At the weekend my future sister in law (argh, weird to type that) and I visited the National Wedding Show in Manchester, hoping to pick some inspiration for my as-yet-not-organised wedding. We had a fantastic day and it was exactly what I was hoping for - lots of ideas about venues, dresses, entertainment, invitations, catering, wedding make up and venue decoration.
Here's a few of my favourite things we spotted at the National Wedding Show - there was a lot to do and see through the day so this is a tiny snippet of what was actually there:
Drop Top Guest Book
Instead of a boring, traditional paper guest book your guests write their names and/or a message on little wooden hearts that slot into a wooden photo frame. If you're a Pinterest obsessive (like me), you'll probably have seen these. I think they're such a lovely idea, way more interesting than a guest book and it's a proper keepsake that you can display as a fab reminder of your wedding day. You can find them at www.bspoak.co.uk - they come in a range of sizes and finishes and you can personalise them with your names and wedding date...n'aaaaw!
'Av A Go Taxi Photo Booth
I've never seen this before and I loved it - it's a white taxi, decked out in wedding swag which is actually a photo booths. I think photo booths are a really popular thing to have at weddings but this is so different and gorgeous, absolutely amazing! We didn't go in it as the queue was huge but you can find out more at www.avagobooths.co.uk
Foto Fusion Cards
Again, something I haven't seen before that I really really liked. I'm not sure how clear it is from my photo but what makes these different is that you can customise the cards to show whatever image you want and they print it on to transparent film that is slotted in to the card. The overall effect is so different and classy to anything I've seen before. This example shows some cute baby pictures of a bride and groom for their wedding invitation but I really liked the Thank You cards that showed a photograph of the happy couple on their wedding day. Check out their range of cards at www.foto-fusion.co.uk/
The thing we got most excited about was the dresses and catwalk shows - throughout the day there were bridalwear catwalk shows along with hair and make up demonstrations where they picked someone from the crowd and made them up into a bride. The make up demos were run by Andriani Vasilou of L'Oreal Paris and celebrity make up artist Ariane Poole. Here's a lucky bride getting made over as part of the show - they did a big reveal once she was all done up:
And it wouldn't be right for me not to include an obscene amount of dress and catwalk show photos as the dresses were by far the thing we saw the most of and are still talking about the best part of a week later:
There were some male models on the catwalk too showcasing some groom looks but that's not why we were there so I didn't take many pics! There are loads of stalls selling wedding dresses of every shape, size and colour (including the ones in the catwalk show). We saw a lot of teary eyed women trying on their dream dress in front of equally teary eyed family - there are a lot of discounts to be had, so if you're on a budget or you just want to pick up a fab dress for less, this is the place to be!
There were places to get afternoon tea, champagne and food too which is fab if you're treating it as a day out. There's even a VIP section where you get goody bags and VIP treatment.
If you're a bride lacking inspiration, someone who loves all things wedding or you just want to pick up some ideas it's well worth visiting the National Wedding Show. I thought I was quite well versed in all things wedding given my obsession with Pinterest and various wedding TV shows but there were plenty of surprises here for me!
The National Wedding Show exhibits around the country twice a year - visit www.nationalweddingshow.co.uk for information about the next show dates and venues. I actually might go to the show in February provided I've got a wedding booked at that point to pick up some deals and get even more inspiration.
If you're looking for some wedding inspiration or you just want to have a nosy at some of the wedding ideas I like, you can view my Pinterest wedding board here: