What comes to mind when you hear the word tradition? Boring? Uncreative? Obligatory? It doesn’t have to be any of that. When planning a wedding, […]
And that’s a wrap!
And just like that, we made history! Months and months of planning culminated in a weekend of powerful discussion, inspiration, connection tears and joy last weekend at the UK’s first wedding show dedicated to diversity: Nu bride The Wedding Show.
If you put your heart, mind, body and soul into it. Anything is possible.
I always encourage you to be the change they want to see. That if you are not happy with something, to lead by example. Last weekend I took my own advice and made history by launching the UK’s first inclusive wedding show at chic new contemporary lux venue – Camden House, North London.
I won’t lie, this show has not come without huge cost, in health, money and time. But, the rewards it continues to give are far greater . Like the women that came up to me afterwards and said “thank you for seeing me” to the deaf couples getting married who thanked me for creating a show that included them. The couples fusing cultures together who were brimming with ideas that were relevant to them and to my black and brown beauties and my ladies of more than one body shape who had their boobs & bones celebrated on the catwalk .
All it takes is desire and a team of cheerleaders behind you to lift you up when everyone says you can’t because it hasn’t been done before.
A huge thank you to headline sponsors LABS Camden House, event production geniuses Light Motif, Patchwork (responsible for for our show branding) and beauty giants, show partners and diversity legends Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, wonderful partners Brides do Good; whose mission is to help eradicate child marriage by funding programmes through the sale of designer wedding dresses to empower vulnerable young girls and educate communities. A thank you to every single exhibitor and helper that believed in me and Nu Bride The Wedding Show without question and with full gusto from the beginning.
Here’s a little snippet of what we got up to, enjoy these incredible images from our official show photographer Becky Bailey.
FULL of nerves, we kicked off on Friday, after an early morning of set up and rehearsals, with a press, industry and VIP guest preview with a sexy Audi R8 neatly parked outside provided by LuxGo to wow guests.
I always knew I wanted Nu Bride The Wedding Show to only feature equality-minded brands that care about diversity and individuality. Everyone was hand-picked and that was the right decision as there was a warm supportive feel throughout both days. So much so, couples didn’t want to leave!
Guests were welcomed with a buzz of energy, refreshing rum cocktails, canapes with a Caribbean twist including sweet potato and chilli croquettes, red snapper and ginger and rum and banana cakes. A taste of a bespoke menu put together by the impressive former Head chef from Harrods Alistair Dibbs – the F&B team at Camden House were a DREAM to work with. Attentive, inventive and Nothing was too much trouble.
“This was without a doubt, the best wedding show we have attended. From the entertainment and high quality ethical merchandise, to relevant workshops and talks. But above all there was a real spiritual and welcoming vibe from start to finish. Absolutely wonderful”
I wanted considered touches throughout the Camden House to show off it’s stylish Tom Dixon interiors. Exhibitor spaces and curated inspiration areas, were beautifully presented by equality-minded wedding professionals including show stopping cakes by Sweet Hollywood, delicious grazing tables from The Curated Kitchen, stylish table-scapes by Prezola and impressive flowers by Emma Soulsby Flowers. I put a ban on pull up banners. I hate them and I wanted exhibitors to think outside the box and create spaces that only inspire visitors but encourage creatives to actually get creative. You can’t get creative with a trestle table. So it was wonderful seeing the space being brought to life.
Celebrity wedding planner Julie Perry, founder of Julie Perry Events whose work has been featured on 10 front covers of Hello and OK! Magazine shared an honest account of her humble beginnings planning celebrations for high profile clients and gave guests tips on how to manage pressure and how to cope when things go wrong…(because, they do!)
Holistic healthcare leaders Weleda UK were on hand to offer facials, hand massages and organic skin care advice and joined a panel discussion on sustainability.
Guests were also given the opportunity to win a romantic experience for two courtesy of brilliantly chic moment driven experiences Truly experiences. PLUS the first 100 through the door were each given a £150 gift voucher towards their wedding jewellery courtesy of one of THE most inclusive jewellers I know who care deeply about diversity Queensmith in Hatton Gardens.
We had vibrant panel discussions throughout both days, including an important discussion on diversity in the wedding industry (and beyond) hosted by journalist and BBC broadcaster Claire Clottey, with a call to action to businesses and wedding media to prioritise diversity and to couples to use their buying power and only spend with equality-minded businesses and brands that are representative of them.
Brides do Good also spoke passionately about sustainability, fast fashion and how couples can take responsibility and be more mindful of planning a sustainable wedding. There were interactive workshops throughout the day including vow writing led by talented exhibitors Ave Creations and how to fuse cultures together by Ananya Cards to name a few.
The show intentionally encompassed diversity and inclusion. From the range of models on the catwalk in both ethnicity and body size, rocking Rita Colson, House of Bilimoria, Keye London, Charlie Brear and Brides do Good. To the fusion of dance from Sol Dans Company and live singing from BBC One’s Pitch Battle finalists Songbird Sessions and Jay Emme Cellist that moved the audience to tears. To the BSL interpreters, inclusive makeup provided by Bobbi Brown Cosmetics for all skin tones and genders to the diversity of equality minded suppliers and the diverse representation in team behind the show.
By far one of my most favourite moments of the show, we ended with a panel discussion from married couples (including the popular Afolabis) from a variety of backgrounds, faiths and sexual orientation, talking about their marriage, sharing honest accounts of challenges including prejudice and discrimination within families and how to overcome them, how to define modern roles and how to make this funny thing called marriage work.
“Thank you for Nu Bride The Wedding Show – it was by far the best wedding show I have ever attended. I LOVED the celebration of diversity” Amaka
Bobbi Brown Pro Artist Adeola – who led the creative direction on all our show beauty. In a panel discussion about inclusive beauty and skin care with Joyce Connor Make up and show manager and panel host Natalie Edwards.
Tell Your Story our official cinematographers capturing the catwalk moments.
DJ Dom in the house with Matt Maurice events.
There’s definitely no I in team and I could not have done this without the kindness of strangers, last-minute helpers like HipHip Hooray and Bespoke Vintage Castle, volunteers and team Nu Bride; Natalie, Adonica, Lexie, Mako, Ika, Thandi and Phyllis, Mr Nu Bride.
And last but by no means least, of course a huge thank you to every one of you who showed up last weekend.
Heart well and truly full.
(Ps. Stay tuned for our highlight video from the talented Tell Your Story Photography and Film)
Want to see more from Nu Bride The Wedding Show? Nu Bride is currently seeking investment for Nu Bride The Wedding Show 2020 – if you would like to find out more about this one-of-a-kind wedding experience and if you can help please email firstname.lastname@example.org