National Wedding Show

Bridal gowns and inspiration

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Press pause on Pinning for a moment: there’s real-time wedding inspiration to be had at The National Wedding Show. It’s just got underway at Olympia, London, and moves to Birmingham and Manchester after the weekend.

With more than 250 exhibitors under one roof, among them, an impressive line-up of bridal designers, it's worth going in with a game plan.

Here’s what ELLE will be looking out for:

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Runway brides


Show season continues, and what this catwalk lacks in F’row, it makes for with wedding dresses on tap, from the likes of Catharina Eden, Phase Eight and Timeless Couture. Split into themes– like ‘Beachy’, ‘Rock’n’roll’, ‘1920s’ – the runway offers a nice way into the show, as all the looks are available to buy.

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Gowns. Lots of them
An antidote to the traditional, appointment-led bridal circuit, the show’s wedding, boutique and designer areas are the big draw; allowing you to see a smorgasbord of gowns in one hit. Browse and try on pieces by Caroline Castigliano, Justin Alexander, Suzanne Neville, Stephanie Allin, Ritva Westenius and more. There’s plenty in the way of accessories too, like jewelled headpieces.

Maidspiration
Got your bridesmaids in tow? Take them to Maids to Measure or Nabbd (Not Another Boring Bridesmaid Dress). For the grooms, there’s John Kruger and Moss Bros, while Mother of the Brides can size up the likes of Nigel Rayment and Shelley Fashion.

Beauty
With a full programme of demos and experts ready to administer tips at the Wedding Theatre, come armed with tear sheets or screen grabs from the ELLE beauty pages and see if your favourite hair and make-up trends can crossover to bridal. Brides interested in doing their own make-up should stop by bareMinerals. Meanwhile, Essie is offering a complimentary file and polish with Essie purchases at the Nail Bar (subject to availability).

Petal Power
If you’ve been to Fashion & Gardens at the Lambeth Museum, you’ll know that beautiful flowers don’t begin and end with traditional, stiff bouquets. Get creative at the Designer Flower Market and Interflora Flower Bar and discover the most in bloom trends. With displays from florists including Wildabout, the Vera Wang Collections by Interflora and Todich Floral.

Tea stop
Finally, don’t forget to pay a visit to the oh-so-pretty Vintage Tea Room. Aside from tea and cake, there’s props styling inspiration in the shape of a vintage swing and taxi photo booth, complete with backdrops provided by The Photo Lounge. Or, just quickstep it to The Champagne Bar.

The National Wedding Show takes place at Olympia, London 21st -23rd February; NEC Birmingham 28th – 2nd March; and Manchester Central 15th-16th March 2014. For more information and to book, visit nationalweddingshow.co.uk

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