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