It’s very rare I get excited by wedding fairs; now I know that sounds a little harsh, but I’m just being honest! So stay with me while I explain. I attended a few fairs at the beginning of my wedding planning career, when I was still very doe eyed and in awe of the world of weddings. Astonishingly, most of these fairs felt uninspiring, incohesive and tired; they were using the same old boring “tried and tested to death” fair format. They weren’t looking at how the wedding industry was evolving and how exciting it had become.
So it was no shock to me when one of the flagship luxury wedding shows in the wedding planning calendar got permanently cancelled.
Now, this sent a little shock wave of panic through the industry, but being totally honest it was what was needed. It offered a real turning point for the exhibition industry to stop, look, think and come back with a better offering for both couples and exhibitors. To be frank, couples and exhibitors deserved more for their money and a better experience overall. The exhibition industry had to stop thinking about making a ‘fast buck’ and how they could now create events that worked in this new dynamic wedding market where inspiration and experience is key.
So with the next “Brides The Show” rapidly approaching, I thought you would love to read my musings, on their very first show and what I adored about it.
Very early one Sunday last October, I headed off into the morning rain to Battersea. It was one of those mornings where I woke up feeling excited. You know that type of little giddy feeling you get when you have a long-standing date in your diary and those anticipatory feelings have been building up.
You’re off to experience something new, there had been lots of hype in the build-up and you just can’t wait to be there and immersed within it. “What am I talking about?” “Well, Brides the Show of course!”
‘Your who, what, where guide to all things fabulous!’ That was the strapline of the show, so of course Love Scarlett had to pop along to see this new initiative for brides who were planning their wedding in action. As soon as I entered the exhibition, I was greeted by “The Imagination Room.” Now for those of you who do not know me, I have a bit of an affinity with glue guns, so I instantly wanted to run straight in, take a seat and create for the rest of the day. However, being the consummate professional I am; I drew a long breath, composed myself and my inner calm to get ready for the assault that was about to take place on my senses.
I wandered in to the main exhibition and was pretty mesmerised by the expansive starlight ceiling and array of amazing wedding professionals showcasing their products; from cakes to opulent wedding dresses, dazzling accessories to a sommeliers’ table, no less!
The catwalk had a serene and floaty feeling, with an exquisite, carefully edited list of gowns to capture every bride’s style and imagination. Equally I was very impressed to see that newer designers were also showcased alongside the big brands, and the show really embraced championing new talent.
The show also had an iconic wedding dresses’ exhibit, it was amazing to see some of these famous gowns up close. I also adored the “on the sofa with” an area for brides to meet wedding experts discussing a range of topics from honeymoons to wedding styling carefully planned through the three day show.
Wandering around, it really began to sink in that this show is different, it wasn’t just a clever strapline and marketing plan. This show had just the right approach of professional showcasing, which was ever so cleverly intertwined with fashion, inspiration, learning and glamour. The whole event gives the creative, forward thinking savvy bride the opportunity to tailor their own bridal show experience. “At last!” I said as I sashayed into the champagne lounge for a cheeky glass, someone “got it!”
I really could go on and on about what this wedding show, ‘got so right!’ But I feel my summary of amazing suppliers, to moments and designs captured on my camera, would sum it up far better for you all. This way you can gently wander through the post and feel just as enchanted as I was.
Words Penelope Cullen Tigerlily
Photography Penelope Cullen Tigerlily