What a day to be sharing this post, on International Women’s Day – As you might well have noticed, everyone at Love My Dress is getting pretty darn excited about the forthcoming Most Curious Spring 17 shows. With the London show taking place on 17th-19th March, the wedding show for the style savvy couple is just around the corner.
Our founder Annabel will be attending this time and would love to hear from you if you plan on attending too – you can connect with Annabel through her Instagram account @annabelbeeforth. Today however, we’re shining the blogging spotlight onto Becky Hoh-Hale, one of the amazing women behind Most Curious, to find out more about the show itself. This is a great read and I urge you to take a few moments to enjoy it. This event truly encapsulates all that is brilliant and creative about the UK wedding industry, and we are most proud indeed to be supporting it. OK, over to you Becky!
What makes Most Curious so flipping special?
I think it helps that we have really grown from a grass roots level, organically. We’ve been doing it for six years and never sought to copy an event or concept that already existed. So, originally in 2011 it was a vintage wedding show, and admittedly it wasn’t the first, BUT we looked for a place where that wasn’t already happening, which was Norwich.
From left to right above, Production Assistant Ann-Marie Faulkner, Head of Production Cat Brennan, Events Assistant Ellie Kime and Becky Hoh-Hale, Founder and PR for Most Curious, with their children -you can read about their motherhood and running your own business campaign through our #jugglistmassive feature.
We’ve all sort of evolved together and it feels really natural. It really is like the Wayne’s World quote, ‘if you built it, they will come’, we kept the faith and have become a brand that people feel loyal to and have a sense of belonging and excitement about.
We also don’t’ pay massive attention to the traditional wedding world, or what’s already happening. We look more to fashion, media and modern culture as our guide, and prefer to be pioneers. Doing something that’s already been done makes us all feel really uncomfortable, so we try to avoid this, although sometimes, this is at the expense of followers and support.
There are moments where people are like, ‘I don’t get it’ and you feel maybe you pushed it too far but there are far more moments where people are like, ‘thank you for doing this, THIS, this is what we’ve been missing or waiting for’! And I think that dedication to the new and a desire to be innovative is what bonds the exhibitors, us, and the brides and us and grooms. You can feel a real passion in the air over the weekend for that and a thrill in the air to be part of it.
On a more boring note, we are lucky that we are six years down the line and there are five of us working on Most Curious now, not just little ol’ lonely me trying to do shoots, accounts, exhibitor booking, PR, production etc. as it used to be. We are a strong unit, and can cover all bases well so it’s become quite a slick operation. As a team we really get on as well. We call each other out if we feel something is not ‘on brand’ and can bounce ideas and around, laugh at stressful situations or occasionally say, sort it out, we can do this better!
Image by Eclection Photography capturing designer wear showcased on the Most Curious Catwalk
Do you have to be a bit of a hipster to feel at home at Most Curious or can anyone feel at home at the show?
The show does have hipster leanings, of course it does. As soon as you brand yourself as influenced by current lifestyle trends, style-savvy and a slight preoccupation to what is cool, it does in someway translate to ‘hipster’ and attracts people who you could describe as hipster.
BUT the show genuinely has a lot of heart. We don’t want people to feel alienated and ‘not cool’ enough to come, not at all. It is first and foremost about people in love who want a day that is authentic to them. I used the word authentic, that’s a bit hipster isn’t it? We are not afraid to take the piss out of ourselves as the hipster wedding show, but at the same time don’t mind being called that. Everyone is truly welcome and I think if Most Curious has caught your eye, there’s a little bit of hipster in you anyway.
Does it matter what stage of the wedding planning process you’re at?
Nope! A great time to come is before you’ve really done much planning, to come and take the plunge and start thinking about what you both like (or don’t like!) and you can get inspiration and ideas and start making some decisions. But similarly, if you’re starting to feel like you have really got to get on with locking some choices down but just need to find the right supplier for the job and tick off like ten boxes on your to do list Most Curious is good for that too.
We see lots of great real life brides on Love My Dress who have been to Most Curious and have truly booked 7 out of their 10 suppliers there! Or if you’ve got one last thing or the finishing touches to sort, it’s all there from the biggies like the cake, to the dress, to the flowers, the venue, accessories, bridesmaid and groomswear, shoes, stationery, hair and make up, DJs, live bands, prop hire, decor to all the little things like guest book ideas, gifts for the wedding party, favours and hand dyed ribbons for your bouquet. In fact, you name it; we’ve got the cool and curated answer to it!
Failing that and you’ve sorted everything, Most Curious is a damm good day out in Shoreditch with great vibes, a bar, cafe, live music, fashion shows and inspiration stations for you to swan around with your man, or mumma, or besties actually getting excited about the fact YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED!!
Come on, tell us about the must-see exhibitors and features…
This is hard – there are 150 of them this year! One of the most exciting elements of the show is bridalNEXT! This is a platform to support 30 up and coming designer makers, who are names to watch and who are displaying new ideas and innovation in the industry. So it’s where the more kind of out there, or fun, or totally new ideas emerge, with a focus on the artisan aspect. We’ve got some great ones, such as Jane Bowler bridalwear, Florence and Dot accessories, Man Pins wooden lapel pins, The Flower Arranger bad ass floristry, cool cake maker Isobel Bakes and No Smoking bridal suits from Paris.
We also have some mega names this year involved. Topman will be at the show – the team will be talking people through the personal shopper service for grooms, but also selling and displaying their fashion forward and actually really affordable suits and accessories.
The fashion shows are always a real source of inspiration as well and we run two different ones per day. This year we have the theme of laid back 70s and modern disco, with hair and make up by dream team Rebel Rock! So it’s gonna be a good’un.
We’ve also got a few international names who have recently moved to the UK, covetable Aussie photographers Through the Woods We Ran and River & Fern, as well as LA originated company Stone Hearts Club and Parisian bowtie ateliers Le Colonel Moutarde.
Portraits Hair and Make Up Agency will also have a pop up lash, braid and glitter bar for you try out, in case you feel the need to be extra sparkly as you walk up and down the aisle. I mean, why the heck not, you may even find us there!
The show styling theme is PINKTOPIA & ELECTRIC DREAMS this year so we have some great installations being put together by top notch stylists such as Frog Flowers, creating a floral selfie wall plus Pop Pop Papier will be styling the catwalk and entrance space with crazy blooms and balloon decor ideas and there’s Neon The Curious Collection too!
Plant and graphic styling team Geo Fleur x Clare Nicolson are providing some amazing inspiration installations as well with large-scale pinkness and palms. We can’t wait to see it ourselves! These guys are all exhibiting at the show too.
Then of course there is the UK’s most talked about and Instagrammable cafe, Palm Vaults, providing rainbow coloured lattes, sweet treats and the odd toastie to keep you going as you peruse the show. Alongside pink raspberry gin cocktails from PINKSTERS and craft beer from the London Fields Brewery, you should be all set for a proper day out!
If you snap up one of our VIP tickets you will get front row fashion show seating on our in-theme sofas from Hire-Love, complimentary drinks from PINKSTERS and London Fields Brewery, a glorious goody bag worth over £100 with swag from Evermore London, Love Me Do Design, EE Jewellery, Sweet Nothing Bake House and Oh Squirrel to name a few, as well as money off vouchers from our exhibitors. These top tickets are £20 and are only available online so we can get your bag ready or there are our standard tickets are £8.50 online or £10 on the door.
How do you bring together such a stellar cast list for Most Curious?
Well, as with our answer above, it has grown to the point where the coolest people find us! Rather than the early days when I literally spend hours and days, scouring the Internet for hidden awesomeness and then send grovelly emails trying to get people to be part of it. We still do that of course, but luckily a really big proportion of perfect people for the show now apply to do it without any prompting, that is one of our biggest and proudest achievements.
We do also go to fashion events, graduate shows, modern craft, interiors and design shows to find exciting people who we may not other wise cross paths with. Our exhibitors are also great at telling likeminded creatives that they know who would be good for the show so word of mouth is also a way. We then sit down and go through all the applications and hand pick who we think is spot on, category by category so we make sure its a great mix and not too much of one thing and not too much of one style etc. And if we are not as massively excited as want to be, we’ll go a-hunting!
What are your five top tips for getting the most from the show?
Bring a notebook and take plenty of pics on your phone to remind you of what you saw and what you loved. You may feel sure you won’t forget but 150 exhibitors can be overwhelming and when you get home it might be a bit of a blur. If you buy one of our VIP tickets you’ll get one of your own special notebooks by Oh Squirrel in your goody bag too
Try and be methodical. Most Curious is set out over two spaces this year as we’ve grown for 120 to 150 exhibitors so although you’ll be feeling like magpie flitting from beautiful thing to beautiful thing, try and use an ‘up and down the aisles’ approach, just so you don’t miss anybody! Or failing that, go round a few times however you want but take your time and be sure you go to every stand – there can be hidden gems in the strangest of places…
Keep an open mind. It is a great idea to have a nose at our exhibitors beforehand on the online directory, or on our Instagram and Facebook, and make a little plan of who you really want to check out. But don’t stay too fixed as you may just find ‘the one’ in an ‘as if by magic’ random chance meeting while you are waiting or your friends to get a coffee or while you are mooching around in a corner you didn’t see before.
Have a chat with the vendors. One piece of feedback we are hugely happy about is that Most Curious is not about the hard sell, it’s a creative bunch that just like to hear about your inspirations and you will love seeing theirs and maybe at the end of it, you will see where they can help you. So conversations flow very naturally about favourite TV shows, artists, designers etc. and often meet in the middle somewhere where your ideas and the exhibitor’s services meet. Nothing is too weird or conceptual for a Most Curious exhibitor so just give it a whirl…!
Relax and enjoy it! You’re getting married to the love of your life and that is one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do! So make sure you make going to Most Curious a day where you celebrate that too. People cannot escape from talking about and hearing about your wedding while you are at the show, so this is your moment! Soak it up, get hyped up about how ace it’s gonna be and hold hands and steal kisses, have a little beer, cocktail or coffee and lunch, see the fashion shows and leave feeling like you’ve sorted lots of unknowns and are assured of the thing you know the most – each other.
Sum up Most Curious in ten words.
Warm, open, fun, pleasing to the eye, curated, cool, and, ok, hipster.
Thanks Becky! So, now’s the time to get organised and ready for Most Curious. Advance tickets for the the Most Curious wedding fair, being held 17-19 March at The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, London, can be purchased online for £8.50, or £20 for VIP tickets. If you can’t make it to London, there’s also a Most Curious wedding fair at St Andrews Hall in Norwich on 9th April – tickets £2.50 in advance online.
Have a fantastic time if you’re visiting and we can’t wait to hear all about it!