Olde House Wedding Fayre 2017 Debriefing

Here is the story of the 2017 Wedding Fayre held at the Olde House in Chesterfield.

To give you some context if you are new to this blog, I am a wedding photographer based in Sheffield.

If you are planning on attending a future wedding fayre at the Olde House then perhaps this will give you an idea of what to expect.

For exhibitors hoping to have a stall at this or any other wedding fayre, hopefully my experiences will help you out.

Oh, and if you are looking for a photographer for your wedding… 😉

My first ever wedding fayre

This may sounds crazy to some, but the 2017 Absolute Wedding Fayre at The Olde House in Chesterfield was first time I ever set up an official stall.  Up until now all of my bookings have come from either word of mouth or visitors to my website.

What I would like to share with you are a few of the photos I took throughout the day, plus a few lessons I learned from setting up my very first stand.

Wedding Fayre stand
The view from my stall


So I turned up with plenty of time to get myself all set up.  Those who know me well know I would always prefer to arrive early and wait than set off later and risk not having enough time.

My lack of plumage

I borrowed a table cloth and started unpacking my bags.  It was around that time that I started to realise that my strategy of just opening my laptop and running slideshows might not have been the soundest of game plans.

wedding fayre gone wrong

The large table dwarfed my tiny laptop, and my backup plan of using the projector didn’t play out well either since the wall behind me was dark red.

I appreciate that in hindsight it was pretty obvious that I was not going to stand out at a wedding fayre with a few picture frames and a tiny laptop.

The thing is, plumage is not really my style.  I am a background photographer, I prefer the documentary style of joining in with the wedding party, getting to know people and blending in so that my photos are natural and not posed.  My thinking behind the minimalist stand was to get across my understated style; if I turned up with flashing signs and loads of ‘flare’ then I would be betraying my style.  I turned up with my best suit and a friendly smile and thought that would do the trick.

I guess I took understated a little too far though, as most of the attendees simply walked by, some glancing over to see if they could figure out why I was sitting at an unoccupied desk.  Next time, maybe print a few pictures, put up a little sign… at least something that tells people I am more than just a person sat at a desk.

chesterfield wedding fayre

The Positive Side

So far it probably sounds like everything went pretty badly for me.  Far from it.

I actually really enjoyed my time at the fayre.  The fact that nobody was stopping at my stand gave me chance to wander around and have general chats with people.

I met some very interesting people, all from within the wedding industry and all had something I could learn.  I have put links to all the suppliers websites or Facebook pages below in case you wanted to contact any of them.

What about The Olde House as a Wedding Venue?

Plenty of space, decent location, very friendly staff, I would be happy to recommend The Olde House as a decent Chesterfield wedding venue.  The room we were in was spacious and well equipped.  The ceiling was a little low around the dance floor so I guess if you have particularly tall or jumpy guests then keep that in mind, aside from that it was a very cosy room.

olde house wedding venue chestefield

I also noticed the lack of windows in the room which you may see as a good or bad point, depending on your point of view.

From a wedding photographer’s perspective this is a good thing because it means consistent and controllable light throughout the day.  It also means that if you are getting married in mid-summer then the longer daylight hours won’t make the evening reception party feel strange when it’s broad daylight outside.

Shout-out time!

The biggest shout out goes to my friend Michelle who not only does great wedding hair (don’t take my word for it, look at Kay’s hair), she also has a sweetie wheel available for hire.  Look for Sugar Rush on Facebook.  Michelle gets first mention because she dropped my name to the organisers of this fayre meaning she is the reason I was able to get the spot that I did.

The real star of the show was Vikki Carline who organised the whole fayre, ran her own stall for Absolute Wedding Decor, had consultations with clients and was looking after her kids!  Respect.

The event was supported and promoted by I Do Magazine which looks to be a great resource for brides and grooms to be.  I also now have a listing on their website so make sure you check that out, give it some likes and shares, or don’t, it’s up to you.

My station was right next to Scott from Digisound Entertainment so we had a decent amount of time to chat.  I didn’t get chance to watch him spinning (is that what they call it??) but I can vouch for Scott as a genuine and friendly guy who you should have no problem getting along with.

If you want something a little more acoustic for your wedding then I would wholeheartedly recommend you get in touch with Mark Elliott.  Mark has an incredible voice and is a lovely guy to boot.

There were some lovely looking decorations sitting across the room from me, all provided by Absolute Wedding Accessories, all high quality goods from what I could tell.

The sound of the DJ and the singer were both occasionally drowned out by some mysterious music coming from the photo booth run by Capturing Memories Photobooths.  I have seen my fair share of photo booths and this one is fully stocked with photos, video messages and all the props you could hope for.  It looked like a quality structure too which is important.

I have a lot of respect for people who hand craft beautiful invitations, table plans and other wedding items.  There were some very fine samples on display by Celebration Belles, definitely recommended.

It would be remiss of me not to mention my (friendly) competition, Kev Matthews Photography, whose vast array of sample wedding albums and prints put me well in my place as a wedding fayre newbie.

There were also some handsome looking dresses on display from Bridal Belles, sadly the proprietor was unable to be there on the day to represent their brand but the dresses looked decent.

Like I said I met some very interesting and talented people at this fayre, all of whom I would happily recommend to anyone planning their wedding in Chesterfield.

Stop talking James, show us more photos…

Ok fine.  I also had chance to wander around and take a few photos, so for those interested here is a collection of snaps from The Olde House Chesterfield Wedding Fayre 2017!

Hope that was useful.  If you are planning your wedding I have plenty more articles on my Wedding Advice blog which may be of use to you.

If you’re looking for a photographer, perhaps I can be of assistance.

Find out about my prices, options and what’s included:

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Get the ball rolling by checking availability and requesting a quote:

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See ya next time.


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