The Wedding Sanctuary: The aftermath – Part 1

Last Sunday (20th March) brought with it our very first foray into the world of wedding shows.

The Wedding Sanctuary at Somerset House was designed from the very first to be a wedding event in direct contrast to the traditional wedding fair:  Hand-picked suppliers, an advice-led vibe, beautiful wedding inspiration – and boy did we pull this off:

Guests were welcomed and registered before being whisked off to be wowed by the inspiration zone, where members from the Alliance had not only designed some stunning reception tables, but also listed the costs associated – far be it for us to let a bride fall in love with a look she couldn’t afford to reproduce.


The Boudoir offered brides the chance to rub shoulders with Sassi Holford , speak to the fabulous Emmy   about their wedding shoes, or get a hair or make-up trial by the ladies at Elle au Naturel It was truly impressive to see these women work!


Our advice areas were chock full of industry experts such as entertainment agency Sternberg Clarke  , personal stylist Katrina Choat  , groom’s blogger Staggered and wedding film pros Gorgeous Productions ,  as well as some of our members, all poised ready to answer any questions couples might have had about their wedding day.


Finally, talks were given regarding budgeting for your wedding, how to plan the timings of the wedding day, and how to ensure you get the very best from your suppliers.


As our first event, we were all keen for it to be a success – for the planners and the suppliers of course, but more than anything, for any couples who were just sick and tired of run-of-the-mill wedding fairs where all anyone cares about is the hard sell. 

We were thrilled with the turnout on the day – especially during the morning session, and all the feedback from couples who attended has been really positive.  Big hits were the Boudoir – of course – but also the offer that everyone received on arrival for a 15 minute one-to-one with an Alliance planner, during which we addressed concerns regarding any aspect of their wedding planning.

The event literally could not have happened without the support of a few key suppliers, whom it would be very remiss of us not to thank here:

Our generous hosts, Somerset House   and Table Talk caterers  not only provided an amazing space with a gorgeous backdrop of the Thames, but also laid on the loveliest spread of champagne and seasonal canapés.  Us planners were truly hard pressed to leave any for the guests!

Velvet Living  and Wise Productions worked really closely with us to create the atmosphere vital to the tone of the show.  We wanted couples to be able to relax, and feel welcome to pull up a pew and chat in depth to the suppliers about any concerns they had about their wedding, and this is definitely the warm environment they achieved for us.

The stunning tables in the inspiration zone were kitted out by Well Dressed Tables , whose range of goods really can run to any design you might have in mind!

Amanda Austin , florist extraordinaire worked tirelessly to provide the huge range of stunning arrangements that decorated all the areas – not least of all following the design brief’s of the planners behind the inspiration zone.

Serious magic was also worked by Helen at Cutture  also, providing us with our logo, our stationery design for the event (including the really yummy lasercut invitations to our VIPs), and even the table stationery for one of the inspiration zone tables.

Special thanks must also go to out media partner Wedding magazine , whose support of the show provided a lot of the impetus for the fantastic turnout we received – particularly during the morning session.


It was a pleasure to work so closely with such an amazing group of consummate professionals! So here’s to next year!

All photos kindly supplied by Julia Boggio .


  1. Andrew Cussens on 31st March 2011 at 10:27 am

    The approach of your ‘Wedding Sanctuary’ is a really good one. Wedding shows are quite impersonal and the bamboozling by sales people makes it hard to really learn anything. Good luck with these and please feel free to contact us if you would like any help in future.

  2. Maria Kirk on 31st March 2011 at 2:38 pm

    WOW! I really wish I could have been there! Thank you for posting the pictures and it looks like you all had a fantastic time.

    If you hold another wedding santuary next year then I will be there!

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