10 things I learned at the National Wedding Show

I moustache you a question (this piece of swag came from The Happy Wedding Company, who make props and whatnot)
I moustache you a question (this piece of swag came from The Happy Wedding Company, who make props and whatnot)

I popped along to the National Wedding Show at Earls Court over the weekend to see if I could find any inspiration to share with my Peach Trees readers and it really didn’t disappoint. The wedding industry is pretty crazy at the best of times, but it’s always interesting to see what the latest trends and fashions are.

As a recently engaged person, I most enjoyed the catwalk show – it’s really cool to see what the bridal gowns of next season are like and it’s great for giving you ideas. Wedding shows can be somewhat bizarre experiences, but I would recommend going to one in the run up to your wedding, just in case you stumble across a supplier, a style, or an idea you really love.

Here are 10 things I learned at the show:

  1. Teeth whitening hen dos are a thing. No, seriously. There’s a place on Harley St where you can book in with your bridal party. They close the clinic, get a load of nibbles in, and then each person gets their teeth whitened. Yep.
  2. Someone will, at some point, try and take off some of your hair. I was accosted by a lady selling those little sandpaper pad things you rub on your skin to remove hair. When I told her I’d shaved my legs that morning, she asked to feel my leg to check. When I declined, she grabbed my arm and tried to sandpaper off my arm hair, then feigned complete shock when I snatched my arm back going OUCH.
  3. There aren’t many stands for things you might actually need, like bunting and wedding insurance. I took a single flyer for wedding insurance (John Lewis, if you’re interested) and did not find any of the twee crap I was really looking for. I had pictured coming back with reams of fairy lights at a decent price. This was not to be.
  4. The song du jour for wedding stuff is the one from the Thomas Cook advert, Simon the Ogre.
  5. There is a bridal lingerie section of the catwalk where all the (ridiculously skinny) models appear in white bras and knickers, heels, and veils. It was slightly creepy.
  6. None of the catwalk brides were more than a size eight and not one of them was wearing full body spanx, which I thought was a bit dishonest.
  7. If you are happy trying on wedding dresses in a warehouse with 1000 other people, then you stand to find a real bargain at a big wedding show. If you’re picturing finding your perfect dress with your two best friends while sipping champagne in a small boutique, this is not the event for you.
  8. There are several things you might find at a big wedding show, including: live music, photographers, videographers, dresses, florists, and gimmicks like Marryoke. It’s better for finding big name suppliers than small local ones (duh). There is also a huge representation for weddings abroad, so if you’ve not found a venue yet or you’re thinking about tying the knot overseas, you can talk to people from Cyprus, Greece, etc who will try to entice you with pictures of blue skies and white sand.
  9. Telling a cake maker that you made your sister’s wedding cake last week makes their face do a funny thing. I basically had the flyer snatched back out of my hand by two different suppliers. Which is fine, because Little Bear Cakery is making my cake any way. You can psych them out simply by asking about dowels and infrastructure.
  10. Whatever you do, do not go to one of these events on your own. You might find some amazing things for your wedding, or you might not. But you will definitely find some things to have a giggle over (ass-less spanx, anyone?).

The National Wedding Show is in Birmingham next weekend (3-5 October) and Manchester the weekend after (11-12 October). You can buy tickets online.

37 comments
amy__liz
amy__liz

Oh gosh, I think it's best if I stay away from wedding fairs! There are some 'alternative'/vintage ones around which might be less stressful but I imagine them to still be kind of bizarre. Also, I can't imagine my bridesmaids faces if I suggested a teeth whitening hen do... How odd. 

beesloveteas
beesloveteas

@peachtreesbbees great review! I spent 5 mins at one wedding fair and that was enough for me (especially as I wasn't a size 6 bride!)

ElspethYates
ElspethYates

@ashleyfryer ass-less Spanx??? Surely that defeats the object somewhat? I'm confused...do I dare Google? X

ashleyfryer
ashleyfryer

@tedmcotter ooh! Don't be anxious - just go and let it all wash over you. Try not to feel overwhelmed. Have you got a date in mind?

tedmcotter
tedmcotter

@ashleyfryer I'm finding even the idea of a white wedding overwhelming at the mo tbh! No date yet, need to finish the PHD first.

ashleyfryer
ashleyfryer

@tedmcotter our planning is going well thanks! We're taking it at a gentle pace - booked venue and photographer but that's it. :)

ashleyfryer
ashleyfryer

@tedmcotter meh, not hugely useful but I have a pretty clear idea of what I want already. More useful if you're open to everything I think.

tedmcotter
tedmcotter

@ashleyfryer Glad it's going smoothly and nice that you have such a clear picture of what you want too :) x

tedmcotter
tedmcotter

@ashleyfryer It's all still so new for us that I think it'll be fun anyway. Just can't abide pushy salesfolk, you know?

ashleyfryer
ashleyfryer

@tedmcotter and thank you :) it helps that my sis got married so recently - I've learned a lot! And found some awesome suppliers. :)

ashleyfryer
ashleyfryer

@tedmcotter yeah I know exactly what you mean. Just go and soak it all up and you might find you come back with ideas! :)

tedmcotter
tedmcotter

@ashleyfryer Oh! and we should totally meet up at some point so I can hear about all these awesome suppliers :)

ashleyfryer
ashleyfryer

@tedmcotter where are you thinking of getting married? Jack and I have found a venue just outside Bath. :) x

ashleyfryer
ashleyfryer

@tedmcotter very exciting times! :) good luck, let me know how you find the show! And yes it would be LOVELY to see you! x

tedmcotter
tedmcotter

@ashleyfryer I love Bath! A friend of mine got married at Orchardleigh house near there, beautiful countryside :)

tedmcotter
tedmcotter

@ashleyfryer We don't know. She is from North Lincolnshire, I'm from Bristol so it's going to be tough. Somewhere neutral we think.

tedmcotter
tedmcotter

@ashleyfryer Will do! Cool, we shall make a date! :) I'm pretty busy for the next month but will check my calendar and get back to you.

ashleyfryer
ashleyfryer

@tedmcotter ooh they were at the Wedding Show. We looked at that but it was a bit too ££. Bath is stunning. My family all live in Somerset.