The new concept of pop-up weddings has been launched by a North-East company. Sarah Millington speaks to its founder, Faye Darcy

WHEN Faye Darcy first decided to start organising pop-up weddings, she was faced with two conflicting problems – as no-one had heard of them, she knew she had to explain the concept but if she did this, someone might steal her idea. Her solution was to approach a range of suppliers, but make them sign non-disclosure agreements.

Even then, she wasn’t convinced that she should pursue the quirky notion of pop-up weddings, which she had first encountered on a trip to Australia last year. Then she saw a magazine article on them and this gave her the push she needed.

“I was like, ‘No!’,” she laughs. “When I read on, it was talking about a company in New York. Then I thought, ‘the industry will start to look into it’, and that gave me a big kick up the backside.”

Prior to travelling to Australia, Faye, 24, who lives in North Tyneside, had been studying for a wedding and event planning qualification. She embarked on the trip following the deaths of her father and grandfather within five months of each other, deciding that life was too short not to live it to the full.

Though working wasn’t on the agenda, she discovered a thriving events planning industry and ended up employed as an intern by Bree Nicholls, who runs Gold Coast Pop-Up Weddings. She says the experience opened her eyes.

“She was a celebrant herself and worked for the Hilton and then she got onto the trend,” says Faye. “Over there it was a lot easier because they have the weather – we did a lot of weddings in parks and on beaches. Bree did the ceremony and the legals.”

Convinced that the idea could work here, Faye began Faye Darcy Pop-Up Weddings in May. The concept is simple – she books a venue and offers couples the choice of two-hour time slots. For less than £2,500, she provides a civil celebrant, a professional photographer with at least 150 digital images; ceremony styling, a bridal bouquet and button hole, a seven-inch cake and a champagne toast for the bride and groom – with the option to add in extras like a photo album.

The beauty is the simplicity, with pop-up weddings ideal for same sex couples, second marriages and vow renewals, as well as those simply keen to avoid the normal hoopla. Faye feels there’s a trend towards this, with couples becoming jaded with the often overblown expectations.

“I always thought I’d have a big wedding, but really I wouldn’t,” she says. “The way things are, with student loans and the property ladder, a lot of people would rather spend £20,000 on the deposit for a house. Also, people don’t have time. On average, a wedding can take up to 200 hours of planning. For people who have full-time jobs and children, it can totally take over.

“I’ve spoken to so many people who’ve got so stressed about it, it’s sucked the enjoyment out. I think a lot of people end up doing things for other people, not themselves. When go you to wedding fairs and there are all the candy carts and photo booths, it can really get out of hand. It totally takes away from what it’s really about.”

Pop-up weddings, by contrast, are meant to be relaxed and can be entirely flexible. Faye encourages couples to get married in locations they wouldn’t normally consider – like a favourite restaurant or the park where they had their first date – and if they’re not licensed, they can easily call into the register office before or after.

It may be early days, but Faye is already thinking ahead. “I’d like to have teams of suppliers in all the major cities – that’s the bigger picture,” she says. “At the moment, it’s just finding ways of getting it out there and generating that interest.”

For more information, see the website