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Creative events in independent spaces

"Who doesn't love a great wedding?" Ellie from Inner City Weddings & Events tells us about future plans.

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Everything may be on hold at the moment, but here at Now Then we're hell-bent on making sure we keep shouting about all the fantastic independent businesses that Sheffield has to offer.

This time we're talking to Ellie from Inner City Weddings & Events to find out more about this rapidly growing company and how they're coping during the pandemic.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how Inner City Weddings got started.

We are a small, creative team based in Sheffield and we plan and deliver pop-up weddings and events in unconventional spaces with the aim of supporting independent venues, local vendors, innovative small businesses, heritage and the arts, and the freelance community.

Inner City began in 2015 and was founded by Felicity Hoy. I partnered on the second Inner City wedding and we ran the company together for a couple of years before Flick decided in 2018 that she wanted to venture into the music scene, setting up Euporie.

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Which venues do you work with?

We've popped up all over: 92 Burton Rd, 99 Mary Street, Kelham Island Museum, Elsecar Heritage Centre, Yellow Arch, Trafalgar Warehouse, Bloc, the Showroom Cinema, Millennium Gallery, Whirlow Hall Farm, Manor Lodge, The Hide, Wood Lane, various village halls, barns and tipis, yurts and sperry tents and, of course, the iconic Abbeydale Picture House.

In 2017 we also began working with fivefourstudios in Salford and have delivered several weddings there, with lots in the 'currently postponed' pipeline.

We've got loads of new spaces up our sleeve that we're itching to do events in. We've built up a large inventory of stock to hire and a huge network of events industry pals who we collaborate with frequently, so we are set to relaunch as soon as the pandemic subsides.

We're very lucky that lots of people contact us who have heard about what we do and want to work together because we share a similar ethos. When I think about it, it's grown organically and really quickly.

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What do you like most about the work you do with Inner City?

Being part of the independent community, being creative and helpful to the couples and clients who choose to work with us, and injecting new life and vigour into multi-purpose and blank canvas spaces, giving them new purpose, styling them well, and filling them with love and joy.

And the weddings of course! Who doesn't love a great wedding?

Active events work is also good for the body and the soul, I think.

Tell us about the Indie Wedding Fair.

The Indie Wedding Fair was established in 2015 and set out to connect modern couples to cool, independent creative types and small businesses doing something innovative and original. It only pops up in independent spaces and involves micro-businesses and freelancers, aiming to promote them really well, both online and at the events, which typically get incredible footfall and have a real feel-good atmosphere.

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How are you responding to the coronavirus pandemic? What can people do to help you?

Like most of the events industry, we are going through a very difficult time. We're not large enough to be helped by the small business rates relief grants and all of our events and weddings have been postponed until further notice, but we still have all our regular overheads, office and warehousing costs.

We have rescheduled most things and are concentrating on getting an action-packed schedule together for 2021 and beyond to mitigate these losses - and 2022 too, especially for the Abbeydale Picture House.

We're also going to be eating a lot of beans on toast for a very long time, I suspect.

What's on the horizon for Inner City?

New spaces, new adventures and lots of rescheduled events. New collaborations and lots of 2021 and 2022 weddings and events. But for now, a little pandemic-induced break. Keep well everyone!

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