The new normal? Eurgh I hate that phrase! I sure as balls don’t want to get used to living in this weird, no contact world. But until things are changed by the bods in charge, then we have to make do as best we can. The fact that we can all move around a little more freely now, plus weddings starting to take place (albeit in a very small capacity) mean that we can start planning our kick ass weddings again. So, as a wedding & events organiser I decided that I’d get things moving over on the Bad Ass Bridal Show.
I’m starting with the introduction of 2 new online wedding shows – still in keeping with the alternative & quirky themes though!
Sunday 12 July is The Bad Ass Bridal Show, and Sunday 26 July is Fabulous Festival Weddings (for anyone having an outdoor wedding). Both online wedding shows will be full of inspiring suppliers, raring to take your awesome ideas & create a wedding day as unique as yourself.
On those dates, you’ll head over to the Bad Ass Bridal Show Facebook page & over the course of each day, meet around 20-30 suppliers from all parts of the industry. From wedding venues to outfits, from wedding photographers to wedding cakes, from wedding flowers to wedding entertainment, and everything in between. They’ll each pop up on the screen to introduce themselves over the course of 15 minutes, giving you an insight into just what makes them the ideal choice for your wedding or celebration.
As always, there’s no hard sell, just a fun chat with friends. Interaction comes in the comments section of each video, where you can ask questions to each supplier, find out more about their business, their past clients, their future availability, follow them on their socials, & hopefully like them enough to take discussions offline & into a consultation.
The last few online wedding shows that I’ve held have been great fun, with lots of views & interactions, & lovely feedback from both suppliers & couples alike (which of course, I’ve kept & refer back to on any days I’m not feeling so positive) 😊
Then we have the onsite shows! Yep, I’m getting brave. I have 3 wedding shows planned at 2 venues in the Autumn, but they will look a little different to what we’re used to. Let’s try & unravel it all.
For visitors, upon arrival & throughout the event there will be sanitisation stations. There’s a timed entry system to keep numbers within the space at a safe level. No more walk ins for the foreseeable. To attend, you HAVE to pre register on the website. There’ll be social distancing measures in place, with areas clearly marked to keep a safe distance between visitors. Wearing of masks will be encouraged where possible.
Each vendor will be expected to assess their space & adhere to social distancing, & encouraged to have sanitiser on their stand where possible. I’m afraid visitors won’t be able to pick up & put down items on wedding supplier stands. Instead you’ll need to “look but don’t touch”. I appreciate that sounds like something you’d say to a child lol, but if it can’t be sanitised quickly & easily, you can’t touch it. Wearing of masks will be encouraged where possible.
Communal areas of the venues will be kept clean & sanitised. Not that they aren’t usually! But extra measures will be put in place.
All this being said, I’m writing this post in late June and who knows. By time the time of our first show (Saturday 19 September) maybe we won’t need all the measures. But for now, this is what we’re looking at.
The onsite shows will be held on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th September at Flaxbourne Gardens (yep, we’re gonna do a double – pray for my sanity haha!) then on Sunday 1st November you’ll find us at Bedford Corn Exchange, in the main auditorium. Yep – that’s right. I have high hopes that this autumns shows are going to be small in number but perfectly formed for your wedding planning pleasure.
Oh! One final new thing I’m introducing. The success of The Bad Ass Bridal Show is built on community spirit & the HUGE support I get from the wedding suppliers, who show up week after week to provide you guys with stunning service time & again.
As a thank you, I’m now including a social media “takeover” as part of the package when they take part in a show. This means that they get the chance to take over one of my social media pages for 12 hours at any point they choose (1 takeover per supplier) to use it to market their services, outside of the wedding shows they’re involved in. So if they have a brilliant offer, or just started a new line in their business, or rebranded & want to show it off, well they can use my page to help further their reach.
I wanted to give something back because while this lockdown & postponement of events has been super tough, the support I’ve received throughout has been AMAZING. So time to pay it forward 😊
OK that’s enough from me. If you want info on either visiting or partaking in any of the shows then pop me a note on firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get the deets to you.
Take care & thanks for being you. You’re bloody awesome <3 . Stay safe & here’s to a more positive end of the year!
Back last year, I looked at my business, at the huge amount of talented wedding vendors who show up at every wedding show, and I asked myself… Am I doing the wedding specialists justice? Am I creating wedding shows that are inspiring & inspirational spaces? Am I presenting people in the best possible light, setting us apart from the rest of the wedding shows out there?
My honest answer… No. I'm not ashamed to say that I’ve got into a bit of a funk, using a tried & tested template for every wedding show, & not thinking about the fact that weddings have changed, therefore wedding shows should have to do as well.
Now I’m not saying I stopped caring. Anyone who has worked with me or even just see my online presence knows that I put my all into making sure every wedding show is marketed to my fullest capacity.
However I’m fully open to admitting that I should have made the days more exciting & vibrant. I myself am an outgoing person, & my shows should have reflected this.
Which brings me back to my moment of reflection last year.
I wanted to focus on bringing together suppliers who were as quirky as I am, & creating inspiring wedding shows that were unlike any others in the area. I sat & thought (probably with a glass of something chilled too, as let’s face it, that’s when I have my best ideas!) & the Anti Wedding Show was born. The response from wedding suppliers & couples was amazing & positive. The comments I heard over & again was “thank goodness there's somewhere to meet quirky suppliers in the area!” YES!
Don’t let the name confuse you – I am in no way anti wedding. Instead I’m anti tradition. I’m anti other peoples opinions on your big day. I’m anti following trends just please others, instead of yourself. In fact, my motto is "Your Day, Your Way" along with telling people to stick 2 fingers up to any wedding ideas that doesn’t make them happy.
The Anti Wedding Show is all about presenting couples with amazing wedding specialists who buck the trend, and embrace the couples wishes, however funky and alternative they may be. Think Gothic. Think about colour versus deep tones. Think mixtures of textures and themes. I think colourful wedding dresses… The list is huge. Previous anti wedding shows were well received, I even made it onto BBC Radio to discuss them, as they caught so many people's attention.
My awesome feedback shows just how popular they are too, so I’m super pissed that we’ve had to stop for a while. During this downtime though, I’ve continue to ponder on what I offer & how I can improve on the experience.
So do you know what I decided to do? I rebranded!
Beckie Melvin Events is a nice enough name - I mean, after all it’s my own name! But it didn’t exactly give the punchy, exciting impression I wanted. In came The Bad Ass Bridal Show. Yes! I’ve got that tingle, you know the one, the one that tells you you’re about to do something really exciting & that could change the way you work in the future. I’ve got that. I finally had a name that suited what I did.
Right now at time of writing, I’m in the process of changing all my social media handles, writing the new website, etc. It’s hard work but worth it, because I need to know that all the information & marketing I’m putting out is giving our wonderful couples the full picture on just what they’ll find at the shows
How will future wedding shows look? Well, as the few did that we managed to run in January & March. Full of inspiring, quirky suppliers who are flexible & exciting, ready to buck the wedding trends & instead help couples create a wedding day that’s representative of their love.
Pretty cool, huh? So that’s the latest news in a nutshell. It’s all fun here. I can’t wait for The Bad Ass Bridal Show to be complete! Watch this space. Okay that’s enough about what I’m doing, what’s your news?
PS// Fancy getting involved NOW in an awesome wedding show? Then why not sign up to The Bad Ass Bridal Show, which will take place over Sunday 12 July LIVE on the Facebook page. Wanna know more? Then pop me an email on email@example.com
At the moment, as a wedding specialist in these uncertain times, it can be really tempting to just hide away until the whole lot has blown over.
I know that, as I feel exactly the same. It is so hard to keep getting up day after day, and working on your wedding business day after day, when there is so much uncertainty in the world.
However now is not the time to go underground and hide! Now is the time to be putting yourself out there again and again, and reminding everybody of just why your business is so spectacular.
You need to be showing up day after day and shouting about just why are you are the best choice for a couples wedding day. After all, weddings are only paused and postponed for a short while.
Couples will be back, Probably sooner rather than we realise, to continue planning their epic celebration and it is at this point that you are the one who will come to mind.
You were the one who showed up day after day, asking, giving free advice, giving Them the hope that they needed that their plans will get back on track soon as possible.
Other wedding suppliers will have disappeared off the scene by the time we can all get back to some normality.
But there you are, still showing your face, and providing a wonderful service. You can show up in a variety of ways; lives on Facebook, either on your own page or through other peoples pages, Instagram & social media posts, blog posts, emails to your customers and clients... the list is endless.
While on the subject of doing lives on social media, I just wanted to say that I am so proud to see so many of my own database are showing up on a daily basis, doing lives and showing those gorgeous faces! I miss you all terribly, with not being on site at wedding shows, but the fact that you are getting brave and putting up your videos on Facebook and Instagram are really making me smile.
So many of you have told me in the past that you are really nervous to get on the screen, yet here you are facing your fears and doing it anyway! You should be bloody proud of yourselves, I know I am.
Look, I’m not here to tell you what to do in your business, after all it’s your place to keep your business running. But I do just want to remind you of the importance of really believing in at the service that you offer, and with this does come showing up on the regular. Apart from that keep doing what you do best, which is being a fantastic wedding supplier.
Visibility isn’t just about showing up online at the moment, it is also about planning for the future and when we can be back on site altogether. Don’t forget that wedding shows are also a fantastic way to stay visible and at the forefront of Couple’s minds when they are planning a wedding.
I can’t wait to get back to the wedding shows and to see you all on site!
Next one I know we can do is the 1st of November at the Bedford Corn Exchange. At this event we have the whole auditorium to use, which holds up to 60 or 70 stands! How exciting. If you’d like A bit more information on getting involved, then just pop me a message or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
PS// Thanks so much for checking in on me over the last couple of months. It’s been so lovely that we’ve all looked after each other so well while we weather this particularly odd storm. Here’s to staying safe, staying sane, and seeing each other for a big hug very soon. With much love Bxx
Reuse & recycle.
All phrases you'll have heard before, & for good reason. We're all responsible for creating a better & safer world for future generations & now more than ever, it's becoming apparent what an important subject this is to address.
Now, you'll be forgiven for thinking that as both an events organiser & wedding planner, this subject may not be something that I address very often. However, you'd be wrong! And here I am to explain just how they affect me on a daily basis.
At my wedding shows - whether they're Anti Wedding Shows or Classic Venue Open Days - I give out goody bags & gifts.
The goody bags are made of recycled material & are made to be reused as much as possible, before being recycled.
The gifts are all made to either be recycled (such as the notebooks, with paper or cardboard covers - not plastic) or reused then recycled, such as the pens which - to the best of my knowledge - are all able to be recycled.
The presentation boxes that I have introduced this month as additional gifts in goody bag are made of recyclable materials (cardboard) & filled with shredded paper. The box & paper can be reused several times, then be recycled.
Additional gifts are now a mix of consumables & reusable then recyclable.
Oh, & the box is tied with cute ribbon that's again reusable then can be recycled.
I don't give out magazines any more. SHOCK HORROR right? Well, here's the thing... I don't think many people read them! Instead they take up space in people's houses then fill the recycling bin. Think of all the trees we could be saving!
So instead, I encourage you all to look online for your ideas, use search facilities like Pinterest etc to gather ideas.
Also make connections with exhibitors via their social media & follow their businesses in this way.
I also encourage (although don't force) exhibitors to only give out their cards & leaflets to couples who stop & chat, rather than putting into EVERY bag. Personal preference on that one.
So, that's the skinny on the goody bags, what else do I do?
As a planner, I steer people towards things like natural confetti (dried petals, leaves, etc) or biodegradable confetti.
No more plastic sprinkles! We already had this rule over at Flaxbourne Gardens, as it damages the gardens & lawns, plus pollutes the ponds.
So I decided to make it part of my own recommendations too.
Instead of confetti, how about bubbles? Even prettier!
I encourage people to hire their decorative items for the big day.
Sure, you wanna do everything yourself & be the boss of wedding DIY.
But what are you going to do with all those bits afterwards? Sell them on & get half your money back? Keep them in storage until they go manky & you throw them into landfill? NOT have storage space for them & chuck them out straight away?
None of these make financial & economical sense, so no. Not on my watch!
Hire items in from the experts - you'll know they're top quality, the cost will be lower, there's no issue about space & storage afterwards... meaning less chance of landfill!
Flowers next. Now, flowers are by their nature environmentally friendly already - given that they eventually rot down & become lovely compost. But you can help the sustainability even further, by only choosing locally grown flowers.
Not only will their carbon footprint be lower, but they'll also last longer because they've not travelled anywhere near as far as the more exotic blooms. WINNER!
Well I think this is enough to be getting on with. I guess what I'm trying to say - in a rather roundabout way - be mindful of your choices. Get rid of the single use plastics, buy local, recycle & resuse where at all possible...
I hope you've found this interesting & useful, what else would YOU add to this list of ideas? I'd love to know your thoughts! Email email@example.com
PS for some lovely choices that are environmentally friendly and sustainable, then check out www.appletreeandavalon.co.uk - you can get bit bits for home & garden, the kids, your toiletries... even bits that are suitable as wedding favours. I LOVE their choices :)
What makes the anti-wedding show different to other shows?
At the show, you will find a large number of suppliers who will show you that you don’t have to follow wedding trends. It’s YOUR DAY, so do it YOUR WAY. Put your personality into your day, do what makes you happy! If you want to wear a coloured wedding dress? Do it. If you want to wear a flower crown instead of a tiara? Do it! Guys, if you want to wear a deep magenta suit and silver shoes? Do it! Don’t copy others, follow your own path.
How long have you been in the events business for?
10 years now, specifically in weddings for seven years. I’m a qualified wedding planner and since I got my accreditation, I have been hooked on the industry.
What makes Beckie Melvin Events different from other shows?
So many elements! You’re not Just a number at my wedding shows, whether you are a supplier or a visitor. I want to learn your story, to know what makes you tick, and I want to perfectly match each couple that I meet to their ideal wedding specialist. I have a skill at that, time and again I can find the perfect match of wedding vendor to couple and it’s great to see their reactions!
My shows are so important to me. I want to get these brilliant suppliers seen, noticed and booked out.
I’ve put my heart and soul into every one that I do.
You’ll only ever speak to me on emails, and it’s me you meet on the day at the door. After all it’s my name on the business, so I don’t want to hide away behind a screen. It’s me! Here and proud.
What’s in the Future for Beckie Melvin Events?
More anti wedding shows in a variety of exciting venues in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The free-thinking format has caught the attention of couples and specialists like, plus it's of cause very close to my heart, so it’ll be around for a while yet!
What makes them an anti wedding shows?
Well it’s not about being anti wedding, but anti following the crowds and trends. All the suppliers at the shows - including myself, with my wedding planning business - fully support my motto "your day, your way". We all want couples to realise that it’s the done thing to make yourself happy, buck trends and put your own personality and stamp onto your day.
If someone is looking for something eccentric have you got them covered?
In short yes! However funky and quirky, we are here to help. For example I regularly exhibit - coloured wedding dresses, mobile glitter bar, bespoke suits for the guys, a paper florist, a celebrant to personalise your vows.... we’ve got some really fun stuff planned.
Will you give people inspiration of things they may want for their special day?
That's a BIG yes! We always have a packed room with a lovely atmosphere so let’s get excited about wedding planning again.
I thought it might be nice to give you a little insight into my background, & some fun facts about me that you may not know. Really hope you like what you read!
I was born in Barnet, raised in Potters Bar, & lived in Hertfordshire until 2012. My first flat after I moved out was above John Lewis in Welwyn Garden City town centre. I loved that place! It was cheap, & BIG for a 1 bedroom flat, myself & Mr M held a lot of very noisy, drunken parties there. Sorry neighbours!!
Not just a fluffy blonde
I went to a private school in Welwyn. I know, you wouldn’t guess to hear me speak 😉 But if you listen to WHAT I say, rather than how I say it, then I think you’ll realise that I do in fact have a pretty good brain in this blonde head.
In 1998, I left school with 13 awesome GCSEs & 4 pretty darn good A Levels. I didn’t go to uni, instead chose to work as Executive Assistant to a director at Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield. First ever job & I had my own office with my name on the door. BOOM!!! My role there was exciting & challenging, my organisational skills (& obsession with list-making) meaning I would tackle every task head on, proudly becoming my Director’s right-hand woman.
I stayed in the NHS for around a decade, before trying out work for Tesco HQ in Welwyn Garden City. I enjoyed being nearer home, & earning better money, but I never felt that I fitted the corporate environment. Although I am grateful for the opportunities I was granted, meaning I could keep honing my organisational skills, perfecting my diary management, & generally learning to love being efficient.
I got made redundant in 2012 & saw this as a stroke of luck (yes, it was a positive thing!). With the money I got from the payout, I set up my own events business, using what I’d learned over my years of working in the offices. Specifically, I wanted to be involved in the wedding business so took courses in Wedding Planning to help me forward, & was hooked. I adore this industry even though it’s changed significantly since I started.
I didn't just stop at getting my wedding planning qualifications though. I also hold accreditation in events & hospitality, wedding venue management & small business management. I LOVE to learn, I wonder what to take on this year? Hm...
It's not all work
On a personal level, getting to where I am has been a bit of a challenge. In 2015 I became very unwell & after 2 years of tests & appointments, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia with M.E. (also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. However I hate that phrase as the fatigue is just a small part of the condition). My health can be very up & down, as I throw myself into my work & then suffer if I’m not careful. A few times I’ve lost entire months as I just can’t get up to do anything.HOWEVER (shouts) I have NEVER missed a job.
In 2017 I met the owner of Flaxbourne Gardens in Aspley Guise. I went over to discuss running wedding shows there, to put the wedding venue on the local map. Within a fortnight, Paul had me signed up as the Wedding & Events Coordinator for Flaxbourne. I’m not lying when I say it’s my dream job! I’m very lucky to work with someone who shares my business ethos, & understands me not only with the challenges I face, but my need to keep on creating dream wedding days.
Going forward, I’m excited. There are new challenges to be had both in my own wedding planning business, & at Flaxbourne Gardens. I’m seriously excited to see what the future brings for me. It’s my 40th birthday in May 2020 & I honestly think it’s not a cliche to say that life starts at 40. But maybe I’ll revisit that thought AFTER the event!
Thanks for reading, I hope this gives you a bit of an insight into what I do, where I’ve been, & where I’m going to. I’m an open book so anything else you think you’d like to know then just ask! I’m not shy 🙂 Thanks for your continued support, here’s to making more memories TOGETHER. Beckie xx
Me. Ha! OK maybe that's a bit presumptuous to put that, but let me explain it.
I care. A LOT. You're not just a number, whether you're a visitor or a supplier, I want to know your story. I want to meet you more than once, to learn what makes you tick. I want to help you find what you're looking for, for your big day, & to help your business get seen by couples. Ultimately, I want to perfectly match-make specialists to couples.
There's no greater reward for me than to have a bride say to me "thanks for your wedding show, I found my wedding rings at last!" Or for a wedding supplier to email me really excited to have 5 new couples to work with for their wedding needs. It's an amazing feeling, being match maker.
It's incredibly satisfying & I honestly do a happy squeal (then show the email / text / PM around to anyone who'll look haha).
I keep learning & changing as the business needs me to. Templates that used to work for wedding shows 5, or even 2 years ago are no longer relevant, so I make frequently make changes to the style of shows that I hold. That way I ensure that they're presenting services that couples want, in a format that's exciting & helpful.
Hence why I started the Anti Wedding Show, wedding shows are still a viable way to buy items for your wedding, & for specialists to sell their wedding services, but the old format was overdone. Time for a change.
There's no pressure selling at my wedding shows. All of my wedding vendors are on your wavelength, with no hard sell, just a keen ear for listening to what you need to book for your big day.
I'm really proud of every single wedding specialist that I get to work with & that they truly care about their business. Every one of them is a small business owner who's put their heart & soul into what they do, so thank you to everyone who comes out to support them.
Well, I think that's enough to be getting on with, don't you? Basically, not all wedding shows were created equal & this year I'm set to shake up the scene. I'm so pleased you'll be with me for the ride.
See you at one of the upcoming shows soon! Bxx
PS To find out what I'm doing next, get on the database by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or join the Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/BeckieMelvinEvents1
I'm always shouting the benefits of attending wedding shows (whether as a visitor or an exhibitor), but I don't think I've ever said what *I* love about them! now, I'm the first to admit that they're stressful to organise - have I got enough choice, have I got enough banners, have I got enough EXHIBITORS ... oh the nervous list goes on lol.
So why do I carry on doing what I do? SO MANY reasons!
- I LOVE meeting super talented specialists looking to show their skills to excited couples. To see them go from newbies on the circuit, to fully booked within the year (which I have several success stories of if you'd like to hear) - THAT is wonderful to see.
- I love seeing the RANGE of talents & finding new & intriguing services to showcase. For example, at the Bedford Anti Wedding Show - Your Day Your Way we have ArloArts attending - a paper florist, HOW funky??
- I love meeting couples who are newly engaged & looking for elements to complement their wedding day
- I love showcasing venues. I work with a real mix of type of venue, from inner city hotels to English garden hidden gems, to grand mansion houses, to eclectic designed buildings... & lots in between. it's great to open the doors at wedding shows & have couples say "oh I didn't know this was here! It's beautiful!" It's really satisfying.
- I love the excitement that fills the room. Sure there's nerves too, as we mentally prepare for opening those doors. but come 11am & the couples start coming in, there's a buzz. Everyone coming together to create perfect wedding days time & again... awesome feeling
- I love match making. Now I have a skill, I don't tell people as much as I possibly should but... I can perfectly match couples with their ideal supplier. All I do is have a short chat with them about what they need from, say, a florist, get a feel for their personality, & I can perfectly match them with their perfect florist. Cool huh! The best way to get to know suppliers is to see them at work at my shows, hence why I love that bit 🙂
OK I think that's enough LOVE for one post lol. Tell me, are YOU excited yet? What do YOU love about wedding shows? Bxx
PS Actual photo of me at work summer 2019, couldn't keep the smile off my face.
Photo credit: Two-D Photography
From a wedding planning point of view, 2020’s trend looks to be... bucking the trend! Individuality, huge injections of personality, & having your wedding YOUR way are themed that are coming through time & again in my planning jobs. Stay true to you! I’m loving this new trend. From gothic venues decorated a la Dracula, to llamas, petting zoos & music festivals at the reception, the possibilities are ENDLESS. I’m loving the honour of being tasked with finding vendors to bring such amazing visions to life. No 2 days are the same, & no 2 weddings are the same. 2020 is the year of being YOU.
A bit of background - I’ve been in the wedding industry around 8 years, organising events for over 20 years. My business is Beckie Melvin Weddings - I’m a qualified & award-winning wedding planner, organising around 20 weddings a year across the Home Counties. I specialise in alternative, quirky weddings - because every couple deserves a wedding as unique as they are. For more info, see www.beckiemelvinevents.co.uk
Last week, I had the amazing news that I had been short listed for a wedding award for the 4th year in a row. WOW! I'm truly humbled by this, as it's not just nominations that got me to that point - people had to leave a reason for it too. So dozens of people that I've worked with have sung my praises in a public forum, I don't think I can ever get over that. Therefore if you were one of the people who voted for me - THANK YOU!!
Now comes the hard part though, actually putting together the supporting documentation. This will take me from shortlisted, to winner. The accolade? Wedding Planner of the Year, at The English Wedding Awards. Now, I already won once *blushes* - but that was in 2017. I have so much more experience & so many more weddings under my belt now, so feel more qualified to actually carry the title. Does that make sense?
Your help counts
Anyway, I'm waffling. As part of my support documentation, I need to include testimonials & reviews from anyone I've worked with. If I have worked with you at a wedding or event, or ON your wedding / event, would you please be kind enough to email me a testimonial / review? I think in the words of that great British supermarket... every little helps! email is email@example.com
I'll keep you posted on how I get on, the ceremony is on Tuesday 26th November. I know, a TUESDAY! Is Tuesday the new Friday / Saturday for going out?? Maybe it's a new trend...
Thank you again for your continued support, I don't know what I'd do without you. Actually, there wouldn't be a business if it wasn't for you. Bare that in mind - YOU make Beckie Melvin Events. It's a big honour!
Take care, & see you soon.
A rather humbled & excited Beckie xx
I'm a qualified wedding planner dedicated to designing & creating weddings for alternative couples. Because everyone deserves a wedding as unique as they are