Good morning readers. This time next week it will be Christmas Eve and we’ll all be excited and waiting for Santa to visit us. Today we bring you an exclusive interview with Best Brides Wedding Exhibitions. You don’t want to miss this one!
♥ Firstly, thank you for speaking with Penny’s Wedding. Please tell us more about Best Brides
Established in January 2006, Best Brides Wedding Exhibitions was the third baby of mother of two Claudia Jordan-Hadaway. An experienced event director and lecturer, Claudia saw that the wedding exhibition market lacked the professionalism of other trade shows and wanted to bring a customer service experience that would benefit both the wedding professionals and brides-to-be.
As a single working mum with a toddler girl and primary age school boy, Claudia worked whilst her youngest slept on daytime naps and after the children had gone to bed. Tough times of working through the night and praying that all children would sleep allowed marketing plans, artwork and business promotion to develop.
After the toddler went to nursery, Best Brides could expand establishing shows in South East London and North Kent. Claudia developed contacts with established competitors and found a way to work collaboratively with the largest regional organiser in the country, The Wedding Experience. Snowed under with work, friends mucked in to help with weekend childcare, and administration as well as delivering the customer service experience that the company had been founded upon. Despite being a new company, in 2007, Claudia was quick to recognise that many of her clients were working in a similar way: fabulously creative bakers, stationers, florists and photographers who struggled with the sales and marketing side.
With the help of The Wedding Experience based in Sittingbourne, Kent, Best Brides established a serious of training seminars to help develop these skills which were attended by local small businesses as well as retail giants. These free marketing mixers are now attended twice a year by more than 100 south east wedding professionals who seek to become stronger businesses during the tough economic times. Since then Best Brides has expanded into Essex and Surrey bringing the same customer service experience to both exhibitors and couples alike. Claudia continues to advocate women in business and works closely with small businesses to help them succeed.
♥ How can Best Brides help engaged couples with wedding planning and what are the benefits for couples attending wedding exhibitions?
Couples can meet with 30-86 wedding suppliers, primarily local businesses mixed with some of the nationals like John Lewis. Claudia and her team interact with brides at the shows and encourage interaction with suppliers not just about their service but recommending the services of others. Our exhibitors are the “experts” working at the sharp end of the wedding industry so who better than they to make suggestions to brides?
♥ Are there any key trends for 2013?
More than 80% of brides attending the shows in 2012 said they were gettingmarried in less than 18 months which has varied from previous years when brides were stating lead times of 2 years. This is likely to be driven by much of the late availability and excellent discounts available from so many venues. If a couple are prepared to get married in less than 12 months financially, particularly on a Friday or Sunday then some fantastic deals can be done with venues and some suppliers. From talking to brides andsuppliers it seems that some brides are reluctant to get married in 2013 for superstitious reasons! This trend could mean that venues will offer some amazing packages this summer so 2013 could be a great year for the bride on a budget!
In terms of styling, key colours normally reflect interior design schemes so we are definitely expecting to continue to see plums and clarets. The vintage theme is set to continue and this works particularly well during cash strapped economies. DIY stationery and table centrepieces are fashionable when no one has money! The average budget has decreased from £18.5K to £15.5k in the past 3 years and this looks set to continue.
♥ Do you have any key advice for newly engaged couples?
Book your venue then your photographer. Your photographer should be someone who you would happily spend time with as they could be with you from when you are getting ready until your last dance. If you don’t like them you will not have great photos which after the cake has been eaten, the dress cleaned and the flowers are wilted are what you will treasure forever.
Don’t DIY everything unless you are REALLY good at it. Chair covers are fiddly things and do you really want to spend 2-3 hours on your wedding day trying to tie bows (and no it’s not like trying to tie shoe laces!). Equally getting 8 table centre pieces to look orderly and the same is much harder, its why florists train! Florists also have access to high quality flowers that won’t droop as the day progresses.
Above all sit back together at times through the day and savour your special day: it goes so quickly!
2013 Dates for your diary
♥ Sunday 20th January
The Wedding Fair at Wat Tyler Country Park
Wat Tyler Country Park
Pitsea Hall Lane, Basildon, Essex SS16 4UH
♥ Sunday 20th January
The Wedding Fair at Club Langley
Hawksbrook Lane, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3SR
♥ Sunday 27th January
The Wedding Fair at Thurrock Civic Hall
Thurrock Civic Hall
Blackshots Lane, Grays, Essex, RM16 2LB
♥ Sunday 3rd February
The Wedding Fair at Bromley Civic Centre
Bromley Civic Centre
Stockwell Close, Bromley, Kent BR1 3UH
♥ Sunday 17th February
The Wedding Fair at Bexley Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn Bexley
Southwold Road, Bexley, Kent, DA5 1ND
♥ Sunday 3rd March
The Wedding Fair at Hall Place
Bourne Road, Bexley, Kent DA5 1PQ
♥ Sunday 24th March
The Wedding Fair at Danson House
Bourne Road, Bexley, Kent DA5 1PQ
For details on our Spring 2013 shows visit our website www.bestbrides.co.uk
Best Brides Wedding Exhibitions | Orchard House | Wrotham Road | Meopham | Kent | DA13 0QA
Tel: 01474 815 463 | www.bestbrides.co.uk | email@example.com
An Environment where Brides and Business create the perfect day!
Follow us on Twitter! Twitter.com/BestBridesWE
Many thanks for your time Claudia.
Penelope x x