Photo Gallery: More than 600 people attend first EDP Wedding Show at Oulton Broad hotel
Love was in the air at the Ivy House Country Hotel in Oulton Broad yesterday as hundreds of happy couples flocked to the EDP Wedding Show.
The event, which was staged at the stunning waterside venue for the first time, attracted 50 different exhibitors offering everything from wedding cakes to photography and flowers to wedding dresses.
The grand marquee, set up behind the hotel, was bustling with excited future brides and grooms sampling the many delights on offer, while an array of classic cars, vintage VW camper vans and horse and carriages were on display outside.
Twenty-six-year-old Alex Fuller and Gareth Roberts, of Watton, who are set to tie the knot in September next year, attended the show together.
Miss Fuller, who said she was excited to start planning her big day, said: “I’ve been to several wedding shows on my own but this is the second one we have been to together.
“We are here to look for a photographer and to get some ideas about evening entertainment.
“We like to meet people and know who they are rather than just scrolling through the Internet and it’s nice to use local businesses as well.
“Everyone has been really friendly and instead of being pushy they are just happy to have a chat and pass on their information.”
There are seven EDP Wedding Shows held throughout the year, and the EDP will be returning to the Ivy House Country Hotel for a second show in October. Diana Sims, EDP Wedding Show manager, said: “It was a really positive day. About 600 people came to visit us throughout the afternoon.
“All the exhibitors were extremely happy and many of them have already booked in for our next show.
“It’s a fantastic new venue that has recently been refurbished and we were really excited to hold our first wedding show on the coast.”
As well as a number of regular exhibitors, at least half of the stalls were taking part in the EDP Wedding Show for the first time.
Lisa Colby, who runs Vintage Lily from her home in nearby Lowestoft, was one of the new exhibitors, and said the show was a chance to promote the unique service she offers.
She said: “It’s great to be taking part for the first time in a local show and it’s such a beautiful venue.
“We supply vintage china, furniture and decorations to make a bespoke vintage wedding.
“I’ve always liked and collected vintage things ever since I was little. I organised a vintage 60th birthday party for a friend last year and I thought I could do something with this, and that’s how the business started.
“I think there is a gap in the market for this in Suffolk and I think it is one I can fill.”
Other first time exhibitors included a miniature Shetland pony from The Garden Box who carries confetti and champagne, Perfect Fit Puzzles who provide wooden guest book puzzles, Araminta’s Wedding specialising in personalised robes, slippers and gifts, and Sue’s Sweet Sensations who provide chocolate fountains and sweets.
Hotel owner Dr Adrian Parton said he was delighted to be hosting the EDP Wedding Show. Dr Parton took over the hotel last summer and has spent £800,000 refurbishing and improving the facilities.
He said: “It is great to have such a lovely buzz around the hotel and to see so many people enjoying the show.
“We’ve already got quite a few brides who have booked there weddings here and have come to have a look around too.
“It’s been a lot of hard work since I took over the hotel in July, but now we’ve got the marquee here for the weddings I’m keen to keep the rest of the building open for local people to come and enjoy.”
“We’ve got 21 acres of land here and it is such a beautiful setting.”
The next EDP Wedding Show will be held at Dunston Hall in Norwich on April 27. The EDP’s largest wedding show is staged each year in February at the Norfolk Showground, and offers more than 160 exhibitors over two days.