Ok, so you know that we do a lot of wedding fayres – right? We love them as they offer the opportunity to meet couples face-to-face and, just as importantly, keep us in touch and up to date with all of those lovely suppliers that make weddings so yummy!
This wedding fayre, however, was something really rather special.
Let’s take you back two years to a time where two leading industry experts Sara Ellis of To Have and To Hire and Emma Pentony of Wild and Green had a dream to create the Souths first outdoor, festival styled wedding event. Bored of the stereotypical white tablecloth styled, Sunday outing they dreamed, not just of another wedding fayre, but a proper day out for like minded people. Fast forward to 2017 and the ladies stumble across ‘Two Woods’ a most beautiful Sussex woodland estate owned and managed by a forward thinking couple, Mark and Jade. From there Sussex Wedfest was born!
Zest were asked to bring ‘Ugly Ethel’ along as a consultation room to help couples that wanted to discuss the in’s and out’s of photographing their greatest adventure and we jumped at the chance!
After much planning and preparing (not to mention a good make-over for Ethel), we rocked up last Sunday to Two Woods. As we bounced and swayed our way up the long windy roads and headed across the fields to our pitch in the Secret Meadow, we saw the makings of the day unfold.
Dotted all around the large fields and along the driveways were little vintage caravans, horseboxes, cars and even an old milk float. All dolled up and showing off their new weddingy roles as gin bars, cocktail bars, photobooths and props – I couldn’t help thinking of a scene from carry on camping!
Huge Tipis, Bell tents and marquees were being erected and stages were being built. Yurts were being carefully fitted out with sumptuous furnishings. The beautiful Bridal barn was being decked out and teams of staff in hi-viz jackets were busily pointing suppliers in their vans and cars to the right spots to set-up. A spit roast lamb was turning slowly over an open fire and canapés were being created. And the amazing, focal point of the site – the little outdoor ceremony site nestling amongst the huge redwood trees at the end of a long, lantern lit path had the sounds of an enchanting opera singer supported by a little girl in a faery style dress practicing a Gaelic dance. Singers and musicians were tuning up and running sound checks and suppliers were expertly setting out their stalls for the hoards of couples that were soon to arrive.
Indeed couples did begin to arrive and, like the suppliers in their vans, were efficiently directed to suitable parking and Sussex Wedfest was declared open.
This was indeed an event like no other. A fusion of summer music festival with a wedding fayre. Couples enjoyed a relaxed wander through the meadows, fields and forests. They stopped and chatted to experts about their plans, gathered advice and information and, as this was a ‘paperless’ event – moved onto the next having taken photographs of the stand and placing a tick (or cross) against the corresponding logo in their festival styled lanyards. They floated around sipping cocktails, eating glorious food and listening to the music drifting through the trees. Little groups of lovers, soon to be Husbands and Wives, sat in groups in the grass and compared notes. Strangers before the event but now united with a common interest. Exhibitors mingled and swapped tales of wedding days past and wedding days to come and compared notes on styling and trends.
The day came to a close and couples wandered back to their cars. Suppliers started packing away and we couldn’t help but feel the urge to break open a beer, light a camp fire and sleep in Ethel for the night – maybe next time at the September Wedfest event!
For a full list of suppliers please scroll to the bottom of the page.