It's been 6 weeks now since our inaugural Nourish gathering at Spring and I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on the wonderful evening, and have let it all sink in slowly. We’re now busily planning our next event and are about to put tickets on sale! But before I get swept along in the excitement for Nourish Summer 2023, I thought it was about time to share some of my thoughts with you about our Spring event.
For those of you who are wondering what Nourish is even all about; to explain, it’s a little project that got started by myself, Valentina of The Stars Inside and Grania of Ink & Paper. And actually one of the questions I got asked many times at our first event, was why? Why did you decide to start this venture in the first place?
As I told them, I'll say to you - Nourish came about as an intention of wanting to create a space, a safe space, for wedding suppliers - for people who value that human connection but also savour the beauty in life. So many of us in the wedding industry pour our hearts into creating beautiful things, or elevating the spaces and experiences for our wonderful couples when they get married. But how often do we actually get to sit back and enjoy what we’ve created. Personally, I get so excited to be working on a wedding with fellow suppliers that I adore and would happily chat away to, but on wedding day - we’re all busily working away and doing our best to go above and beyond for our couples, that we barely have time to say ‘hi’, let alone a hug before it’s time to say goodbye again.
So an idea began of creating a design-led experience for wedding creatives, in tune with the seasons, to come together in a space where they can commune. Without agenda, without expectation other than that of knowing there would be delicious food and welcoming company. Food had to be at the centre of our offering as in all cultures, taking a 'seat' with others and sharing food and deep conversation is a long-established ritual. And we wanted to add that layer of making an environment that feels both aesthetically pleasing but also inviting. So all in all, an experience for all the senses - beautiful things to look at, delectable seasonal food to eat, glorious scents to inhale, and all together making you feel comfortable and relaxed so that you can experience that which truly nourishes you from the inside out, through heart, body and soul.
We know our events won’t be for everyone. And we also know that there are plenty of events that are run by members of the UK wedding industry to showcase their wares or promote their brand. But the primary difference with Nourish, is that it doesn’t have an agenda. Valentina, Grania and myself all run our own businesses but it is our commonality that is at the heart of Nourish. The 3 of us complement each other in the way that we serve our clients and the intent behind which we operate. And when we come together to run our Nourish events, we do it for the love we have for this industry and for the love we want to nurture between people who attend. It isn’t a platform for us to promote ourselves nor it is a profit-making venture. We see ourselves as the hosts, and we are there to facilitate and bring about an experience for everyone to enjoy and savour and make memories that linger long after the event is done.
Having now hosted our first event, we have been overwhelmed by the positivity and love. I cannot explain it but that evening in March, in our private dining room at Spring, there was this uplifting energy that really was tangible and the atmosphere was just so joyful. One of our attendees had said how they felt it was like a family coming together. Bearing in mind that many of the suppliers hadn’t met in real life before so this wasn’t a group of people who all knew each other well but everyone who attended the evening came with an open heart and mind. And this is what we’d envisaged, what we’d hoped for - through that openness, beautiful authentic and genuine connections were made and I honestly I cannot express fully my feeling of gratitude to have been able to facilitate that with Valentina and Grania. We have been truly humbled by all the love in that room and what has continued on after that evening.
We were so grateful to Flavia who brought all the feeling of the season of Spring to the restaurant with her delightful floral artwork. Grania’s beautiful stationery was a big part of elevating our attendee’s experience from the invitation that arrived through their letterbox and alighted onto their doorstep to the touches on the table and the room to the farewell goodie bag. And of course, after many years of admiring Valentina’s styling - it was an utter joy to sit at a table that had been designed and styled by her. Rachel of Rachel Takes Pictures has captured it all so beautifully for us and has allowed us to keep re-living the memories from that special night through her gorgeous photos and video.
We are so thankful to Annabel of Love My Dress and Claire of Love Story Inspiration who have written up really touching articles on their blogs. You can take a read of them and get an insight from people who’ve attended our event and hear about their experiences and thoughts: Love My Dress and Love Story Inspiration - it really meant so much to us that they took the time to do that.
We’d made the evening an unplugged event, which was another way to help people to engage and connect. Of course, we had a little spell at the beginning where everyone could snap photos and videos, as we all know how much wedding suppliers love to capture details and share on Instagram - to both create fresh content but to always be capturing the pretty! So after the initial excitement, we gently encouraged that everyone's phones should be safely stowed away into our safe-keeping box for the remainder of the night. One of our guests, who’s a wedding photographer, Rachel of September Pictures, brought a little film camera and thoughtfully captured the night in her own way and has shared her images on her blog.
So yes, now it’s onto Summer and we’re looking forwards to our next event which will be hosted by Caroline at the exquisite Findon Place. We will be conjuring up another seasonal experience and one to embrace the wonders of Summer and we cannot wait to share this next one with our guests.
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