Why you should work with Indie Bespoke Bridal Designers… Most Curious Wedding Fair Part 1

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A Most Curious Wedding Fair returns with some spectacular indie designers…

We are about to fly straight into wedding fair season and one show I’m really excited about visiting this year, for the first time is A Most Curious Wedding Fair.

Most Curious is the biggest independent style-focused wedding show in the UK; holding two shows in Spring, one in London on the 2-4th March and another in Norwich on the 25th March 2018.

This year Mr & Mrs Unique is sponsoring the show and we will be giving away our limited edition printed 2018 magazine within their VIP bags… I’ve not even seen it in print yet, so those getting a copy will be first in the UK to do so!

What I LOVE about Most Curious is the way it supports and promotes really cool, style focused, bespoke wedding suppliers. With this in mind I’m going to hand you over to Rebecca Hoh-Hale; head honcho at MC to tell us about some of the suppliers attending and why we should be investing in and working with indie bespoke designers for our wedding day….

Rebecca…

If using indie makers and suppliers that have a bespoke outlook is something already on your radar; that’s the key to getting a thoughtful design and something truly representative of you and your partner for your big day.

What about the less obvious advantages? Here at Most Curious, the wedding show for the style-savvy couple, we are set up as a platform to not only project these skilled, indie makers straight to the couples who fit so well with them, but to sing and showcase their talents too. So, this article is all about the great things you get from working with a bespoke approach with bespoke designers on your wedding, complete with some words of advice from our 2018 show exhibitors on how to get the best out of the process.

 

THE ACCESSORIES…

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Lizzie McQuade, of Lizzie McQuade Millinery

When you work one to one with a designer I think its natural for them to also offer advice, support or a shoulder to cry on about the stresses of planning a wedding! It’s been lovely (and unexpected!) to hear from some of clients that their appointments with me were a ‘positive and calming influence’ during the wedding planning process.

Whether you’re happier presenting your brief to me as a general talk about a vibe or a feeling you want to freate or with a series of reference images and specific details, they’re both a perfect starting point to get things right. The way you approach this also helps me understand you as a person, which is key to getting the piece just right.

The most important starting point when commissioning a piece is to choose someone who’s overall aesthetic you love, and the rest will be easy. Specific trims, details etc can all be worked out but their design language has to chime with you. If you have a specific budget in mind do mention this, it’s so good to know at the outset. And always try to leave enough time to ensure the idea develops perfectly!

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My Process…

Once someone gets in touch I set a date to meet them face to face. We’ll look at pictures of the dress, flowers, ideas they have and discuss how they want to wear their hair and what they will feel comfortable in on the day.

I’ll then make a series of sketches and source some fabric and trim options, and when they have chosen their design will take a deposit and start making the piece.

I like to send updates as we go; pictures can help with the making process as the design process really continues for me on the stand, and then when we have reached a good stage we’ll have a fitting and make any alterations and changes before delivering the final piece. A bespoke piece will take longer to create and there might be one, two or more fittings to make it right – for us, it takes around around four weeks, from conception to delivery.

 

THE DRESS…

Jessica Turner of Jessica Turner Designs

My Process…

The first date – coffee! This is when brides and I chat about what they want and what I can offer. From our conversation I can gauge whether we have similar tastes and whether we are compatible or not. I have my unique style and not everyone will like what I do but I respect that. Generally, brides only get in touch if they relate to my work and have found examples of my work that fit with their perfect style or idea, and so the next step is about building that relationship.

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Photo Maxeen Kim

Next is a consultation, which takes place in the studio. At the consultation, brides can browse through my collection to discuss their favourite styles and try on samples, whilst also going into depth about what works for them and their body shape.  It isn’t about walking into a boutique, and looking through lots of dresses absent-mindedly: the experience is more personal. A final sketch of their ideal wedding dress is prepared for brides to take home, which is a lovely keepsake.

The next stage is placing the deposit and making the toile. For a bespoke dress there needs to be good levels of communication to ensure neither party has fears of not liking it – and more importantly, to ensure that at the end, they love it! I do at least 3-4 fittings after the first consultation but I am happy to do as many as the bride feels the need to. 

Lastly, the finished dress! This is the best bit, I get to see the final creation and I am usually just as moved as the bride!! I love seeing their excitement, it makes my work worthwhile. 

 

THE STATIONERY…

Lorna McGinnigal of E.Y.I.LOVE

A real benefit of working with bespoke suppliers is that we truly care about what we do..It’s not just a “business”, but our dream! The attention to detail will be there – with a level of flexibility and a personal touch which you will never find when you deal with the big guys. I know we would hate to put anything out of our studio doors which we thought didn’t represent us well, so we would always go the extra mile to achieve this and I think you will find this with most bespoke suppliers.

Pinterest is great for gaining an overall feel of what each couple like. However, it can at times be overbearing, and very easy to go in the wrong direction if we solely relied on it. We try to gauge the overall vibe of a couple from Pinterest, but we also ask them to provide a very select amount of images to highlight the particular elements they are drawn to, and describe EXACTLY what it is in particular they’re drawn to. (as it’s not necessarily going to be the same thing I’m drawn to!)

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Photo by The Curries

My Process…

As a start I think it’s important to know your styles are going to work together. If you love our style and have been double tapping our insta feed for weeks – then you are most certainly the right type of person for us, and it’s a good basis to start from! We are such a visual company, so most of our couples and clients are too. However, if you are determined to “change us” and you send us any ideas and images which pull up a red flag for us (glitter and tartan NO NO!! ) – we will certainly let you know. There’s people out there for you.

One of my favourite projects was for a couple of film fanatics, marrying in the Glasgow Film Theatre, an independent art deco cinema in the centre of Glasgow.

We designed bespoke tickets for them, with tear off stubs and popcorn favours. We had a huge billboard outside the cinema with a poster designed for their wedding and lots of graphics to be shown on the ‘Big Screen’. For another fave is it ok to say our own wedding?! It’s where the whole love of playing with pretty paper came from, and I can honestly say working within the wedding industry had NEVER been on my radar until I fell in love with printing our own love story. I poured every ounce of my creativity into our wedding and I truly fell in love with making paper goods. It was probably my most challenging too, come to think of it. I am a Very demanding client!

 

THE CAKE…

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Emma Page of Emma Page Buttercream Cakes

Pinterest is good way to present your ideas, as it groups images on a board according to colour and tone, so it kind of tells a story of what the pinner is trying to achieve. A perfect customer would assemble a board of textiles, natural images, flowers, architecture, home accessories; anything that they just love the look of. This would really give an insight into their taste. Where do they shop? An Anthropologie or Liberty shopper will probably enjoy designs with a lot of detail and wit about them. If a customer is wearing something vintage they’ll probably have quite a sophisticated and idiosyncratic approach, which is a huge amount of fun for me.

I need to see images of the venue and the flowers they’re likely to have. I actually dont’ find it helpful when couples bring lots of cake images because I can’t copy someone else’s cake and it’s just a distraction.

When it comes to finding the right person, really have a good look at the supplier’s work. When someone emails me that they want a Despicable Me wedding cake they’ve not looked at my website. Don’t just contact people who live locally, you’re better off exchanging emails with someone far away if they do exactly what you want than meeting with someone face to face. State your budget. If a couple says to me ‘We love this cake on your website (say it’s £750), but we’ve only got £450 to spend’ I’ll probably be able to help them with something that has a similar character to it but less detail, or it’s smaller. Maybe they can get someone to collect it and save on delivery. Don’t assume that a supplier that has 2,500 Instagram followers or images in a national magazine will be above your budget.

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My Process…

Sometimes couples book a tasting, but to be honest this can be less fruitful than sharing thoughts images on email. I find that in real life couples are shy to say they don’t like something if it’s clear that I do, even if it’s a lampshade or a biscuit. So I can end up with quite a confused grasp of what they want. In writing, customers are more forthcoming and honest.

Tastings are less common now. Usually a bride (sometime a groom) will email me and say that they’ve seen a particular cake on my website that they like, could something similar be made incorporating particular colours or a type of lace and I’ll sketch something and send it over to them to scribble on.

People are really scared of sketching but it’s the best way to get your ideas across, even if you think it looks totally rubbish. A bride once sent me a doodle of a cake she’d dreamt up on a Frankie and Benny’s serviette. ‘Don’t laugh!’ she said, but it was all I needed to make her the perfect cake and became my first company logo.

If you would like to meet these and other incredible indie bridal designers you must come along to Most Curious shows.

For more information and tickets click HERE

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