Firstly, thank you so much for coming along to our blog and taking the time to read about our adventures, we really appreciate it.
So, if you are at the beginning of your wedding planning journey and you have never been to a large wedding show before, it is the perfect place to start getting ideas and contacts for all your suppliers. Including photographers, venues, stationary and of course...Bridal Boutiques! Let us give you a few tips about how to get the most out of your day there and prepare you a little for what is in store.
You are going to need a hearty breakfast! Its a long day and there are big queues for food (that can be pricey)
Wear comfortable shoes, again its a long day and you are on your feet.
Look at the show guide and plan out your day e.g - when are you going to watch the catwalk (get there early for a good seat) what suppliers have you researched and want to go talk to.
Know your budget boundries (maybe discuss how flexible you are willing to be with each area as often bugdets can underestimate the actual costs of services)
It is fast becoming a trend to try on wedding gowns at these shows, if this is something you are wanting/willing to do you need to be prepared ahead of time. The experience you have will not be like a proper bridal appointment at a boutique. The changing rooms are smaller, time is VERY limited and there are lots of other brides attending the show that will be able to see you as they walk past or are on the stand themselves.
Please don't get us wrong, it is still a lot of fun and many brides do find their dress on the day, but we would always advise making an appointment at the boutique for the full experience, with an exclusive use of the boutique where all our time and attention is devoted to you.
So hopefully that has helped you prepare for the exciting event of a large wedding show! We had a great time chatting to lots of lovely giddy brides and introducing everyone to Pretty White Dress.
Though we have been to some of these wedding shows individually ourselves, whilst planning our own weddings (or helping friends as bridesmaids), it was a totally different experience as suppliers.
As newcomers to The National Wedding Show everything was very exciting and impressive. There is so much organisation that goes into getting hundreds of suppliers set up and ready for the thousands of brides attending. It felt like a well oiled machine! We managed to get in and set up in record time (though we didnt have the size of stand that other vendors had, which I think we were thankful for when it came to packing up).
Our stand aesthetics was really important to us, we wanted to make sure we showed the heart and soul of Pretty White Dress, after all first impressions really do count. Using some lovely foliage and our gorgeous velvety chairs our mini boutique really did us proud. Now all we needed were some lovely brides to come and discover us...and wow! Did we get some brides!
Our very favourite part of The National Wedding Show was being featured on the catwalk. Seeing the gowns on a body, watching how it moves and flows really is better than just looking at them on the hanger sometimes. We had a dress that represented each of our designers really well and the response was fantastic. Brides were coming to us like they had been following a treasure map to get to 'the boutique with the (insert dress description here) gown that was on the catwalk!' and were relieved when we greeted them with a smile and a 'yes, she's one of ours!'
How gorgeous are these images of the catwalk captured by the wonderful Catherine and James of The Nobles Photography. We have worked with these two for years and they are fab, you can follow them on Instagram and Facebook @thenoblesphotography.
We also had the best time meeting lots of other wedding suppliers, such as Adam Hudson, a photographer with a really modern style, and fabulous wife! There was also the amazing Boutique Bakery who had the stand opposite us and kept us going with delicious cake samples, dreams of what wedding cake we want (for our vow renewing...obviously) and tales of wedding show lessons they have learnt along the way.
So until next year National Wedding Show, it was an absolute pleasure.
Hope to see you soon,