more photographs but I was just simply enjoying being in the moment. Sadly, I later discovered that a bunch of my photos were super blurry…I need to invest in improving my camera skills, but here’s a taste of the day.

As I’ve mentioned, AMCWF was jam packed with amazing suppliers and like last week at Wensum Valley, I’d like to share with you a handful of them.

A SPECIAL CROAK OUT TO…

A Most Curious Wedding Fair: A HUGE thank you to Gem and the team for having me last minute, I truly appreciate the opportunity. You were so welcoming and I loved being a part of the day. Go check out their website to see all of the awesome people who exhibit in the London & Norwich shows…and don’t forget to click on the Most Curious Directory to find suppliers who are equally brilliant but were unable to make a show.

The Little Lending Company: Here you can find fabulous decor accessories and props to hire out for your wedding day, or you can choose from the ‘styled station’ range. Penny is so friendly and super creative; she’ll have whatever you need to make your day unique.

The Swaffham & Fakenham Florist: These gals will make your wedding blooms look spectacular! They teamed up with The Little Lending Company and created an incredible stand at the show, so you won’t be disappointed; go check them out!

Flower30: Another very talented florist who had a gorgeous stall. I spoke with Sharon for a while and she’s so lovely! An artist with a bunch of flowers!

Beth Moseley Photography: Beth creates the most beautiful, natural and relaxed photographs! She’s also lovely, just what you need on your big day – give her a bell if you’re in the market for a photographer!

Buns of Fun: I had a great time meeting Emma and she gave me lots of advice about starting out. Her cakes are incredible and each time I went over to introduce myself there were always people chatting to her. Get in quick I say!

Dust with Cocoa: Debbie is another delectable cake maker, they are just gorgeous! She also won ‘Best Stand’ on the day and it did look marvellous. Check out her website for more cakey delights!

Doughnut Lab: Hold on to your hats as these are by far the BEST doughnuts around! We’ve been a big fan of these guys since they launched; we even had a batch delivered for my birthday. They pack all their doughnuts full of flavour, you’ll just want more and more! We certainly had a happy doughnut lab face at the end of AMCWF; yum!

Grace & Fortune: Beth creates delightful, delicate accessories for your hair and I fell in love with her designs. One of these would finish off your Bridal look perfectly…I wish I had known about her last year.

Botanical & Bloom: I’m a sucker for geometric shapes and succulents, so naturally I fell in love with Hannah’s stall. She creates geometric concrete planters which are so chic and contemporary! They’re on my wish list as a home for my new little succulent, Derek.

So, to all you couples out there, click away and absorb all this wedding inspiration and create a day that reflects who you both are.

Till next time, stay curious!

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