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Suited and booted at the National Wedding Show


Jun 03, 2010 | Blog

There's a woman sitting in her wedding dress, while a man nearby has donned a full morning suit. But, they're nowhere near a church, registry office or even a restaurant or hotel. Instead, if the organisers of the National Wedding Show have their way, people across the country will wear their wedding dresses, suits, tiaras, veils and bridesmaid dresses to work for a day this autumn.

The Brides at Work event, which is due to take part on September 17th, has been set up to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. It's one of a series of new initiatives and features which event organisers at this autumn's National Wedding Show have planned.

This array of new features, as well as the show's long-established reputation, have helped ensure the continued success of the events, which take place four times a year in London and Birmingham, according to Gabi Webb, marketing manager for the National Wedding Show.

"We're always looking, show-on-show, to build new features in because we feel that's our USP [unique selling point] and our strength," she noted.

"I feel that brides know about the show and they trust it to deliver."

As well as the Brides at Work initiative, this autumn's National Wedding Show, which takes place at London's Earls Court from October 1st-3rd and in Birmingham's NEC from October 8-10th, will include a new feature called bridal coaching.

Former model and life coach Michelle Paradise will hold confidence sessions and workshops, focusing on the emotions that occur as women plan a wedding, as well as more material aspects, such as how to walk in high-heels.

The popular catwalk shows, which take place four times a day, will continue to be a key part of the event, Ms Webb said.

"It is a very entertaining, inspirational, glamorous catwalk showing all the latest designs for bridal-wear, as well as grooms-wear, mother of the bride and bridesmaids-wear," she said.

She added: "It's almost like lifting the page of a magazine right for brides to see and then they can go and actually try on the dresses that they have seen on the catwalk at the show.

"We also have the How to Look Good show, which is hosted by Caryn Franklin and Jane Galpin, who are the producers for How to Look Good Naked."

They'll work their magic on soon-to-be brides, grooms and mothers-of-the-brides, ensuring they are ready for the big day.

Errol Douglas or Lisa Sheppard will be on hand to provide hair suggestions, while visitors can also attend advice clinics or inspiration sessions, which are run by wedding consultant Kate Smallwood.

As well as features, there are more than 300 exhibitors at each of the shows.

"I think that the mix of over 300 exhibitors, which can provide 1,000s of products for their big day, and the features we have at the show is what has made the National Wedding Show so successful because it adds real value for money when people are buying their tickets," she noted.

This value-for-money offering has also helped ensure the event didn't feel the effects of the recession too badly.

"For London this year, our numbers were up by 13 per cent and we actually sustained an increase for Birmingham of 27 per cent from last year. So we've actually been finding that despite the recession, brides still want to come to the show and I think that this is testament to the long-established shows and the value-for-money aspect.

"People can come to the event, where there will be show offers that they wouldn't be able to get if they went to a shop.

"They can also shop around, see what's out there and look at the competition and make informed decisions at the show," she concluded. ADNFCR-1752-ID-19815132-ADNFCR

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