Highlights From The Vintage Bride Wedding Fair
Cecile Blackmore | On 23, Feb 2015
Forget Vegas weddings – we were swept off our feet by the talent on show at the Vintage Bride Wedding Fair at St Lucia on Sunday.
You don’t have to be planning on getting hitched anytime soon to have a wonderful time at a bridal expo, as we discovered at the Vintage Bride Magazine’s Wedding Fair on Sunday the 15th of February. Vintage Bride Magazine is an Australia-wide quarterly print magazine and website that features handpicked inspiration for your special day. For couples searching for that special touch to make their wedding unique and memorable, an event like this is a must-attend.
The immaculate function rooms at the Hillstone Golf Course can be intimidating in upon arrival , but we were immediately set at ease by the event’s friendly welcome team.
My date for the day is a budding wedding planner, who that day was seeking to scour the room -Â still very much buzzing with activity an hour before the expo ended – for inspiration and a shot at talking to potential mentors. I had come largely won over by the promise of free cake.
It was tempting to reclaim the entry price in the form of cake and candy by sweeping past each stall and filling a bag full of free baked goods, but we had to restrain ourselves, as there were over 40 vendors from Brisbane and south-east Queensland (see a complete list here) to chat to – from dressmakers, photographers, typographers, celebrants, caterers to wedding consultants.
Nevertheless, our first stop was cake. My childhood memories are plagued with flashes of chalky marzipan and dense slabs of fruitcake, but artisanal baker Gillian Bell is here to change that.
“I’ve been baking all my life,” she told us. “I bake everything myself completely, I can tell you what’s in every cake, completely. I have a share in an organic dairy herd, I make my own butter…” The arch-nemesis of the mass-produced packet mix, Gillian prides herself on baking with fresh, organic produce and supporting local farmers, growing all her own flowers and sourcing her ingredients locally.
“To me, the wedding cake is probably the most special cake of your life – it’s got to look beautiful but it’s also got to taste sublime.” Gillian typically plans the wedding cake with the couples, and can tweak the recipe as they desire. Some of her specialties include fig and violet, lemon and lavender or elderflower and strawberry.
It was clear from a glance – and a taste – that GIllian’s cakes were baked with the homegrown love and care appropriate for a wedding cake, and it’ll be some time before I can bring myself to stomach marzipan again.
I’ll admit – as a classic Gen Y wedding skeptic, gloomy about extravagance during this economy and soaring divorce rates, I hadn’t been too sure about the day, until I saw the scope, talent and passion of the local designers and businesspeople assembled.
Each vendor was happy to stop and chat about their products and their experiences in the industry. From floristry favourites Flour and Bloom to Faye, the brains behind wedding favour business Secret Pantry – producing handmade jams and relishes for the guests to take home – to Michelle Brodie, the savvy founder of Our Wedding Consultant, who became so overwhelmed with questions from friends that she had to write her own book.
A wedding or engagement shoot can often be both challenging and rewarding for a photographer, as emotions run high and important moments cry out to be captured in an instant – Callena from Daisy and the Duke Photography enjoys every minute of it. “I love meeting new couples and getting to know what makes them unique…being part of their special day can be really exciting,” she told us. “If you have that genuine connection and can make them laugh, you can get those genuine emotions in shots.”
We left clutching business cards and samples from a good number of the 40 different vendors – as well as an insight into how truly overwhelming – and rewarding – life in the wedding industry must be. My companion had a wealth of information about all the trimmings a wedding planner could need – and I myself was reconsidering my plans for lifelong spinsterhood and a houseful of cats – as long as there’s cake.
For a full list of vendors, visit the Vintage Bride Mag’s website here.
Catch the Vintage Bride Mag Fair in Melbourne:
WhenÂ 22 March 2015, 11am – 4pm
WhereÂ Cargo Hall – 39 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf, Melbourne
CostÂ Advance sales online – $10, or $15 at the door (ticket sales online soon)