Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wedding Fair Decor... and how my day went!

Well, I have to say that this wedding fair was so very different from my first over 20 years ago! With a few years of experience behind me and a greater knowledge of what a bride is looking for, I felt much better prepared, even mildly nervous and excited all rolled into one!

Balloon Display
Sue Bowler Wedding Fair Display
Deciding how to decorate your stand at a Wedding Fair takes a little bit of thought. I decided to opt for the 6' table option with a little space each side... that's how it was described when I booked my place at the Wedding Fair. The venue was made up of a series of small rooms with an easy pedestrian flow from room to room. The ceiling was a good height and pretty neutral which made it a little easier for me to add colour to my decor.

Last year I wrote and designed a Wedding Decor Course which is made up of a series of days known as Complete Wedding 1 and Complete Wedding 2, there will hopefully be a 3rd and final part to the series... yes, you've guessed Complete Wedding 3! But this has yet to be written, so maybe it will be added to the training calendar in 2012 or 2013?
There are a number of aims and objectives to these courses, not only do I teach balloon artist how to create elegant wedding decor but also how to work with different colour palettes, some subtle others bright and bold, this for me this is where I believe brides find balloons too domineering or intrusive at weddings, and subsequently decide that balloons are not for them... so I thought that I would use some of the concepts that I have been teaching and create decor using the very same rules.

My space was limited, so I needed to ensure that whatever decor I created will look elegant within the space that I had. 

Deco Bubble Scroll Filigree All Around #23593 20"
I love the Filigree pattern, it's elegant and it is perfect for wedding decor and the venue I was exhibiting in, so using the Qualatex 24" Filigree & Hearts-A-Round and the Qualatex Deco Bubble Scroll Filigree-All-Around was an easy option for me as my main focal balloons.

I like to keep a large percentage of my wedding decor neutral and worked with Qualatex Pearl White and Qualatex Diamond Clear balloons, to continue with the filigree theme, I double stuffed some of the Pearl White balloons with 11" Filigree & Hearts-A-Round, which added visual texture to my decor.

For colour, I introduced Burgundy Organza, with Burgundy and Quartz Purple satin ribbons and a selection of small silk flower heads, all of which complimented the decor beautifully. Organza is a very light and airy fabric and although the colour was dark it really does not appear heavy or overbearing within wedding decor and it swags easily which is important to create the look that I want in my work.

Sue Bowler
You will see that I have kept my decor simple, just two columns, linked with a 'Cloud 9' cluster and the swagged organza. On the table I added an air-filled centrepiece design that complimented the columns perfectly. I swagged the front of my table and added my portfolio along with a screen that showed different wedding decor idea's and concepts on a rolling presentation, and finally adding my new brochure ready and waiting for brides to pick.

I first introduced my Bride & Groom sculpture at weddings fairs over 15 years ago, I was a little apprehensive then as to the response that they would get, but discovered very quickly that they were a huge hit and very popular. So I had no hesitation to to include them this time at the wedding fair, as I could not see why they would not have the very same reaction. This time a created an updated design, something that I have not taught as I wanted something fresh and uniquely mine, I was very happy with the result... I used the Qualatex Man's Face 5' balloon for the groom, but drew a simple face for the bride as I wanted to show both options. I used the Qualatex 5" Diamond Clear Butterflies-A-Round, double stuffed with Pearl White 5" inside in the brides dress, knowing that Butterflies are very much a wedding theme for 2011/12!

Sue Bowler
Bride & Groom designed by Sue Bowler

Once I had set up my display, I was approached by venue staff and other exhibiting vendors, "Wow, these are the nicest wedding balloons I have seen", was one of the comments, along with "what a beautiful display"! I had many compliments throughout the day for my designs, brides who were not considering balloons at their wedding previously were now interested, which is exactly the response that I was looking for!

As expected the Bride & Groom sculpture proved to be extremely popular, so I am expecting to take plenty of orders for these over the coming months and years hopefully!

My very first wedding fair was such a different experience, I really did not know how to present myself or my company. I made the fatal mistake of attempting to show every colour of balloon that was available, I had not prepared good literature to hand-out along with many many other mistakes.

Wedding fairs can be expensive, making sure that you are fully prepared is the key to success. As I started by saying, I am no expert but I hope that by reporting my experiences has given maybe some of you some valuable hints and tips to make your wedding fairs a huge success!

Good luck!

If you are interested in attending the Complete Wedding Series courses visit the courses are currently held in the UK and some European countries.

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