I first heard about Belles Events wedding fairs in 2010. I found out that owner/founder Kelly Wickson lived round the corner from me in Shoreham by Sea. We arranged to meet for a festive glass of wine and the rest is history. Kelly and I have a lot in common; a love for vintage/retro/quirky style, a keen interest in weddings and events and brains that don’t really switch off! We’re both Capricorn, our birthdays are two days apart, maybe that’s got something to do with it… Anyway, I exhibited at Belles Events first fair and the working relationship went from there. Kelly and I supported each other’s businesses; Belles always advertised in the magazine (Kelly’s husband Joss designs the magazine!), I always exhibited at their fairs (sometimes I ran the tearoom), Kelly worked at some Doily Days weddings and we ran networking events and industry parties together. Our brands were a good fit because we were all about supporting unique, alternative, local small businesses in the wedding industry.
Last year I was shocked when Kelly said she was putting Belles Events up for sale. The end of an era! But by this point I’d moved into an entirely different county and although still good friends, we weren’t working together so much. Kelly had already sold her first successful wedding business Sussex Love Bug and I knew she wanted to move on and concentrate her efforts on her other wedding business Truly Quirky Wedding Venues. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out who would take the reins! And Kelly was keeping it firmly under wraps until everything was finalised. I was thrilled to find out that the new owner was none other than brilliant wedding photographer Sue Kwiatkowska! I knew Sue via the wedding industry; we’d chatted at Belles fairs, she’d come along to industry parties, we’d worked at the same weddings, she’d advertised in the magazine and she took the first professional images of my bar. Sue’s style of photography really fits well with alternative/vintage celebrations and many of her bookings came via Belles Events fairs. “Trying to find a wedding fair to exhibit at five years ago, right for the style of photography I was offering, proved quite the challenge” says Sue. “Until, that is, I found Belle’s Events”. She jumped at the chance to take on the business and the brand. “I want both couples and exhibitors who attend our fairs to have a really enjoyable experience and a nice day out all round. Wedding planning should be fun not fear inducing” explains Sue. Here here! And Belles fairs certainly are fun and a feast for the senses; lots of smiling faces, vintage dresses, fab hairstyles, red lippy, amazing cake samples (and sometimes cocktails and bubbly!), vintage style entertainment, beautiful colourful styling…. Ideas galore! You’ll find the likes of uber-cool Doris Loves with their giant light up letters and temporary tattoo station, the delicate and delightful creations at Bunston Bakes, and the bohemian and romantic bridalwear designs at This Modern Love, to name but a few!
With Sue at the helm you can be sure that Belles Events flagship Brighton fair continues to be the ‘must exhibit at’ event for the unique and fabulous tribe of southern based suppliers. Sue also intends to expand into other areas along the coast to offer smaller boutique fairs.
If you think your wedding business fits the bill and you’d like to exhibit at any upcoming events, then do get in touch with Sue, she’s always got time to chat weddings with new suppliers! firstname.lastname@example.org