EXHIBITION: Plan Your Perfect Day at The National Wedding Show

– Amy Stutz reviews The National Wedding Show ahead of its arrival in Manchester 

Whether it’s dreaming of walking down the aisle, binge-watching Bride Wars or scrolling through endless Pinterest boards, it’s embedded in our minds that a wedding is the biggest day of our lives and the detail involved to make the day perfect is enormous.

There is no better way to gather your ideas 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. The spectacle of it all opened my eyes up to every piece that fits into 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 crowds and predominantly pushy salespeople, I was pleasantly surprised. The event felt big but not overwhelmingly large, therefore tackling it in under three hours is possible and getting around wasn’t overly complicated, allowing me to navigate my way around the exhibition with ease.

First and foremost the venue is probably the first thing you’re going to book when it comes to planning your wedding. 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 were the sounds of the wedding musicians that were scattered across the hall. Upon entry to the show, I was 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 exciting feeling as the bride is about to walk down the aisle. Providing unique sounds of the 40s, Revival Live brought a vintage vibe with their glorious renditions 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 their catalogue of hits.

Moving on to probably the most difficult decision, J & J Designs stood out with their large wedding dress stand that was built as if you quite literally have stepped into an intimate wedding shop. With a queue system that allowed 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 personalised invitations and wedding stationery.

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

Presenting the different aspects and choices involved in planning a wedding in a fun, visual and engaging way, The National Wedding Show is a wonderfully fun day out that is essential for any bride to be.