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INSIDE | Swapping Centre Stage for the Aisle at the National Wedding Show

Whether it’s dreaming of walking down the aisle, binge-watching Bride Wars or scrolling through endless Pinterest boards, a wedding is probably the biggest challenge when it comes to planning an event. There is no better way to gather your ideas and strike inspiration than a visit to the National Wedding Show.

Described as ‘the ultimate day out for wedding inspiration’ the event features over 250 of the finest wedding suppliers, from dresses, to entertainment, cakes and even honeymoons. It’s guaranteed to open your eyes to every inch of the detail that goes into planning a wedding. Hailed as one of the most important days of your life, every girl dreams of their big day and The National Wedding Show allows you to get your mind around the different pieces of the wedding puzzle.

Hesitant after visiting similar shows such as the Clothes Show Live and the Beauty Show that it would be both heaving with people and predominantly pushy salespeople, I was pleasantly surprised. Arriving early, there was a calm yet atmospheric ambience in the air as we planned our route around the stalls.

The event itself felt big but not overwhelmingly large, therefore tackling it in under three hours is possible. With the hall set out as a large square, getting around wasn’t overly complicated. The catwalk stage is placed in the centre of the room with the stalls cleverly spread allowing you to navigate your way around the exhibition with ease.

Probably the most important part of the wedding, there were a vast variety of venues on offer which instantly catches your attention with their visually engaging photographs of past weddings. Whether it’s the rolling mountains of Tuscany, the rural aesthetic of the ancient Warwick Castle, the decadence of Hoar Cross Hall or the splendidly striking Wroxall Abbey Estate, it really gives you a flavour of the different scales of venue on offer.

Creating a vibrant mood at the event were the sounds of the wedding musicians that were scattered across the hall. Upon entry to the show, we were hit with the soothing sounds of the Wigornia String Quartet that brought a touch of elegance with their full-bodied sound that almost transported me to that excited feeling as the bride is about to walk down the aisle. Providing unique sounds of the 40s, Revival Live brought a vintage flair with their glorious sounds of the golden decades that we bursting with character and flair. However, it was the high-energy and soul of Elegant Entertainment that gave a dazzling performance of a catalogue of hits. Their stylish and classy stand allowed them to stand out amongst the rest, as the stage gave them a real presence at the exhibition.

Moving on to probably the most difficult decision, the expansive selection of dresses are likely to make that decision even harder. With everything from a short 50s style, long sophisticated number or a something fit for a princess, you’d be hard-pressed not to find your dream dress. J & J designs stood out with their large stand set out as if you quite literally have stepped into a wedding shop, not just another dress stand. With a queue system that allows you to have an exclusive time trying on your dresses without feeling rushed or pressured, the beautiful bespoke dresses were detailed and intricately designed.

 

 

Aside from the shopping, there were many hands-on activities to try ahead of your special day. The exhibition has a designated ‘Inspiration Lab‘ to cater for the more crafty bridal parties that want to interject their creativity into their wedding day. Ollie’s Studio, hosted a modern calligraphy workshop to inspire classy invitations and wedding stationery. Teaching you the basic steps of calligraphy and then giving templates and activities to try, you are able to try your hand at the craft.

Event company Cocktails With Mario hosted a special cocktail masterclass which felt ideal for a hen or stag party. Circled around a table in small groups, the charismatic Mario introduced everyone to different hints and tips to create the perfect cocktails.

Let’s be honest, there are an immense amount of components to making your wedding a dream day but the National Wedding Show is definitely the best way to start. Presenting the different aspects and choices involved in planning a wedding in a fun, visual and engaging way, it’s a wonderfully fun day out, essential for any bride to be.

On all weekend, find tickets and information for the National Wedding Show online here.

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