Clare will be marrying Chris on 5th May 2018 at Laura Ashley The Manor in Elstree, UK.
THREE FACTS: (1) Clare is not Jewish but discovered Smashing The Glass via her Jewish sister-in-law and during her wedding planning journey it has (in her own words!) became her favorite and most useful wedding blog (2) She finds STG refreshing in a sea of wedding blogs as she loves reading stories of couples for whom the ceremony itself is as pivotal as all the other details. (3) Due to falling in love with so many amazing Jewish weddings through the blog, and then booking a wedding consultancy session with STG founder, Karen, it confirmed to her that there were a number of Jewish elements she was going to bring into her wedding that symbolise a lot of things that are very important to her and her fiancà© in their future marriage – she will be having a ‘Jewish-inspired’ wedding!
Heading to ‘Brides The Show’
Having been mentally preparing for my wedding since around the age of five, going to a wedding show was always one of those essential activities that had to be done with my mum. Since getting engaged I had noticed the vast number of shows going on in London with even keener than normal interest.
It was therefore with much excitement that my mum and I went to Brides The Show on October 1st. Waiting to meet mum outside the tube, a constant stream of mums and daughters, sisters, grandmothers were making their way to the design centre in Islington.
Treated like VIPs
When we arrived, VIP tickets in hand I wasn’t sure quite what to expect from this experience. Would it meet my childhood wedding expectation dreams?! The first ten minutes or so were spent navigating our way around the exhibitors, glancing at our maps for those that we had pre planned to visit and taking in the overwhelming amount of dresses, photo booths, wedding cakes, stationery…
Our first stop was to the VIP lounge. We had debated the purchase of the VIP tickets but had decided we would treat ourselves to the promised goods that would be in store. The lounge was busy but with plenty of seating, and a lovely place to have our complimentary glass of bubbles and plan out our hit list of what we needed to see.
It’s time for the catwalk show
One of our first destinations was to the catwalk show. As VIP ticket holders we had reserved seating at the front, however as you will see from the photos, unless you arrived nice and early for those front row seats, you ended up several rows deep! Despite this we still got some lovely views and were inspired by the many stunning gowns. From designers I have long lusted after like Berta and Suzanne Neville to others I knew less of including Savin (sooo many made my wish list!), Ruth Milliam and Marco & Maria.
One of the best things about this experience (other than getting to see all of the dresses from your Instagram of dreams in the flesh) was being able to see their prices in the show guide. I don’t know about you ladies, but having never shopped for a wedding dress before and going only by the costs my close friends and family shared with me of their own dresses, I really had no idea what to expect for the budget I have in mind. I have found it to be near impossible to discover how much the dresses I have fallen for from magazines and online are. Finally being let in on what felt like a big secret was somewhat of a relief!
Another real highlight of the day was the Bobbi Brown master classes. As a serious makeup addict, getting to see demos of some stunning looks was highly enjoyable. I definitely sat on the front row taking notes, and my mum got some very good mother of the bride inspiration too.
Chance to meet wedding vendors
We spent the rest of our day wandering around, checking out a variety of options for invitations, photographers (truth be told, I had already booked my photographer at this point but who doesn’t enjoy looking through stunning wedding pictures!) and of course we had to visit the Jo Malone stand to have another debate over wedding candle scents.
I’ll be honest, there wasn’t an awful lot we have never seen before, but the opportunity to talk with wedding vendors and actually see the goods for real was definitely worthwhile. What’s more, the goodie bags were definitely worth the upgraded ticket price, it was a bit like being a child at Christmas! From skincare to hair products and nail polish, I have been making full use of my freebies and they were a definite plus point to the day!
Was it worth it?
So, would I recommend other brides to attend the show? If you’re just up for a fun day with your mum/best friend, gathering ideas then it’s definitely worth attending. We had a lovely day and it has certainly proved to spur me on to book those dress appointments and finally order the invitations. However, aside from dress boutiques (I confirmed on the day that I will definitely make appointments with The Wedding Club in South Kensington and Suzanne Neville) I don’t see myself using any of the vendors I spoke with on the day where I had perhaps imagined this would be the case. I wouldn’t attend another show now but would definitely recommend brides in the early stages of their planning to go for it and enjoy the experience.
Click here to read all Clare’s planning posts to date.