The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation attends Bride: The Wedding Show at Westpoint, Exeter
10 Apr 2019
Graham Thomas tells us why the charity always looks forward to the event
“We have attended Bride: The Wedding Show at Westpoint more than six times now and always look forward to the show,” says Graham Thomas, co-founder of The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation. Bride is working hand-in-hand with the national charity, which organises weddings for people with terminal and life-limiting illnesses.
The event took place on March 23 - 24 and the charity’s stand attracted a lot of attention. Graham says: “A couple of years ago I decided to invest in a purpose-built system of modular boards that I designed with our graphic designer Seepops Creative. We really love our stand as it tells our story for people but it also has the visual impact of the photography from some of our weddings.”
“It’s always a crazily busy weekend from set up on the Friday afternoon – I always enjoy seeing suppliers’ creativity in how they design their stands. Time absolutely flies when you are on the stand chatting to everyone – from the moment the doors open on Saturday morning and the brides, grooms, friends and family come pouring in until the end of the day. And then we do it all again on the Sunday!”
“We always make sure we have a great team manning the stand at Bride: The Wedding Show as we know how busy it is and we want to meet as many couples as possible,” says Graham. “We have at least three members of the team on the stand at any one time, getting up to five or six at times.”
This year, the stand was manned by Gemma Pressey, Juliet Mussic, Fran Keene and Gemme Wemsley, all part of the team at the charity’s bridal shop, La Boutique. Volunteer Lyndsay Featherstone, ambassador Alix Renshaw and executive assistant Louise Porter joined founder Naomi Thomas and her husband Graham Thomas throughout the weekend and trustee Dave Lee also helped set the stand up. Heidi Watson at Bride Magazine is one of the charity’s patrons, and Graham says she provides “fantastic support”.
The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation uses the show as an opportunity to introduce brides to the charity and tell them about La Boutique. “It is a great feeling when a bride comes up to us saying ‘I have been looking for you and I want to book an appointment to come in and see your dresses!’ We also see lots of previous customers who stop by to say hi and introduce a friend who is now getting married,” says Graham.
Image: Location Photography
On average, the team take between 30 to 50 appointments for La Boutique over the show weekend with lots of enquiries following in the weeks after. “We always meet new suppliers at the show who would like to be added to our database too,” says Graham.
“I would highly recommend the Westpoint show to any supplier looking to attend, and to any brides or couples planning their wedding, I can’t think of anywhere better to see the talent that the South West wedding industry has to offer.”
The team will also be attending the Autumn show which is taking place on October 12 - 13.
Read more about the charity’s work.