I Love Ewe...
I'd first heard about the Ewe Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza through other wedding suppliers on Instagram. As soon as I saw what it involved...I knew I wanted a piece of the action. As mundane as my life can be sometimes..I still like to believe I can live in a world of sequins and rainbows, so I knew this would be the place for me.
Not confident enough to enquire about a stand, I purchased 2 tickets like normal customers. Initially I was going it alone, but purchased 2 tickets just in case. I was gonna travel from Surrey for the weekend and have a 'stepping out of my comfort zone' photography weekend...but after a discussion with Mr Cuff (my ever so willing second shooter, come model/boyfriend), we decided to make it a weekend away for 2....and I'm so pleased we did. So Saturday morning arrived. Adorned with a new pair of funky Primark boots and the most incredible sequined jacket, I purchased from Ebay especially for the event, and after instructing Mr Cuff on his outfit for the day, we set off. From the moment I walked through the arch way of The Bond on Fazeley Street, Birmingham....I knew I was gonna love it. A cobbled court yard led you through to the exhibition halls, and on to the outside space where other stands were set up.
Myself and Mr Cuff walked round following the ever so cute 'Flock this Way' floor signs, and meandered from room to room, then out to the court yard area, into yet another exhibition room, and then back out again. It flowed beautifully. There where a large number of exhibitors, approx 70 I believe, and so much to look at. There was no way you could take it all in just in one walk round.
Mr Cuff being the ever patient person he is, followed me round, admiring the extremely eclectic mix of trades and suppliers. But knowing one trip round may well be enough for him. So being the nice girlfriend I am, led him to the awesome Gemma & Andy and their Boho Bar, perched him on a bar stall and let him warm the cockles with a few tasty red wines, whilst I went to mingle, network, admire and gaze in ore. I knew he would be in safe hands.
Colourful, Sparkly, Shiny, Bright, Alternative, Individual, Unique.... Just a few of the many happy words I could use to describe the fair. Such an array of suppliers, and what a bloody awesome bunch of people they were. Everyone was smiley and polite, informative and friendly, and very obviously loving their time there too.
Having never experience Ewe before...I wasn't too sure what to expect. I knew it would be alternative, and I knew it would be different. But nothing prepared me for just how bloody brilliant it was! I was nervous walking into the event in my slightly out there, in your face sequin jacket...thinking I would be out of place...but ha...definatley not! I was right where I should of been. Brass bands, Fashion Shows, A Bubble man, Men dressed as sheep, just a few of the totally awesome things that were going on.
I wanted to try and introduce myself to as many suppliers as possible, in an unobtrusive manor. Knowing I would be photographing the event, I wanted people to be comfortable. There were a handful of people I was desperate to meet. Following people on Instagram is strange. You admire their work, follow their lives, and before you know it, they become your inspiration and your muse. So when confronted with them..I suddenly realised that I was actually in reality and not in an Instagram post, and these people are real. Calming the little 12 year old fan girl creeping out of me, I pulled myself together and dived right in. I was back to being me, and back to being a photographer and blogger.
I stood and chatted to a whole variety of suppliers, most of whom I think will now be owning a sequin jacket, as it seemed to be a talking point to break the ice..ha! Everyone was so passionate about their products and services, it was so great to see. I made a very conscious effort to ensure I looked at everyone's stalls, but always found myself dragged to the other photographers.... I love exploring other photographers work, and seeing their take on the world and other people's lives. Despite there being millions of photographers on the planet we can all be so different. However one common trate we all seem to hold....is we all love what we do, but all think we could do better, and don't take compliments very well...ha! Even just chatting to the selected few photographers at the event, they were grateful for the compliments I was giving them, but also said they thought others were far better than themselves. I'm right there with them on that feeling. I never believe I'm good enough. But this strives us to be bigger and better and continue to learn and adapt.
After doing the rounds a number of times, all overseen by Mr Cuff still sat at the bar, I decided to join him for a drink. Nothing beats a nice cider and a bar stall in a prime location to people watch and gather my thoughts.
Finishing our drinks and saying our Goodbyes, it was time for us to depart, but not before we had experienced the highlight of the event. The fashion show! Led by the awesome Heavy Beat Brass Band, a string of gorgeous ladies in the most sensational frocks designed by The Couture Co Elisabeth Armstrong & Curious CoCo paraded from room to room around the event, coming to a climax in the court yard area where they danced and twirled for a good 10 minutes. It was epic. The culmination of a very successful 1st day at the fair. Tickets had sold out for the Saturday, so the venue was busy and vibrant. The smiles on both customers and suppliers faces were a true credit to the event organisers.
The fashion show came to an end. I took the opportunity to do a quick run round to say goodbye to some of the amazing people I had chatted to, and we made our way back to the city centre for some warming food and drink. Thank You Ewe for being the best wedding fair I have ever attended. Just amazing, and well worth the trip from Surrey. I will certainly be back.
Stepping Out.. For me... Stepping out of my comfort zone is not something I do...but after my weekend in Birmingham I certainly will again. I came away feeling inspired and invigorated. It's opened my eyes to more than just my bubble life in Surrey. It's helped me discover where I want to direct my career, and where my passions lies. It's very easy to get wrapped up in your own little life, and get stuck in a rut and feeling there is no where to go. But there is. There is a whole world to explore. You just need to take that risk. Ewe, you have opened my eyes, and I can't thank you enough x
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For a full list of event suppliers, please go to http://www.allaboutewe.co.uk/exhibitors-birmingham/