Sunday, 29 May 2011

Event Report - Wedding Networking Evening

The evening of Wednesday 25th May saw photographers, florists, caterers, planners, entertainers, videographers, boutique owners, make-up artists, jewellery designers, stationers, cake makers and representatives from some gorgeous wedding venues come together at The Elephant Hotel in the pretty Berkshire village of Pangbourne for a wedding networking event and it was a brilliant evening. Julie Tooby & I organised this event in less than two weeks and we were so thrilled by the number of people that came along - it was totally wonderful.

After being greeted by champagne and canapes, there was time to meet and chat before everyone settled down for a great presentation by social media expert Paul Allen. There was a lot of note-taking during Paul's speech and a lot of questions afterwards. A huge huge thank you to Paul for all his enthusiasm and for answering everyone's questions. There's a little snippet of what was covered on Paul's website that makes for interesting reading - To Follow Or Not To Follow...

The rest of the evening was taken up by a LOT of conversation - people meeting old friends, finally putting faces to 'tweeps' and chatting with totally new suppliers. For me, this is what the evening was all about - 'proper' contact with people. I do like Twitter & Facebook, e-mails great too but nothing replaces face to face chats with people. The wedding industry is all about relationships - the relationships between our brides & grooms and the relationships between suppliers. It's good to know who you like, who you respect, who you'd work with. I feel very strongly that I need to know the people behind the websites or tweets to really understand them and this is what made Wednesday night great for me. I caught up with some suppliers I know and respect (and maybe love a little bit too) and I got to meet new people too as did everyone there. It was so lovely to look around and see so many people smiling, chatting, finding things they had in common and learning more about other businesses. We might all be in the same 'industry' but we all do very different things and it's such a treat to get to see things from another viewpoint.

Come the end of the evening, well, people didn't want to leave and conversations were still going on way after the 'finish' time we'd set. When I made it home, there were already e-mails & tweets of thanks & feedback flying around and it seems everyone had a great evening. And since, I've seen people chatting with those they met on Twitter so it seems plenty of great connections were made. I feel like a wedding matchmaker! Here are a couple of comments from the evening...

"Thanks to you & Julie to organising the networking evening last night. It was a great success and you must let me know when you're organising another. It was good to meet so many interesting people." - Christian Dixon, The Bigger Picture Weddings

"I really enjoyed Wednesday's event, it was a huge success. I think it's always brilliant to meet new people in the wedding industry, especially those in the local area. I find it really inspirational to chat with people who are as passionate about weddings as I am. A highlight of the evening was Paul Allen's presentation on social media. Everyone was frantically making notes which is always a good sign! And of course, who can knock tasty canapes and bubbly?! Thanks Tamryn & Julie... when's the next one?" Claire Baggott, Brown Box Photography

Congratulations to Kelly from Tantrums & Tiaras for winning the prize draw and thanks to Robin of Great Wedding Entertainment for music, Dawn from Delicious Dial A Cake for those gorgeous cupcakes and Debbie from Add-Style for chair-covers & sashes. And more huge thank yous to The Elephant for being such an easy venue to work with and Paul Allen for being so fabulous.

The next event will be in September and we'll be sending out Save The Dates very soon - if you'd like to find out the details as soon as they're released, just send me an e-mail or find me on Twitter where I'm @tamrynkirby

All images courtesy of the rather lovely Brown Box Photography


  1. What a damn fine evening it was. Thankyou for the invite and thankyou for introducing me to lots of new people.
    Ellie Sanderson

  2. Thanks Tamryn for the invitation & the kind comments, I'm glad the talk hit the mark for so many of your guests! Thanks also for mentioning my blog, I urge all your guests to click on the RSS feed so they get to see the regular social media updates which I hope will be of help!

  3. Such a nice experience you had it seems. Hope I can also enjoy such an evening one day. All the photographs are really fabulous.

  4. Thanks for the comments, it was a brilliant evening and I can't wait for the next one already. Definitely a good thing to do - there's no substitute for meeting people :-)