The Isla Gladstone Conservatory, Anfield, Liverpool – 12.01.20
You never forget your first.
The Lovely Little Wedding Fair at the Isla Gladstone Conservatory in Anfield, Liverpool, was my first and as firsts go, this did everything it says on the tin: it was lovely and it was little, which was perfect as I step into the crazy world of wedding fairs (fayre’s? I never know which is correct!). There’s something really exciting about wedding fairs (I’ve decided on this one as it seemed to be the most popular in the quick google search I just did).
If you’ve never been to one then think of it like a big marriage-themed airport duty free; although, instead of trying on glasses you’ll never buy and spritzing yourself with different fragrances all the way up your arm, at a wedding fair you convince yourself you can’t live without a gramophone sprouting a bunch of freesias and you collect business cards like Pokémon. But just like in the duty-free, everyone wants to help you and goes out of their way to be lovely in congratulating you so you feel that warm buzz of the engagement all over again. At least this was my experience on Sunday (12.01.20).
I’m not sure if this one was standard practice but it was such a great touch to be presented with a folder on arrival containing a highlighter, a pen, some clips, post-its and a notebook… of course a creative groom-to-be would want to save the cards and make notes throughout the day. This proved so helpful. And yes, I will most likely be Groomzilla (Though I think we can come up with a better nickname… any thoughts?).
As far as components to a wedding there is so much to consider: music, food, venue, decorations, stationary, visuals, flowers, seating charts, props, photography, videography, clothing, celebrants, make-up… the list goes on, and thankfully, even in a small event like this one there was a nice range of exhibitors spread throughout the gorgeous Victorian conservatory, a beautiful venue though not the style we would like to go for. For us think more Rustic and Industrial, Warehouse-y even… Like Camp and Furnace if it had nicer toilets!
Some of the lovely exhibitors I enjoyed chatting to at this event were…
- PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEOGRAPHY – Clicked by Kate., Elvis and Co, Jessica Lang Photography.
- FLOWERS – Penelope Petal Creations.
- BRIDALWEAR – Boda Boutique.
- EVENT PLANNING – Onyx Weddings & Events, Wachadoin’ Events, Opulence Weddings and Events, Florrie and Rene Vintage Hire.
- STATIONARY & DESIGN – Hawthorne and Ivory.
- FOOD – Manchester Platter Co.
- GROOMSWEAR – Groom, The Wedding House Liverpool.
- CELEBRANTS – Wendi Surtees-Smith
There were also some lovely live musicians throughout the day but we have specific ideas for music already given that my background is in theatre and Liam is a classical musician. He plays the oboe, or the Show-boe as I call it.
We’re booked into lots of these events over the coming months but the industry is definitely geared towards brides, whether a wedding has a bride and groom or two brides, and these fairs just don’t expect a groom to attend as he plans his wedding to his groom. But when one does turn up, my God everyone was so lovely and helpful. Love is love, after all, and these people are in the business of celebrating that love.
This blog isn’t a retaliation to an industry not ready for groom-groom nuptials; that is not the point of it at all. The point is to discuss the differences between a conventional bridal wedding and one with no bride… unless I end up walking down the aisle in drag, in which case I need to find a decent bridal corsetiére! Because there will be differences. I mean, how can we throw bouquet when neither groom will be carrying one? (Don’t worry, I have a plan… to be discussed in a later blog planned to be about flowers so you better subscribe and keep reading!)
I don’t know if this will help another young little Mary as he plans to marry his Joseph, or whether it will just make my family and friends giggle in place of my Weekly Commentary of Strictly Come Dancing and Shirley-Ballas-Slagfest. But whatever the motive, thanks for reading. This weekend gave me the urge to document the journey as there isn’t a guidebook. So I will be writing this as my DIY guide.
A D.I.Y. Guide for the G.A.Y. Bride(groom)! Someone fetch me a drill!