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The Indie Wedding Fair

The Indie Wedding Fair

Well hello there lovely bride to be! How is your 2016 going? Lots of planning? Lots of lists and Pinspiration boards? Lots of wedding fairs? Well, today we're going to share with you something a bit different, an alternative wedding fair, a wedding fair for the not-so-same bride who wants something unique from her big day. We're meeting the lady behind the fabulous Indie Wedding Fair, held in Manchester. She shares with us what makes this event so different to all the others!

Firstly, can you tell us a bit about you, the fabulous lady behind the Indie Wedding Fair?

Well, I don't know about fabulous... but I do enjoy being referred to as a lady ;-) Very civilised, indeed! I'm Ellie, a 30 year old self-confessed weddings and florals enthusiast and Northern Yorkshire Tea drinker extraordinaire. I live near Sheffield with my soon-to-be husband and our little lady, who is two and a half. My first ever job, at 14 (it was acceptable in the 90s, I think?!) was in a small bridal shop and florists in the village where I grew up. What followed was an array of studying, events and marketing jobs, a cheeky ski season (where I met said handsome beau) and a full circle return over a year ago to where I began: weddings and special events... (with an emphasis on beautiful, bespoke and meaningful events, styled accordingly!)

So what is the Indie Wedding Fair? What can our brides expect?

The Indie Wedding Fair is an alternative style of wedding fair. First and foremost, it is indie friendly; exhibitor costs shouldn't justify any hounding tactics on the day! I want brides and grooms to enjoy their wedding planning and access the variety of incredible options out there, rather than just accepting a 'standard wedding package'. I want people to explore their options and have whatever they like, rather than thinking there is a prescriptive format to follow. There just isn't! There is no rule book- do it your own way, guys and gals! Yes, lean on people for advice, inspiration or guidance but also have some idea of what you actually want from your wedding day.

I want your brides and grooms to meet the incredible, passionate, creative suppliers behind the products, many of them handcrafted and totally bespoke by indie traders and smaller businesses, so they can see for themselves just how much love, thought and effort goes into what they do. These guys are the creators!

Couples can expect a unique, festival-style event full of ace suppliers. Held in Giant Tipis, which are a fabulous alternative style of venue that allow couples to get creative and make their wedding day a unique and personalised affair. I wanted to give an insight into some of the options to consider when planning a wedding. If it's something a bit more rustic than razzle dazzle, you're after, if you're more of a 'Boho Betsy' or a 'Festival Freda' or you just want to open your mind to a different breed of weddings; then we are the fair for you.


What inspired you to set up the Indie Wedding Fair?

I really love events that are a bit different. I like people to think about their own tastes, their own style and what they like - before just plumping for a 'theme' because it's what they think they should do. I wanted an alternative offering in the mighty north, and I couldn't find it.... So I created it! 

Can you tell us a bit about the journey you've been on with it, how have you gone about choosing businesses to be involved, deciding on a venue etc? 

I thankfully had access to a lot of like minded folk who seemed to share my vision for the event and wanted to be involved! It's been a while in the planning! Many of my exhibitors contacted me organically, as smaller indie traders who had heard about it on the grapevine. The venue was the easy part! I coordinated and styled a Tipi wedding there last year... so I knew it was a great spot to pitch up some giant tents and show what we can do. It's also very fitting as the landowner runs a small business too - importing fine wines and olive oils and running wine tasting courses (a great hen or stag idea!).

If our brides would like to come along, what do they need to do?

You can buy a ticket online, via eventbrite in advance, or just pay on the day on the gate. £4 early bird or £6 fizz ticket!

If you want to use our complimentary UBER code, it's INDIEWEDFAIR and that gets new Uber users £15 journey credit, gratis. Whoop!

We feel very passionate about wedding couples having a wedding that represents them and is unique to their personalities, quirks and differences. What advice would you give to brides and grooms wanting to have a more alternative wedding?

Do it! Do whatever you want, it's a great opportunity to make it all about your story and about what's important to you. The person you're marrying loves your quirks, celebrate them! Don't shoehorn your personality into something that doesn't fit.

Discover more at www.indieweddingfair.co.uk

Written by Ellie Softley

You can find Ellie on twitter: @softtouchevents

or on Facebook: Soft Touch Events / The Indie Wedding Fair 

and on Pinterest and Instagram: Soft Touch Events

Photography by the Indie Wedding Fair

Tipi photos courtesy of Tipi Unique

The Indie Wedding Fair will be featuring the following exhibitors:

Bespoke Designer/Makers:

Erica Stacey (Couture Dress Designer/ Maker)

Dolly Clothes Peg Vintage

The Photographers:

Hannah Dornford May

Zoe Carter Ingham 

Project Valentine

The Accessories:

Butterlane Antiques

Silver Sixpence in her Shoe

Folky Dokey


The Stationery:

Rodo Creative

To & From

Deannamic Designs

Screenprinted bags from:


The Organisers & Stylists:

Soft Touch Events

Kandy Party & Events

Rustic Wedding Settings

Alternative Weddings

One Stop Parties

The Alternative Ceremony:

Exclusive Ceremonies (Celebrant)

The Venues:

Ashton Hall Farm

The Wellbeing Farm

Tipi Unique

The Flowers:


Carol's Garden (also a flower grower!)

Sweetpea & Thyme

Hen & Stag Ideas:

Silver Sixpence Workshops

Celia's Sausage Making Sessions (!) at the Wellbeing Farm

Riding lessons with Ashton Hall Equestrian Centre

DIY Flowers and Flower Crown Workshops with Carol's Garden

The Wine & Fizz:

Da Vin Wines

The Sound & Staging:

Neuron Pro Audio

The Lights:

Not Just Lights

Love Lights the Way

The Videographers:


Old Bear

Fraggell Productions

Frame Your Day

The Musicians:

Felix M-B 

The Notes

Nat O'Brien Band

The Travel Inspiration:

Mark Bratt, Independent Travel Consultant

The Ice Cream:

Love My Trike

The Cakes:

Alice's Vintage Pantry 

Claire's Cake Boutique

Purple Butterfly

The Hair, Make Up & Sparkle:

Glenda: Vintage Caravan - hair and powder room

Wish upon a Sparkle

The Transport:

Great White Occasions

VW Split Screen 

The Photo Booth:


The Foodies:

Pie Eyed

Stonebakers Artisan Pizzas

Top Table

The Bean Rover


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