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Interview with The National Wedding Show’s Manager

Our favourite wedding show is back! The National Wedding Show opens it’s doors at London Olympia today till Sunday 24th September 2017. We took a few moments with the Show Manager Laura Bates, to learn what couples can expect at the show this autumn.

How much time was spent organising this season’s edition of TNWS?

Laura: There’s no set time on this – we’ve been running TNWS for over 20 years and the teamwork throughout the year to make everything perfect! As it should be – after all, this is the world of weddings all under one roof.

How important is this sole event to the visitors?

We really value our visitor’s feedback and constantly make edits to show content based on what our previous season’s show visitors tell us.  The shows are an essential part of the planning process for our visitors, whether they’re just starting out and want to see as much of the wondrous world of wedding possibilities as you can all in one place, or whether you’ve come to the show with a specific supplier or dress shop in mind to visit. That, teamed with the fact that it’s a great day out. Whether you come with your mum or with your hubby-to-be, it’s a day of toasts at the champagne bar, ‘instagrammable’ displays and of course, wedding shopping.

Left: Alessandra Rinaudo for J&J Designs Bridal / Right: Moss Bros.

What percentage of suppliers are established and how many are new unseen suppliers?

It’s easy to spot new unseen suppliers at the show as they come under the New Talent’s section of our Show Guide and have a New Talents badge on their stand and the show and on The volume can change per season, but it’s usually around 10 – 20 suppliers per show.

Are there any emerging trends this season couples should be aware of?

On the bridalwear side – 3D flowers are big for 2018. In terms of themes, I would say there’s a definite curve towards transparency for 2018. From venues like glasshouses and bright open spaces to table tops with an abundance of glassware.

Left: Cad & The Dandy / Right: Ted Baker
Left: Cad & The Dandy / Right: Ted Baker

Do you have any top tips for couples that have never visited TNWS before?

Where do I start! There’s so much to see and do and some truly lovely, talented wedding specialists to meet…

First off, as any couple knows, it’s all about the preparation. Check out our 250+ wedding suppliers online, make a list and bring it with you on the day so you can check off any you may have missed.

This year, we’ve introduced some great new feature areas to really get that creative, inspirational energy flowing for your big day planning. Set your crafty side loose with free DIY wedding workshops at The Inspiration Lab, hear from experts covering all things fashion and beauty on The Style Stage and learn some insider knowledge at The Wedding Planning Platform. Discover delectable creations from the region’s top cake makers at The Inspired Bakes Gallery and do not miss the hero of the show – the UK’s biggest wedding catwalk featuring looks for all members of the bridal party.

Do you have any tips for how couples should select their suppliers?

My main tip would be to explore the opportunities and talent that is out there. Take your time. Your story as a couple is individual, and there are wedding suppliers out there to suit your specific needs and vision. The shows give you the opportunity to find those suppliers and chat on a one to one basis so the much needed ‘gut feeling’ can develop as to whether or not it’s the right fit for your big day.  Plus, you can learn a lot from them too!

The National Wedding Show takes place this autumn at London Olympia, NEC Birmingham, London ExCeL and Manchester Central. For more information and to book tickets, visit

London Olympia
22nd – 24th September 2017

NEC Birmingham
29th September – 1st October 2017

London ExCeL
21st – 22nd October 2017

Manchester Central
28th – 29th October 2017

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