Never, ever before have I spent a full 5 hours at a wedding fair. Ever. Usually i'll wander about for a while and meet some very lovely suppliers, but not often anyone who gives me that "OH YEAH!" lightbulb moment! Most Curious was the opposite of that - total inspiration galore, for anyone who is wanting to avoid a cookie cutter wedding.
Taking place on the 18th & 19th March at the Old Truman Brewery in East London (just off Brick Lane), Most Curious is a relatively long-running bridal show (now in it's 6th year) and bills itself as "THE wedding show for the style savvy couple". Having never been before, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I knew that if there was ever a wedding fair that would inspire me then this would be the one!
Upon arriving, we were greeted by a small queue full of brides, grooms and eager anticipation, waiting to ascend a pink balloon-lined staircase. Once we entered the venue, we were greeted by an amazing installation (shown in photo to the left) by The Curious Collection and Geo Fleur x Clare Nicholson - I instantly knew this was going to be like no other wedding fair...
Every year, the fair has a theme - this year it was Pinktopia and Electric Dreams. Think chintzy, 70s dusty velvety pink (no Barbie princesses here), neon lights, fuchsia uplighting and tropical floral installations.
I attended the fair as a girls day out with my best pal Kayti (fashion/product photographer and editor of Caboodle Magazine), and so I got us VIP tickets (TREAT. YO. SELF. right?!) The show was huge (almost 150 amazing exhibitors) so we planned to split up the show into sections, using the fashion show and lunch as intervals, which worked really well. We did make a slight rookie error - we didn't realise the Palm Vaults pop up cafe was serving food, so we ended up going out for lunch instead (though on a side note - if you're hungry in the Brick Lane area I can definitely recommend DF Mexico, it's yummy).
One thing I loved was that the exhibitors were all really varied in style (all uber cool, but in totally different ways) and also that they weren't really southern-centric in terms of location. There were exhibitors from all over the country, which was ace. It was great to walk round and meet all the amazing creative people, who are the now, new and next in the wedding industry (you can read more about our favourite exhibitors further down the page). As we were exploring the show even the grooms-to-be seemed to be getting inspired by what they saw, rather than the male wedding fair ritual I usually witness - fellas following their fiances about with a glazed expression whilst periodically checking the football scores! The atmosphere was electric all day, with music being provided by Music by Kate and Dave, and Wedding Jam - Wedding Jam actually provided their awesome playlist on a CD in the VIP goodie bag, and i'm LOVING having it in my car at the moment!
One of the VIP ticket perks was that you'd have reserved seating for the fashion show - obviously with being a blogger and keen Instagrammer, being close to the catwalk was a priority for me! Sadly, the seating situation was a free for all (it could have been better if they'd had a Most Curious team member making sure it was just VIP ticket holders getting access to the limited seating), and so in order to secure a seat we had to sit down for about 40 minutes before the fashion show. The show itself showcased some fabulous pieces, and it was amazing to see so many indie designers being featured - after the long wait in the morning we did decide not to watch the second show in the afternoon though, and instead took the opportunity to chat to the exhibitors whilst it was a bit quieter!
Overall, the design details throughout the show were clearly well thought through, and the exhibitors were fantastic. I loved the fact that rather having proper fixed exhibition stands, the exhibitors had creative freedom to make their own exhibition stand. I totally loved the greenhouse stand by Geo Fleur x Clare Nicholson (pictured to the right).
I think with a little work on some of the logistical elements around the VIP tickets, and a little polishing on some elements of the fashion show production then I think it really could be the perfect wedding fair! That said, for what the show lacked in polish, it more than made up for in heart, soul and individuality, and that's what makes this wedding fair so freaking wonderful and refreshing. I can't wait to see what Becky and her dream team come up with for A Most Curious Wedding Fair 2018!
Our Top Most Curious Exhibitor Picks:
The Portrait Machine (www.theportraitmachine.co.uk)
Taking things one step further than a photo booth, the Portrait Machine is owned by illustrator Amy, who sits in the "machine" and draws your guests in exchange for one of the vintage machine tickets - SO fun and unique and we think your guests will love it!
Jane Bowler Bridal (www.janebowler.co.uk)
Jane's collection, created in collaboration with Heather Orr, is a work of art - there's no other way to put it! It's intricate, beautiful and so unique. I've admired Jane's work for a while now (see a previous blog post on Alternative Wedding Dress Designers) so it was incredible to see her designs in real life. Stunning.
Frog Floral Artistry (www.frogflowers.co.uk)
Again, someone I have been stalking on Instagram for a long time now, fellow Northerners Frog really stole the show at A Most Curious Wedding Fair this year. Their colourful tropical floral installations were the highlight of the day for me, so creative and fresh!
Oh Squirrel (www.ohsquirrel.co.uk)
I was delighted that stationery queen Katie from Oh Squirrel was there with her wares - I was lucky enough to have one of their floral Bride to Be sashes at my own hen party, and I loved it! If willy straws, limos and feather boas aren't your bag, then you'll love Oh Squirrel. Which brings me nicely on to...
When it comes to fun, Cluck know what they're on about. They organise super fun hen parties, which are classy, entertaining and not remotely naff. If you'd like to get your best girls together for a jewellery workshop at Tatty Devine, a hula hooping workshop, a Beyonce dance workshop, a neon sign making class or even a TAXIDERMY WORKSHOP - these guys will make it happen!
Daisy Sheldon Embroidery (www.daisysheldon.co.uk)
By all accounts, i'm not a very girly girl, but Daisy Sheldon's stand blew me away. Full of frothy lace, tulle and silk, her work is breathtakingly pretty. The highlight for me was the long embroidered veil (see the second photo in the gallery below), and she also showcased some of her lingerie and accessories too. Everything is handcrafted and made to order - and so beautiful.
Tuppence Collective (www.tuppencecollective.co.uk)
Surface pattern designers Tuppence Collective took home the best stationer award in the show's Bridal Next awards, and it was so well deserved! Their hand painted botanical patterns make their unique telegram style stationery look so exciting and modern - our favourite print is the pink palm leaf style!
Ed Godden Photography (www.edgodden.co.uk)
Another person I’ve been admiring from afar on social media for a while now – the lovely Ed Godden. A fellow hater of posed photography and staged group shots, his photography really speaks to me in terms of colour, personality and spontaneity. (I had to try so hard not to have an embarrassing “fan girl” style geek out when I met him)!
Photo Booth Guys (www.photobooth.co)
Because why hire a regular photo booth when you could have one that can do GIFS and Boomerang videos as well?! So much fun, and we can pretty much guarantee the videos would be hilarious to watch after the wedding too (who doesn’t want footage of their Grandad repeatedly doing the robot?!)
Dana Dallal (www.danadallalbridal.com)
My own personal fashion style is definitely “more is more”, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate and love simplicity too! Dana Dallal’s bridal collection is so simple, but exquisitely made from the most beautiful fabrics. The dresses are modern, unique and timeless – my favourites are the marbled Freesia slip dress, and the ombre sunrise printed Daphne dress.
Howling Moon (www.howling-moon.co.uk)
A while back I’d seen a model wearing a crystal shard crown for one of my fave bridal designers, Rolling in Roses, and loved it. I had no idea who it was made by until stumbling across the wonderful Howling Moon’s stand at A Most Curious Wedding Fair. If your bridal look is mystical and romantic, you’ll love their headpiece creations!
Disco Shed/Disco Wed (www.discowed.com)
If the words “wedding DJ” fill you with visions of cheesy music, dance routines and dodgy mixing skills, you’re not alone! The Disco Shed (who have played at Bestival, Reading/Leeds Fesitval, Latitude and more) were constantly requested to play at people’s weddings as they wanted a great DJ set, and so came along their venture “Disco Wed”! They have a super cool festival-grade set up, either indoor or outdoor, and will definitely have your guests partying all night to amazing tunes!
I can't recommend the show highly enough - follow @mostcuriouswedfair on Instagram for the latest information on the 2018 show dates, or if you're free on the 9th April 2017, you can catch the second, smaller show At St Andrew's Hall in Norwich. If you can't wait until then, check out the hashtags #getcurious and #amcwf on Instagram to get inspired!
(Click to enlarge)
(Photo credits: Top of page by Eleanor Hardwick. Gallery and other photos by April Moores, Kook Events & Kayti Peschke, Kayti Peschke Photography. Needless to say, Katyi's are the good ones!)