What do you like to be called?
Most of my mates call me Em (she/her).
What’s your business name?
Lovecats Wedding Expo!
What do you do at Lovecats Wedding Expo?
Lovecats is kind of like an anti-wedding expo. I realised when working as an elopement photographer in a very niche part of the industry that loved up folks looking to celebrate their own way don’t really have a platform or a guide of where to find vendors that offer something different and unique. It’s already so difficult planning a wedding unaware of the endless possibilities, but when you’re wanting to do something other than the norm it’s even harder to find your crowd – or even know what’s on offer.
Lovecats was created so that engaged lovers can meet vendors with non-traditional offerings in a relaxed environment. Our events are celebrations in themselves; we get together a killer team of cool wedding vendors looking to shake up the industry, put them in a very cool room together (usually a bowls club or a pub) and invite soon-to-be-hitched couples along to hang out with them. There are DJs, cocktail booths, drag shows; it’s all very chill and fun and not sales-y and overwhelming. We want everyone to be able to come and explore their options without any pressure. And we want the amazing vendors doing cool and different things in the wedding industry to be met and find a whole bunch of new industry mates to hang out with!
Where are you based?
Currently, we’re based in Melbourne, but we’re looking at expanding soon to bring our killer events interstate. Next up, Sydney. Then maybe Tassie? Wherever fun + non-traditional engaged couples want us is where we’ll be!
What is Lovecats Wedding Expo’s ethos?
We’re not your average wedding expo, for not your average lovers. We don’t think the traditional cookie-cutter wedding is for everyone and we want couples who want their wedding to be uniquely them and do it their way deserve a space to meet the folks who can help them do this!
Were there moments in your formative years that might have indicated an interest in your line of work/?
Absolutely! I was working as an elopement photographer shooting tiny hitchins on film, and so often when couples approached me they said they were at a loss trying to work out where to find vendors to suit their hitchin. There’s no wedding vendor that’s the right fit for everyone. But the expos that existed already weren’t showcasing a lot of these smaller, ‘different’ vendors. I think the reason for this is that a lot of the vendors who are shaking up the industry have a smaller amount of niche clients, and can’t afford to pay the exorbitant rates charged to be a part of most expos. We want to be accessible to everyone who is doing something fun and different and cool, and we want couples to be able to have choices when it comes to planning their day!
Why did you start up Lovecats Wedding Expo?
I wanted to give my couples a resource for being able to find vendors doing things differently, so they had all the information to be able to choose vendors that were the right fit for them. Sometimes it’s hard to know if they will be a good fit without meeting in person, so I had the idea to plan a day where they can meet each other, and vendors and couples alike can work out whether they’re right for one another, and whether they’re the best person to do the job!
A stand-out moment since starting Lovecats Wedding Expo?
All of our events have been amazing. Our first event was at Thornbury bowls club and the incredible drag performer Sam T Drag surprised everyone with a performance in the middle of the event, in full 80s bridal getup! Our second event was at Lulie Tavern and turned into a full disco party when the DJs started cranking Fleetwood Mac. We have our third event coming up on March 19th at Fitzroy Bowls Club and can’t wait for it – we’ve added lots of fun new things like a pop-up cocktail bar, acoustic musicians on the green and will have super cute photobooths, killer DJs and amazing vendors as always!
It’s been a pretty cruisy ride so far!
Where are you at with your business currently and are there any plans on the horizon?
Next, we’re going to be trialling an interstate Lovecats event in Sydney, hopefully, later this year if all goes to plan! And of course, we’ll be planning our next Melbourne event after the upcoming event in March!
What trends are you seeing in the wedding industry?
We’re quite strictly anti-trend (and anti-Wonderwall but that’s another story). We love that smaller weddings, elopements and more unique/alternative weddings are becoming super popular though!
Tell me about your favourite vendors
I can’t just pick one because there are so many amazing vendors – take a peak at @lovecatsweddingexpo to check out our amazing line-up of vendors!
As our whole event and business are named after it, we’re of course going to have to go with Lovecats by The Cure.
Your spirit animal and why?
A cat? But maybe a big cat, like a leopard!
If you had one piece of advice to share with couples, what would it be?
Don’t forget that getting hitched should be about you and your partner, and nobody else. It can feel like you have a world of pressure on you from every direction, so when you’re overwhelmed, just think about what you would want if it was entirely up to you. And then do that, because it is.