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  1. Blue Lily Magnolia sashes and belts wedding fair  Blue Lily Magnolia bespoke hair accessories for brides; bridal hair accessories  Blue Lily Magnolia custom-made bouquets, keepsake bouquets, bespoke bouquets, wedding bouquets

    September and October are the autumn wedding fair seasons and I have attended quite a few this season, to see what's going on in the wedding industry, check out what's new, meet some suppliers and brides-to-be, and just have a little day out too. The first wedding fair that I ever attended was the National Wedding Show in Birmingham, before I got married, and it was massive! (And dare I say, expensive, but worth it somehow). Everything else after that has seemed rather mild in comparison, but here's my take on making the most out of wedding fairs. 

    Plan ahead: If you are attending a very big fair (by that, I mean a fair with hundreds of exhibitors rather than dozens), these are normally paid ones, but if you know suppliers who will be going, they may have complimentary tickets that they will gladly offer to you. Alternatively, often there will be some kind of promotional code to look out for to get a discounted price. It is worth getting a ticket in advance if you want to save a few pounds from the at-the-door tickets. And for large fairs, allow a good few hours to browse through everything. 

    Think about what you are looking for: It is perfectly OK to just browse without any intent, but if you want to make the most of the fair, write down a list first on what you would ideally like to find - photographers, cake makers, dresses, etc. If you can't find what you are looking for, you could always ask around at the fair anyway, and often people are happy to help and provide recommendations. 

    If you want to try dresses: Wear a strapless bra if possible, or at least one which allows you to tuck the straps in. Often the dresses that you will try will not fit, so be prepared to be open minded about this, and see beyond the poor fit. Bring your diary if you would like to follow up with a booking, and take plenty of photos (with a note of where each dress came from and their price) to be able to compare when you're home. 

    If you're just browsing: If you can, take photos of what you like, with the business card of the supplier next to the item that you like. It is so easy to forget who made that ideal sweet cart, or table plan that you loved at a fair. It is always good practice however to ask permission to take a photo - remember that no one wants their work to be copied. And please whatever you do, don't use the photos to ask others to reproduce an item at a cheaper price! 

    Don't be scared to talk to suppliers if there's something that you're admiring in their work or feeling curious about: If you're worried they'll pounce on you with a sale, you can gently tell them that you've already got whatever they're selling. If you like something they have, it is always nice to start a little bit of a conversation and who knows, perhaps they might give you some ideas on other items that you haven't yet sorted out, or advice on your wedding, or they might be able to solve another problem that you have. Or you may even get some sweeties or a little giveaway out of it! 

    Go round the stands at least twice: First time round, just have a look around to see who's here, and what they do. Go round again the second time with a list in your mind of who you actually want to speak to and what do you want to ask them. 

    Catch the Catwalk: Plan your arrival and departure such that you will get a chance to see the catwalk, if there's one. Even if you've already got a dress, have a look at the ladies on the catwalk to see the dos and don'ts of walking down the aisle in your dress! 

    If you do book anything: Remember to ask how long is your cooling off period, and when do deposits need to be paid. Most suppliers will give you a cooling off period of between 1-2 weeks (unless your order is short notice) to allow you to change your mind, but if you have a made a deposit payment, be clear on whether you will get this back if you cancel within the cooling period. 

    When you get home: Don't chuck these leaflets straightaway, who knows, you might find a little gem in a few weeks when you need it! A good way to not lose contacts is to use social media to Like or Follow suppliers you think might be of interest in the future. 

    And that's it from me for wedding fairs! 

    If you have some more advice to add, please comment! 


    Blue Lily Magnolia makes bespoke bridal accessories and accessories for special occasions. Based in Nantwich, Cheshire, UK, everything is designed in-house and handmade, creating unique pieces. 

  2. Terri and Rob Wychwood Park Wedding AugustTerri and Rob Blue Lily Magnolia Hair Combs

    Local couple Terri and Rob got married last month at Wychwood Park, in the Cheshire countryside on a gorgeous sunny day.  "It was the perfect choice... and the day went seamlessly."

    It all started about 6 years ago for Terri and Rob, who met through mutual friends, on a Grand National Day. Our bride says: "Rob turned up a little late because he had been out watching it in Nantwich!" But they hit if off from there, and a few years later, Rob proposed in London on the pavement outside the Gordon Ramsay restaurant (The York & Albany). He had initially planned to propose in Regents Park, which was over the road, but had to improvise on the moment because they were late for their reservation due to the tube running late! 

    The theme for their wedding was very vintage. And they also had some (unintentional!) hints of Alice in Wonderland sneaking in, with lots of colours: lilac, gold, light pink and navy. In keeping with the vintage theme, Terri had her headpiece custom-made by Blue Lily Magnolia - double combs with fabric flowers, joined by draping freshwater pearls. The bridesmaids also had matching hair combs made. 

    As customary, on the night before, Terri stayed over with her bridesmaids. But the super organised bride-to-be felt that she had to double check her venue rooms before the big moment, so she sneaked down at 6am before the girls were up to check it out! She needn't have worried, and even the weather was in their favour on the day. The lucky two got married outside, on a glorious sunny day, under a wooden gazebo. 

    After the ceremony, Terri and Rob ran off to their car and did not stop for anyone. They were driven around in a vintage car through Crewe and Nantwich, sipping champagne and enjoying some quiet time alone together.  When asked about other special moments about their big day, Terri remembers fondly: "The chief bridesmaid drove the golf buggy between photo locations (she had passed her test but had never driven before), Rob and I have never felt so scared for our lives!" The first dance was also a big moment: "I was so looking forward to our first dance as Rob had picked the perfect song but when it actually came round we were counting down the minutes until it ended (whilst trying to look smily) as we were surrounded by all the wedding party with their cameras for the longest 4 minutes of our lives!"

    Terri's beautiful lace dress was by Mori Lee and her bouquet was from Flowers On the Cobbles in Sandbach. Photos kindly shared by the bride were taken by guests. Many thanks to the happy couple for sharing their story with us, and a huge congratulations to them both! 


     Custom made double hair comb with freshwater pearl chain

    Terri's unique custom-made double hair combs were created after she sent over her ideas using inspiration from other headpieces that she loved. The bridesmaids hair combs consisted of a similar flower with pearl bead dangles, but without the chains. 

  3. Sarah and Chris Sarah and Chris Pat's BarnSarah and Chris reception

    This month, I am so excited to be telling you a little bit about the rustic romantic wedding of Sarah and Chris, at Pat's Barn, in Rensselaer, NY. Although not our first wedding, this is our very first real bride story at Blue Lily Magnolia and I am very thankful to the couple for this privilege. 

    And what a beautiful story theirs is! Sarah, a middle school science teacher and Chris, who works for the state of New York, have been together for three years. "We got engaged on the beach in Savannah, Georgia, during a vacation last year. We love travelling together, especially to lesser explored locations both in cities and out in the country."

    The couple loves being active (Sarah also coaches squash and girl's lacrosse), and dabbles in hiking, camping and kayaking. A barn location for their wedding was perfectly aligned with their love of the outdoor, and their mutual interest in wood working too. When they're not busy working or off on an adventure, Sarah and Chris love building together - the first things they built together were two Adirondack chairs!  

    Their early summer wedding had a rustic and romantic theme. There were some very special moments: "Taking each others' hands during the ceremony to say our vows. Getting introduced as Mr. & Mrs. K. and going straight into our first dance." To keep to the theme, "Africa" by Toto was played for the last song and everyone on the dance floor joined in, singing along at the top of their lungs. An amazing way to finish off a beautiful day!  

    We wish Sarah and Chris the very best for years to come, and hope that they continue to build together, explore together and create amazing memories together! 


    feathersashPat's Barn

    For the special day, we were very honoured to have supplied Sarah's bridal sash to complement her gorgeous dress, which is by Maggie Sottero. The bride's rose gold jewellery set (earrings and necklace) was from Arbjewelry on Etsy; the bouquet and boutonniere were by Flower Blossom Farm and hair/make-up by Ania Hair Studio

    Wedding photos, taken by Paul Saunders Photography, have been kindly shared by the bride for this blog, with many thanks. 

    Other Pat's Barn images are direct links from Pat's Barn website