Perth Wedding Upmarket Wrap Up for 2016


Despite uncertain weather (forecast for 30km winds, 95% rain and potential hail), the August Wedding Upmarket went off without a hitch! All the talented Perth-based wedding vendors came out in droves, equipped with a mix of enticing products and services to offer the flock of couples that were ready to rush through the doors. And because the weather held out, the event team went ahead with the Wedding Insiders Sessions in the Glamping Co Tents, which became the real highlight of the day.

After such a successful event, we chatted with the talented Justine Barsley, founder of the Wedding Upmarket, to ask her what it takes to put on such an occasion. Read on to learn some juicy tips from this skilled entrepreneur.

What was your inspiration for the business?

I had been running the Perth Upmarket events for about three years and a few of the local designers wanted somewhere to showcase their work but didn’t quite fit at the normal Upmarket. They asked me if I would consider running a market event for wedding suppliers … and Wedding Upmarket was born.

How did you go about starting up?

To get started I visited other bridal fairs in Perth and worked out what we did and didn’t want to be. At one of the big commercial fairs I met the Sales and Marketing Manager from Mosmans and got chatting. We soon realised that we both wanted to offer a boutique style event that was for brides looking to design a wedding that was more customised and stood out from the crowd. So in 2011 we partnered with Mosmans and held a small, intimate Wedding Upmarket at their restaurant overlooking the Swan River. After reviewing the first event we decided to move the event to The University of Western Australia as the venue was bigger and we changed the model to being a free event, making us different to other bridal fairs. Now brides can bring their bridesmaids, mothers, mother in law, fiancé, and more to help them make there big decisions when planning a wedding.

What are you offering that is different from the rest?

All the vendors are West Australian which means that brides can be in close contact with them. Our events are small and intimate. The vendors spaces are open and welcoming which makes it easy for brides-to-be to have a conversation with the suppliers in a relaxed atmosphere. Our vendors put a lot of time and effort into styling their space to showcase their work. We don’t have catwalks … we have roaming models and this year we introduced Wedding Insider sessions which is where the vendors share their expertise in small group sessions. We were lucky enough to host the sessions in a Glamping Co tent at the most recent Wedding Upmarket. We also like to think that we have built a community of wedding creatives that work together rather than compete. There is plenty of work to go around … and our events are free entry!

What gets you out of bed every day?

My why is to help hundreds of creative small businesses thrive… this is at events and in between.

What do you love about your job?

I love to create something out of nothing. I really enjoy the process of building an event from scratch, from sourcing vendors to creating marketing tactics that will attract the right kind of customer.

What does marriage mean to you?

Marriage to me is a lifelong partnership with someone that you love, trust and can have fun with.

Tell us about your favourite experience with the Wedding Upmarket?

My favourite experience at Wedding Upmarket is to see how the vendors constantly lift the bar with their displays. Each time they get more and more creative and this elevates the event.

What is one word of advice you would give to someone just starting out in the industry?

My advice to any wedding vendors starting out in the industry is to connect with other wedding suppliers that you have a good fit with. Lots of business comes from word of mouth and referrals. My other piece of advice would be to be active on Instagram and Pinterest as this is where brides tell us they source their inspiration from.



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