Why we don’t ‘do’ wedding fairs (but made an exception for this one)

Anyone who knows Speechy knows we don’t do wedding fairs.

It’s not just the flashbacks to cramped venues filled with hundreds of pushy suppliers but little variety. It’s not even memories of the countless ‘wonky’ wedding cakes that vendors are keen to show off but stingy on the tasting samples. We didn’t even really mind being pounced on by overzealous photographers who mistook us for potential victims, ahem clients.

The truth is wedding fairs just don’t work for us.

For a start, most people turn up with 18 months to go till the big day, so speeches seem a hell of a long way off. Then there’s the fact that it’s mostly women attending and, despite the rise of the F-word in the wedding industry (no, not fondant – feminism), a lot of them still say ‘that’s the bloke’s job’.

It’s hard to sell words unless we’re performing them, and a ‘stall’ doesn’t do our service justice. So how did we come to find ourselves getting dolled up to the nines and knocking back Prosecco in a room full of fondant and flora last weekend?

wedding speeches family toast
Ruby Walker Photography

Well this is definitely not your average cattle market wedding fair. Created by the Holistic Wedding Hub, and hosted at the beautiful Kings Weston House, the Fake Wedding UK is a unique, fully immersive experience – in fact the only one like it in the South West.

Small and relaxed, with an all-important emphasis on sustainability, suppliers are carefully selected with a view to sacking off the hard sell. Instead, they offer friendly advice and, crucially, bubbles (courtesy of Dolly the Dutch caravan).

wedding speeches fair alcohol help

Not only was the place buzzing with creative folk genuinely excited by each other’s ideas, attendees got to be guests at an actual ceremony, complete with speeches and a toast to the happy couple.

The bride wore a beautifully light, dreamy gown handmade by Emma Dee, with vintage hair by Able Mabel and autumn-inspired make up by Claudia Lucia. The team weren’t just bloody brilliant at making us all look fabulous (yes even we got in on the beauty action), but were so chatty that we decided they’re bound to put any bridal party at ease (or in fits of laughter).

wedding speeches fair bride
Ruby Walker Photography

Completing the bride’s stunning look were some pretty special eco raffia accessories by To Be Adorned and a wildly romantic bouquet by Clementine Moon, who also created bespoke Majolika spray rose buttonholes for the groom’s party, complimenting their  James Lear of Arundel suits.

wedding speeches male influencer

Continuing the ‘Living Coral’ theme, Clementine Moon teamed up with lovely – and ridiculously modest – Kirsten from Little Wedding Helper to style the Grand Hall where the fake ceremony was to take place.

Here’s where the magic happened! Accompanied by the butterfly-inducing acoustic guitar sounds of Los Musicos, Bjorn and Beth (they sound like a real life couple, don’t they?) stood together before the fireplace to give their non-traditional vows composed by Ellie from All Seasons Celebrants.

Conducting the service was Nixie of Unique Ceremonies who, incorporating the pagan rites of hand fasting and ‘jumping the broom’, brought a truly spiritual atmosphere to the day. We love Nixie’s open and warm take on marriage, which she describes as ‘a mixture of elements’.

wedding speeches toast ceremony help
Ruby Walker Photography

We’re obviously biased, but we think the speeches are the epicentre of every wedding – real or otherwise!

We were lucky enough to host our speech writing workshop in the Vaunt Room, impeccably styled by Imogen from Luck and Lace with locally made and vintage furniture and props. With her design vision ‘reusable and low waste without compromising on quality and style’, it made sense for Imogen to team up with Louisa from Snowdrops Floristry. Her locally-grown and foraged flowers provided a gorgeous backdrop for our BBC-trained team to give out their expert speech writing tips.

wedding speech Heidi Ellert-McDermott Expert

We had the brilliant Paul C Davies delivering our best man speech, and a fine job he made of it too! Look out for some exciting wedding news from the man himself soon…

Even our very own social media queen had a go at public speaking (after a bit of dutch courage from the champagne caravan). Dressed in a simple 1950s navy pencil dress by Heartfelt Vintage, Gemma gave a ‘heartfelt’ tribute to the bride as best woman – yep, this wedding covered all bases.

With our work done, we took a stroll around the house to see what the other local creatives had to offer. And well, they didn’t disappoint…

Obviously our first stop was the cake table where we sampled a proper generous slice of Imogen’s mouth-watering wedding cake, which of course matched the Pantone Colour of the Year (did you think there was an end to her talents? Nope).

Then we chatted to Sarah, the creative genius behind Photo Press – the coolest, quirkiest wedding stationery we’ve seen. A ball of energy, and with one of the biggest, brightest personalities you can imagine, Sarah recognises that it’s vital to put her clients’ unique character into her designs.

wedding speeches fair speech writing
Ruby Walker Photography

We must give special thanks to Ruby for kindly providing so many of the amazing photos in this blog – she has a certain star quality that gets people relaxed, smiling and having a genuinely great time – her photography speaks for itself. Not only that – she looks incredible on camera too!

Another astonishing talent capturing the day was Evoke Pictures, whose shots of the ‘newlyweds’ (see image below) are so romantic it’s hard to believe they only met that day!

We love to see a like illustrator at a wedding, and with her bespoke artwork Name & A Dress captured the atmosphere beautifully.

Faerie Pictures reminded us make believe isn’t just just for kids and brought something a little magical to proceedings with their dress-up booth experience, complete with fairytale woodland sets.

It’s no secret that the wedding industry is notorious for being competitive and often downright aggressive.

What makes this event different is the collaborative effort that goes into it, not to mention its deep commitment to sustainability.

The independently minded suppliers chosen to represent the fake wedding reflect the mindset of the couples they work with, offering an inclusive, non-judgemental experience that will leave you genuinely inspired rather than jaded or overwhelmed.

Trust us, if you shudder at the thought of a traditional wedding fair, you just might like this one.


wedding fairs family friends help
Ruby Walker Photography

If you’d like to take advantage of 15% off any of our services throughout November, use NOVPROMO at checkout.

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