The North West Wedding Show

Bliss Events, Exhibition Centre Liverpool – 19.01.20

It’s impossible to be unhappy at a wedding show. This may have only been the second one I’ve attended but you learn pretty quickly that it’s a place full of joy. And why wouldn’t it be? The guest list is a collection of people all focused on preparations for the happiest of days and the services are there to remove the stress of those preparations – aside from the stress of the costs they might incur!

Last week’s ‘Lovely Little Wedding Fair’ turned out to be a perfect way to ease in to this Wedding-World gently; in the same way I’d imagine the first soft cotton training bra would help practice before the DD’s develop. At this week’s wedding exhibition, the DD’s were in full bloom because it was HUGE!

In attendance this week were myself and both Mothers of the Grooms, Paula (mine) and Debbie (his). Groom 2 (Liam) is not a voluntary morning person and has graciously given me the reigns for planning this wedding… though if my experience with him as a passenger in my car is anything to go by I’m sure I’ll be subjected to plenty of back-seat driving along the way!

The brochure advertised no less than 122 exhibitors split across the main hall of stalls and the quirky corner of alternative suppliers in the area named ‘The Curious Place’. Where do you even start? My mum decided she always has to start clockwise to the left, leading us right into the alternative universe.

If I’m not careful (or more like if Liam doesn’t intervene) I will end up with a full Harry Potter-themed wedding. I won’t be able to stop at the spellbook-and-snitch cake (Debbie Gillespie Cake Design), the potion-and-snake bouquet (Maddison Rocks Floral Sculpture) or the Marauder’s Map Seating Plan (Prim & Glad)… I’ll keep going until I can have the Sorting Hat as the celebrant, House Elves will serve canapés and we’ll travel down the aisle on animatronic broomsticks. I just read that paragraph to Liam and consider that plan vetoed.

Today we were lucky enough to have the VIP experience and the team at Bliss Events couldn’t have been more helpful and accommodating – huge thanks to Jan and Lynn! With the VIP upgrade we had some chill time to discuss the stalls we’d visited so far in the VIP Lounge (decorated by Humphries AV, Prominent Events, Thornton Events) with Prosecco on tap and delicious canapés from D’vine Catering. We then were escorted to front row seats for the Runway Show.

I have to admit I thought the runway was going to be twenty minutes of commenting on the prettiness of some dresses I’d never wear and developing a complex about how much dieting I still have to do to avoid blissful wedded FATrimony. Both of those things did happen… BUT… I also got to see how the menswear worked on the runway, a great opportunity I didn’t expect, and one that has actually thrown a spanner in the works for our whole colour scheme. Seeing the guys in the suits on the runway gave me more of an appreciation for traditional colours so it opens up even more possibilities. My mother is happy, as she’s not fully sold on my colour scheme. I reminded her that her young bridesmaid and pageboy wore their recycled First Holy Communion outfits for her wedding so she can get in the bin.

It is in the forefront of my mind that all of these smaller details depend upon the venue, which we do not yet have. Our inclination towards the warehouse vibe remains unchanged but we are no closer to finding one. Right now it all feels a bit like Netflix… knowing you want to watch a film but having so much to choose from you don’t know what is going to be for the best; or in our case letting your mind get carried away with invitation styles when you don’t actually know where people will be invited to. I need to know where and when it will be so we can plan accordingly: choose decorations and entertainment that suits the venue, finalise budget allocations based on how much of the budget goes to the venue and what we get for that deal. This week’s job is to arrange some viewings.

But that is actually why we attended today: the lovely folks at Wachadoin’ Events told us last week that venues would be presenting at this fair so it’d be a good one to attend. Side note – Wachadoin’ Events have an amazing set of brand new gold and neon wings revealed exclusively for this weekend’s show and they are beautiful!

Another little perk of this being our second event was bumping into companies we met last week, especially Daisy from Groom and The Wedding House Liverpool (who have their own fair coming up 8th/9th Feb!) and Wendi, the celebrant. We already have celebrant plans (will discuss all in a future blog) but if we didn’t I’m sure Wendi would be our gal!

Amongst the amazing new suppliers we met today were:

  • BARS – The Distillery Box, The Vintage Van Company
  • CAKE – Debbie Gillespie Cake Design
  • CATERING – D’vine Catering
  • CLOTHING – This Is Me Bridal Southport, Slaters Menswear
  • EVENT EXTRAS – Lovely Booths, Schlizzy
  • FLOWERS – Little Eden Flowers, Flowers at the Dutch Barn, Maddison Rocks Floral Sculpture
  • MUSIC – Victoria Sharpe (Piano & Vocals)
  • PHOTOGRAPHY – Vicki Clayson Photography, Jaine Briscoe Price Wedding Photographer
  • STATIONARY – Tatty Lashes, By InvitatiOnly, Elite Invite, Prim & Glad
  • VENUES – The Tipis at Riley Green, Rowton Hall Country House and Spa, West Tower

I have to say the most impressive thing about this event is the inclusion of the groom. Even down to the stickers given out on arrival saying ‘bride’ and/or ‘groom’. Just having that option is so welcoming, especially whilst creating this blog, and means the suppliers can recognise who to talk to within a party, making the whole day more personal. My future mother-in-law is also planning her wedding for September and we did get a few awkward moments when people thought we were marrying each other. Then I tried on a veil and they realised we each had our own groom.

You could easily make your way to the specific stands you want to see and be in and out within an hour. We took 4 hours to visit all of the stalls, though most of that was me deep in conversation and the mothers eye rolling to move on and repeating the phrase “He can talk to anyone, can’t he?’. Yes I can, and will, because I’m finding that all of these gorgeous people who talk to you just want to help make your day better. And yes, they want to be the ones you choose to get the help from.

I’m setting the task now: find the venue.

Requirements: warehouse/rustic-barn/quirky-space, nice toilets, fully wheelchair accessible, not too far from the Liverpool area, somewhere we both agree on.

Time scale for completion: 2 months (negotiable).

Task is set: @MistersWhoMarry over and out!

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