The Designer Wedding Show, London, February 2012 ~ Wedding Blog Report…

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Afternoon ladies and gents :)  This time last week, I was hanging out with Photographer Eliza Claire and working the stands at The Designer Wedding Show with timed military precision, trying to fit as many of them in to our allotted 3 hours as we could. Of course, it wasn't possible in this time to fit in absolutely everyone and sadly there were some key stands that we missed {which included Hermione Harbutt, Emma Hunt, Lina Cameron, Passionate About Vintage and very sadly, Zita Elze, though you can see more here from the lady who creates wedding dmacfarlaneresses out of flowers}. 

That's the problem with visiting The Designer Wedding Show as 'PR' – the floor at Battersea Park in London is full of the work of around 140 exhibitors, so it's difficult to get round to see everyone with limited time.  But we did get to stop and chat with some really brilliant designers and Eliza kindly took these photographs for me to share.

Spotted in attendance to observe the stands and catch up with industry colleagues – Polly Alexandre, Phillipa Lepley, Sarah Haywood, and Lester from No 10 Weddings amongst others.

The reception area gave a glimpse as to what was to come with huge floral displays from By Appointment Only Design, who were one of the first stands to greet you on entry into the main exhibiting area.

When I say 'greet you', I mean in a 'knock-your-socks-off' kind of way…

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2012, Eliza Claire

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The By Appointment Only Design team had produced an outrageously beautiful stand, boasting pastel pretty florals, elegantly tall glass candleabras, flickering candles, a huge ornate framed mirror and lots and lots of beautiful scattered rose-petals. This was a dream wedding reception display if ever there was one.  Even the china dishes sat upon a cushion of roses…

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The Designer Wedding Show is a great place to spend some time wandering around with your Mum maybe, or bridesmaids, to if nothing else be inspired, but of course the best reason to visit is so that you can source suppliers for your big day, and really some of the best in the UK exhibit at this show. It's a huge amount of fun- you get to meet the designers {well, mostly} behind your dress – Sassi Holford for example is always on hand to chat {and her 11 year old Daughter was strutting her stuff in some pretty bridesmaids frocks down the catwalk!} and there is a champagne bar and great lunch menu. I've dined at the show a few times now – the food is super.  Expect to pay around £10 for a glass of champagne. Well worth the treat for a bride-to-be methinks 😉

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The By Appointment Only Design display included the most beautiful cake designed by Peggy Porschen

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Calligrapher and Scribe, Paul Antonio, was busy writing visitor names in his incomparably beautiful writing, for guests to take away with them. I witnessed many visitors staring in awe as the Master Scribe worked his magic…

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Paul produces the most sumptuous wedding invitations and save the dates using delicate flourishes and subtle line illustrations with beautifully hand-scribed envelopes and placecards.

There is not another person in the world with Paul's skill level, we are utterly privileged to have access to Paul's services here in the UK.

Paul is an intelligent and very kindly man with a huge heart, he does a lot of work for charity and under privileged children. It is always such a pleasure to spend time in his company – he will happily write for you – be it your name, or that of your loved one – it is mesmerising to watch…

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I am just so completely in love with the Utterly Sexy Cafe – owner and designer Amanda is adorable and her work baking and decorating edible goodies is very influenced by her work as an artist and ability to paint the most intricate detail…

I mean, have you even seen a wedding cake as wonderful as the 'love birds' one below?

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If you look closely, you'll see in the cake below some pretty sugar pea pods.  Amanda from the Utterly Sexy Cafe explained that many years ago, a pea-pod was considered a sign of good luck in marriage!

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As usual, the wonderful Emmy Scarterfield and her team wowed me with their gorgeous heels. This season, Emmy has introduced a number of new designs that are just so beautiful – I'm due to visit Emmy soon and promise you I'll come back armed with so many different pictures and lots of information about one of my favourite ever shoe designers. 

Aren't those ruby red sparkly slippers below right amazing? They were the shoes designed for the winner of the Andrew Lloyd Webber hit TV show, 'Over The Rainbow'

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These shoes were literally covered in the tiniest delicate sparkles and pearls, quite simply breathtaking…

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The team at Cutture, laser-cut stationery specialists had the most wonderful display with a backdrop of paper flowers.  I mean just look at this pretty lasercut table display – the frame of butterflies with the delicate lasercut wings, just so adorable…

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It is always a pleasure to see Edwina Ibbotson* and take a close up look at her exquisite headpiece designs.  This one stood out at me in particular, I adore the 1920's flapper style headband…

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* Edwina does not have a website, but you can contact her via email on [email protected].

More 1920's, cloche hat inspired designs including the most intricate hand-sewed beading. Out of this world…

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Brides looking for an exotic style wedding reception ought look up The Raj Tent Club, who can supply an extensive range of tents, chill-out furniture and accessories for weddings. Imagine the lights going down outside and a warm summer evening breeze wafting through the draped fabric and making the pretty lanterns swing gently whilst you relax with your guests taking in the amazing atmosphere that is your wedding.

Lost in a bit of a dreamworld…

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One of the cake designers I was absolutely dieing to meet was Rosalind Miller.  I only fairly recently became familiar with Rosalind's cake designs, but was so thrilled that she won a national award at the 2012 Wedding Awards last month.  As a judging panel member for the awards, I was rather chuffed to see Rosalind had her winners trophy very proudly displayed on her Designer Wedding Show stand.  Check out these cakes anyway, are they not utterly divine!?

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It was great to meet new designers like Donna Crain Coutture, who specialise in vintage and vintrage inspired accessories for the modern bride. Donna's stand was exceptionally busy and we struggled to even get these images at all!

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One exhibition stand that really stood out to me was that of The Vernon Sisters – a trio of beautifully styled musicians {red lips and nails painted to perfection} who were performing live at the show.  Their voices are so incredibly harmonious! I could have danced right there and then on the spot!

Actual sisters, Rebecca, Sophia and Tasmin have been playing music since they were small children, and now specialise in providing wedding and event entertainment, with a focus on 1940s vintage cabaret, swing time and motown and soul.

I truly enjoyed listening to them perform live an would LOVE for one of my readres to book these ladies for their wedding! Please let me know if you do!!

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Little Bevan were proudly displaying their traditional style attire for bridesmaids, flowergirls and pageboys.  Designer Nicky Macfarlane, the lady behind Little Bevan, is also the lady behind those pretty bridesmaids dresses you saw ot a certain Royal Wedding last April!

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One of the most ingenious displays came from stationery designers extraordinaire, Hello!Lucky.  I absolutely adored their use of a fabric backdrop, depicting images of London, a red bus, taxis, the city skyline – upon which lay examples of the brilliantly inventive designs from this wonderful company.

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I could just imagine my little girl Eska, 6, running around in one of these pretty petticoat designs, by Angels Face

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Anna Tyler Cakes had beautiful selection of tower fancies, which we sampled. Of course!

Mouth wateringly delightful…

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Charlotte Casadejus could be spotted popping off for a break from her stand duties, looking sublime as always – but we still managed to catch up with her a little later and take in her exquisite dress designs.

It possibly sounds silly to say but I feel quite proud for Charlotte, who started small but who's designs are now being given the recognition they so very well deserve {spot Charlotte's designs in Browns Bride}. 

Charlotte's vintage inspired dresses feature wonderful hand-crafted touches and are inspired by dress silhouettes from the 1850s through to the 1970s.

I adore Charlotte Casadejus {actually a super lovely, funny person who is always full of energy!} and frankly all the dresses in her collection…

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The gorgeous Sassi Holford who I enjoyed more than a few canapes and cocktails with after the show was showcasing her latest designs, more of which will follow on Love My Dress in the next couple of weeks…

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And Matthew Williamson's bridal wear was also on display, though sadly his very latest designs were back at his store for a busy weekend of bridal bookings and trying on sessions!

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Another brand I was excited to meet on the day were Maids to Measure.  Winner of the best 'national newcomer' at this years's Wedding Industry Awards, sisters India and Sinclair Sellars established Maids to Measure after they found too many brides complaining about tring to find the ideal bridesmaids dress.

And they're extremely reasonably priced; all dresses by appointment cost just £225 (includes fittings and an alteration).  Alternatively, you can design your dresses on line, choosing from a wide seleciton of designs & fabrics and using a helpful measurement guide and pay just £195 per dress.

What a genius business idea! Also helps that India and Sinclair are both super lovely ladies – as was their Mum, who was on hand to support this dynamic duo in showcasing their wonderful new bridesmaids dress service…

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The wonderful Ruth from Harriet Wilde was spotted busy as handing over shoes to her exhibition stand visitors to try on.  I own the most beautiful pair of Harriet Wilde heels – a sparkling, silver, 4 inch heel design with a subtle 70's inspired platform. They are one of my most favourite paris of shoes ever. 

Ruth, the designer behind the brand is such a lovely lady, who always greets me with a huge smile on her face.

Harriet Wilde shoes are stylishly and luxuriously made but offer comfort too.

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If one cake stand was super busy {mind they were dishing out delicious cupcakes to the masses!} it was that of GC Couture, who specialise in designing bespoke, luxury wedding cakes.

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GC Couture can offer 34 flavours, which include 'fruitcake without the bits' which no doubt appeals to many!

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It was wonderful to have a few moments with the ladies over at Dottie Creations – who don't just design fabulous wedding stationery and table top decor, like the wooden invitations you see before you, they also provide a rather wonderful wedding photography service too! {I have around 3 weddings of theirs lined up for a feature – watch this space!}. 

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The girls at Dottie are immense fun to be around {I spent an entire weekend giggling with them at The Designer Vintage Bridal Show}, and are very approachable and down to earth.  They are full of the most wonderfully creative ideas to help inject a bit of wow factor to your wedding day, like cute little table plans below right – lift the flap to find out if you are on the 'Summer Burst' table, I just love this!

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Dress designer Lisa Redman, who I have previously interviewed here, had some simply exquisite designs on her display stand.  Lisa is another designer I hugely admire for the quality  of her work and independent, bespoke designs, all of which carry a strong Redman signature style…

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All in all I really enjoyed the show this season.  The Designer Wedding Show remains my favourite main wedding fair,  it's always such fun being able to catch up with industry friends and colleagues and a delight bumping in to one of your readers who won tickets via your blog to attend the event too!

I'm so sorry I didn't get time, literally, to get around to see everyone this time, but I promise I'm going to try even harder next time.  The October event takes place over 12-14 October.  You can betya its in my diary! 😉

Huge thanks to lovely Eliza Claire for so kindly accompanying me to the show on the Saturday to take these photographs.  You can see more beautiful weddings from Eliza Claire on Love My Dress here, as well as previous Designer Wedding Show reports.

Did you visit the show? What was the best part for you? Did you leave the show having made any purchases or bookings? Would you go again? Would you recommend it? I'd really love your feedback as visitors/brides to be – though I'd love to hear from suppliers too.

Enjoy your Saturday my lovelies 🙂



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.

12 thoughts on “The Designer Wedding Show, London, February 2012 ~ Wedding Blog Report…

  1. Gorgeous photos, it was a great weekend! I just love how the whole show is just buzzing with happiness and excitement with all the brides and their entourages! We had lots of lovely folk come and chat to us about some incredible honeymoons (we being Scott Dunn!) and we were blown away by the amazing Vernon Sisters and the sheer amount of talent in that room! x

  2. I think I will be attending this show next time it is on, does anyone know when it is? I’ve got a fairly long engagement, not marrying until end of ’13 but love the look of some of these supplies x

  3. Hi Ms Tilly, if you visit the designer wedding show website, there is a link at the top ‘future dates’ and once clicked, you will see 12-14 October. I will be there for sure and would love to hook up for a tea if you are going?
    Much love,
    Annabel xXx

  4. So sad to have missed it this time, it looks like it was a wonderful show full of extremely pretty stands and amazing suppliers. Lovely pictures too Eliza! The October show will be firmly in my diary! x

  5. Dear Annabel, I’m Giorgia an Italian wedding planner. I would like to attend an important wedding show in the Uk, so I kindly ask you if you can recommed this exhibition (the designer wedding show) instead of the national wedding show? Thank you so much for your advice, I love your pictures!!!

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