The Designer Wedding Show, London, February 2011 ~ Blog Report…

On Friday last week (11th February 2011), I hopped on an early train down to London and started to make my way towards the Designer Wedding Show. After a 3 hour journey that seemed to last only 10 minutes, I met my friend Cat Hepple at Waterloo station and we made our way towards Battersea Park.

The Designer Wedding Show aims to bring the finest companies in the UK Wedding Industry together under one roof for 3 days. As far as Wedding Exhibitions go, so far, this is the best one for me.  There are maybe one or two things I'd like to change about the show, but on the whole, the event is very well organised, the exhibitors are top notch, and the 3 times a day fashion show features some of the industries most sought after designers, including, this year, Matthew Williamson, Temperley London, Ritva Westenius, Maria Grachvogel, Delphine Manivet, David Fielden, Heirloom Couture and SassiHolford.

Cat and I met up with Photographer Katy Lunsford shortly after arriving – who was accompanied by her beautiful Daughter Sophie, and who very kindly took the photographs for this feature.  I must apologise too.  Strictly speaking, camera's are not allowed at the show, however Katy was able to capture some beautiful images to share with you today – thanks so much Katy.

When it came to the fashion show, Maria Grachvogel was bang on trend with bridal jump suits, created in luxuriously fluid crepe backed satins for a Wallis Simpson feel, and the fabulous David Fielden's colour of choice was a soft silver blue, just gorgeous for a spring or winter wedding.

Pay attention to detail on the decolletage, be it with a ruffled corsage or statement cathedral length lace lined veil 'cape', as seen in the Ritva Westenius collection.

Emma Hunt and Sassi Holford championed the classic full length 1950s ball gown. The understated princess is all the rage.

Soft ruffled layering which moves beautifully was very prominent and lace shows no signs of fading out…

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, Katy Lunsford

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Stands that stood out for me this season were, as usual, Emmy Shoes (see above).  Emmy really knows how to put on a glorious exhibition, not that it takes much effort to woo Brides to be with her pretty, vintage inspired and crystal embellished heels…

The delicious Magpie Vintage Stand was full to the brim with vintage and vintage inspired sparkly gorgeousness.  The stand was very busy, all of the time – a reflection of the popularity of vintage and vintage inspired accessories right now.  Owners Lisa Harris and Tania Borton were joined on their stand by Severin Hubert of Hepburn Collection, who was on hand to offer advice on bridal hair styles and help Magpie Vintage Brides consider how they could wear vintage headpieces on their wedding day.

I purchased a beautiful pair of vintage earrings at the show and wore them later that evening at the By Appointment Only Design party at One Mayfair (more on the party of the year coming up soon!)…

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London based laser-cut stationery specialists, Cutture, really and truly blew me away with their stand and I couldn't stop staring at this gorgeous little butterfly placemat design, that also doubled up as a menu…

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An amazing lasercut art decorated wall at the Cutture exhibition…

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More from Emmy Shoes

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I just adore Sugalily, the vintage and retro inspired stationery company headed up by Abbey Warner.  Abbey is fabulous; hilarious, sweet, kind, funny, caring – and her stationery, for me, always stands out from the rest for it's quirky originality…

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Other stands that really stood out for me included By Appointment Only Design, whose exquisite florals and table displays just blew me away.  The boys behind this delightful event planning and wedding concierge service, Javier and Tony, are complete  Gentleman. I cannot rave about them enough and am really excited that I'll be spending time with both very soon, so that I can bring you some DIY wedding flower tutorial features, as well as provide an insight into two of London's most utterly charming wedding planners.

Milliner Uma Turan, who was exhibiting for the first time at the show and who's exquisite head piece designs and hand made Bride and Bridesmailds dolls really did make my heart flutter and Scribe, Paul Antonio, who I'd met earlier in the week at the Niemierko Valentines party, was using his quill and inks to demonostrate his scribe and illustrative skills on the spot. Believe me, it is VERY impressive, as is Paul's client list! (he was off to Louis Vuitton that afternoon). I'm looking forward to spending time with Paul and interviewing him for a Love My Dress feature very soon.

I was also drawn in by the Heirloom Couture stand, a collection of the most utterly stunning original vintage wedding dresses in all shapes, sizes and styles and representing several vintage eras.  Again, watch out for an Heirloom Couture feature on Love My Dress very soon.

The beautiful Magpie Vintage necklaces that were lent to Cat and I by Magpie Vintage, so very pretty…

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The Harriet Wilde wedding shoes stand was fabulous and I am so in love with her bright red, sequin sparkly Dorothy heels!

And finally, whilst I didn't get chance to visit her stand, I did spend time chatting with Naomi Tate after the show.  The charming and very charismatic Naomi, an ex-ballerina, was a real vision in her amazing fur hat and gorgeous vintage choker, and she spent time telling me how she sources all original vintage materials to hand craft the most exquisite vintage chokers and cuffs.  A designer new to the exhibition scene and most definitely one to watch.

Meet Katy Lunsford's beautiful little girl Sophie.  We're training her young. She is going to be a blogging, photographic genius by the time she's 10! 🙂

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I hadn't realised Katy had caught this shot of me taking time out with Kat Williams from Rock n Roll Bride, and Photographers Shell de Mar and Annamarie Stepney

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In terms of a networking opportunity for the wedding industry, I sadly did not have enough time to get around to everyone I had hoped to (I'm going to be so much more strict with my time next time!) but I was so thrilled to have been able to spend time chatting with Tiffany Grant Riley, Makeup Artist Lina Cameron, Parisian Expert Hair Stylist Severin Hubert and his wife Roz (that's Severin below middle, and who had styled my hair several days prior at the UK Wedding Bloggers Photoshoot), the Magpie Vintage girls, Sugalily, Emma Case, Anna of Anna and the Ring, Dominique Bader, Dasha Caffrey, Kerry Smith of Vintage Simplicity, Kat Williams of Rock n Roll Bride, Shell de Mar, Annamarie Stepney, Yulia Kunze, Andri Benton of Always Andri and a whole huge host of others…

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Just to add too, we stopped to eat at the show and the service there was impeccable.  The food was also utterly delicious and I would highly recommend anyone taking time out to visit the show to also book a table at the restaurant in advance and make a day of it. Heck, why not order a bottle of champagne too like Cat, Katy and I did 🙂

I really enjoyed the show and am already looking forward to the October event. I would highly recommend Brides take time out to visit the event – if you're not based in London why not make a trip of it with your best friend and stop over night? 🙂

I would like to thank the lovely Katy Lunsford for taking these photographs (see more from Phtographer Katy Lunsford on Love My Dress Wedding Blog here).  Huge thanks to Tiffany Grant Riley also for her assistance with this feature.

Much love,

Annabel xXx



Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.