2023 has been a busy year for me here at Alternative Ceremonies, at alternative wedding fairs and events. There are now many wedding fairs taking place across the UK. Some are still held 11am-3pm on a Sunday, Some are weekend events, some are on a Saturday. There are traditional ones, less traditional ones, ones which claim to be different to traditional ones, alternative ones and ones aimed at certain lifestyles or wedding themed. Some are one day events; some are held over two days. All are different as all people’s requirements are different for their special day.
2023 started off busy with two alternative and different wedding fairs, one was celebrating its 10th birthday, for another, it was their first event.
The Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza
In February the annual two day event that is the Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza took place at The Bond in Birmingham; one of two places it has been held at, (Fazeley Studios opposite is the other venue). This established and well attended event has the most amazing suppliers all showcasing their services, products, and information ensuring the most personalised and ‘eclectic’ of weddings.
This is my 8th year showing here; bringing and previously demonstrating and talking about handfasting, outdoor ceremonies, festival themed ceremonies, goth, Steampunk, Sci-fi, Lord of the Rings, fantasy, Viking and Norse, metal music, nature inspired and other kinds of alternative ceremonies to the forefront of attendee’s attention. As its name states, it is really ‘eclectic’ and attendees are looking for a different theme or requirement for their wedding.
Many of the suppliers have worked with each other at various weddings and some attendees come to see certain suppliers and book them for their weddings.
I spoke to two people planning a metal wedding, some planning a Viking wedding (I specialise in these kinds of ceremonies) and others who like many other attendees were newly engaged and had no idea what they wanted but knew what they didn’t want. (The best way for many as there is so much to take in). It is always nice to meet many different people all planning very different weddings.
My display at this event was designed to appeal to the many different themes and requirements of attendees.
Til Death Gothic Lux Wedding Fair, Alternative Wedding Fair
In January was the Til Death Gothic Lux Wedding Fair. The first event for this new fair which was held at Left Bank in Leeds, a sea of black in an old church, can’t get more goth than that. Aimed at goths, gothic (there is a difference), metal, Pagan and witch weddings with many true alternative suppliers who live these lifestyles and have an understanding and knowledge of them.
Goth weddings are so much more than a black dress, and the creativity and choice on offer was incredible. A well-attended one day event which was gratefully received by likeminded attendees. I demonstrated and spoke about handfasting, aided by two fellow suppliers. Some of the suppliers knew each other from other wedding fairs and events, and from working on weddings together and recommending each other.
Attendees I spoke to all wanted goth weddings and as a goth wedding celebrant, this was music to my ears. No need to worry about what to wear or what to show on my stand. I specialise in goth, Pagan and handfasting ceremonies too, and many attending were interested in these things. A goth-tastic event.
There are other places I can be found talking about alternative weddings.
Tomorrow’s Ghosts at Whitby Goth Festival
In October was Whitby Goth Festival. (No travelling or hotels for this one as I live in Whitby). A three day event held in April and October, aimed at the celebration of goth subculture, but also attended by many non-goths in various outfits and costumes.
Held in Whitby Pavilion and other venues as the event is divided between two organisers. Tomorrow’s Ghost organised the event in Whitby Pavilion, and this is where my stand was and always is.
Not a wedding fair, it is a celebration of goth lifestyles of which weddings, ceremonies, and funerals (I do them all), are part of. I have had a stand at this event for the past 9 years now. Attended by thousands of people over the three day official event, with fellow suppliers from other events too, I showcased Pagan, goth, handfasting, collaring and other aspects of alternative ceremonies.
Leeds Festival of Gothica
Just before the goth festival in Whitby was another goth event, Leeds Festival of Gothica. A one day event held three times a year in Leeds Kirkgate Market. A collective of goth and Pagan suppliers selling and showing lifestyle items. This was the first time I had attended this event as a supplier.
A well-attended event with some interested in finding out about goth and Pagan weddings. A chance to see friends, meet new suppliers and people and to once again showcase handfasting. Always nice to speak to those who have given me the honour of being their celebrant so we can chat further about their ceremony, and they can shop for more wedding items at the event.
White weddings aren’t for everyone and thankfully there are many suppliers offering products and services to those who want an alternative wedding.
2024 will be another busy year for Alternative Ceremonies at Alternative Wedding Fairs and Events starting with Til Death Gothic Luxe Wedding Fair Jan 20-21st in Leeds. Whitby Goth Weekend April 26-28th and Leeds Festival of Gothica on Sat 6th July confirmed. If you are coming, come and say hello.
Get in touch to book me for you goth or alternative wedding.