Brides the Show: High-end whimsical style at a priceIndustry-leading wedding magazine Brides threw their annual event at the light and bright Business Design Centre in Islington this weekend , plainly entitled: Brides the Show. I somehow managed to persuade my other half to join me as long as I paid for the ticket and he was back in time for the afternoon’s football. Turns out, we needed little more than a couple of hours to whiz around this medium-sized but perfectly-formed event.
Certainly on the higher-end of the bridal scale (especially when compared the catch-all National Wedding Show I attended recently), this swanky affair was all about beauty, grace and style…whatever the cost. Dress designers included big hitters Amanda Wakeley, Suzanne Neville and Sassi Holford, while venues featured were the not-so-cheap Mayfair Hotel, Blenheim Palace and my dream (but leagues out of my price range) venue Kew Gardens.
The magical garden/nature theme was evident throughout – there was a Secret Garden catwalk featuring feminine, ethereal creations, while flower arches, unicorns and zebras added to the event’s whimsicality.
Considering the size of the show and the number of exhibitors, there were surprisingly few freebies – I was expecting several carrier bag’s worth of magazines, sweets and miscellaneous skincare samples – but what I did pick up were plenty of flyers for bespoke suppliers that I hadn’t previously considered. Plus a few macaroons from this chap from Amberley Castle.
For example, Heritage Bridal Collections had a charming display of vintage brooches, scarves and other jewellery manipulated into bouquets, bags and table decorations. And Br&new Weddings offered a range of bespoke stationery that was decidedly refreshing from some of the vanilla invites we’d seen on the other stalls. Meanwhile, Cocoa Cream gave a very convincing sales spiel about their unique truffles, edible centrepieces and sugarwork masterpieces – although at £2,500 I won’t be rushing to order one for my wedding.
In fact, the cakes were one of the most amazing things about the show. The visual spectacle of something that’s essentially made out of the most basic ingredients was quite something (although again, I’m not sure at quite what price). In particular, Sari Cakes fused together a perfect mix of East and West; their hand-decorated cakes looked like delicate henna.
As usual, I flocked to the jewellery like a magpie to shiny things. I was in my element trying on a range of hair accessories and veils and the like – the left one here is from the Gillian Million collection (an apt name given the price). I do love me some vintage rustic glamour.
Our joint favourite supplier was undoubtedly The Flash Pack photo company, whose unusual Owl and the Pussy Cat-themed open photo booth was quite the experience, while the animated gif was just dumb fun.
Brides the Show was a stylish event with a select view memorable suppliers, but could have easily out-priced frugal brides who were on a more limiting budget. Still good fun though.