2017 NYC Bridal Market Diary
Diary entry by: Earleen Garbe, Owner of Revelle Bridal
A long drive to New York City was not going to put a damper on my excitement about attending my very first Bridal Market! I’ve always loved New York, and to visit during Bridal Fashion Week and meet so many established and new designers was such a treat.
First up on the schedule was the One Fine Day Bridal Market / Hello May Bridal Magazine launch party on the Rooftop of Studio 450. When we arrived at the venue, I was surprised that it looked like an unassuming, nothing-special, warehouse-type building. Nothing particularly exciting about it… until we got to the rooftop, and then it was just WOW! We were immediately surrounded by beautiful people, champagne, delicious canapés, and the gorgeous New York City skyline… It was simply amazing. I loved putting faces to the names of all the talented designers and fellow shop owners that I religiously follow on Instagram!
Meeting Carla Jenkins, designer of our best-selling Made With Love Bridal collection was the highlight of my evening. She is gorgeous, humble and one of the most down‑to‑earth people I’ve ever met. I also had the opportunity to meet the Dineen sisters – fellow Canadians and shop owners of the most gorgeous bridal boutique in Toronto, Sash and Bustle. We spent a lot of time chatting about the bridal industry, the designers, the Market and I honestly felt like I’d known them forever.
After catching a glimpse of some of the designers’ displays in the unique loft space at Studio 450, I just couldn’t wait to come back the next day to see everything up close!
I think it’s important to mention that when I started booking meetings for Bridal Market a few months back, I really didn’t know what to expect. Thankfully my good friend and local shop owner, Meg of Norde Bridal, gave me the heads up on how to do things at Market. New York Bridal Market consists of several venues all over mid-town Manhattan which house various designers showcasing their newest collections of wedding gowns. My Saturday was filled up with meetings all taking place at the One Fine Day Bridal Market at Studio 450.
I woke up bright and early to a beautiful, sunny day in the city. Studio 450 was even more stunning during the day with its pristine white walls and floors and the natural sunlight flooding through the huge windows. It was bridal heaven. Every designer’s booth was absolutely gorgeous… it was honestly hard to focus with so much pretty surrounding me!
My first appointment was with Made With Love Bridal and their collection of gowns did not disappoint. It was awesome to chat more with Carla and I told her how well her designs were doing in Ottawa. Fun fact: when I was first thinking about bringing new designers to my shop, Made With Love was the very first company I reached out to. However, when I originally contacted them I was told that I couldn’t carry their line because they already had a stockist in Ontario. Of course I was disappointed, but after explaining to Carla that Ontario was huge and that the next closest bridal shop carrying MWL was 5 hours away, they allowed me to be a stockist. Best. Decision. Ever. They are by far our best-selling brand today!
I also got the chance to see the Emmy Mae collection while I was at Studio 450, and it really validated my decision to also carry this brand at Revelle. It was awesome to meet the face behind the name of this beautiful bridal collection and it helped to set the tone for the amazing day to come.
Meeting the lovely sisters behind Tara Lauren was another fun moment. These young and talented girls were such an inspiration and their gowns were unreal! I managed to see all of the styles I was most interested in and each one of them was stunning. Their modern yet classic designs are definitely something I can see us carrying at Revelle.
By now you’ve most likely realized that we absolutely LOVE Australian designers at Revelle. I mean their country is beautiful, their accents are amazing, and their dress designs are absolutely superb. Karen Willis Holmes is one of these designers we love so much. KWH is definitely high up on the list when it comes to established bridal designers. Although she’s been in the industry since 2000, you’d never guess that she’s an industry veteran given her youthful appearance. Her multiple collections range in price and style but are all equally gorgeous. What really caught my eye was her newest Wild Hearts Collection which I feel best suits the vibe of Revelle and I can’t wait to start choosing which styles to bring into our store.
With all these beautiful wedding dresses I was seeing, I thought it might be smart to start thinking about the accessories that would complete the bridal looks I was selecting. I researched all of the designers who were showcasing at One Fine Day and was intrigued by Untamed Petals because of their unique style and chill vibes. Of course when I’m selecting items to carry at the shop the first things I look for are beautiful designs and exceptional quality, but I also feel that your experience with a designer, and coming to understand their vibe and story, can help to seal the deal. Talking with Amanda, designer of Untamed Petals, felt so comfortable and refreshing. She also owns her own bridal shop and carries many of the same designers we do at Revelle, so hearing her talk about which veils and accessories go well with certain dresses we carry was perfect. We have just ordered our Untamed Petals samples and can’t wait to start sharing them with all of our Revelle babes!
Spending the day at the One Fine Day Bridal Market gave me so much inspiration… so much so that I almost didn’t want to leave! It was just amazing to see so much beauty in one place. :)
Another early morning brought me to the Fringe Collective and meeting Katie May, the gal behind her namesake company and sister brand Noel & Jean, which we also carry at Revelle. Although I didn’t get to see the Noel & Jean designs, I’m glad I was able to see the gorgeous 2018 Katie May collection as it was absolutely stunning. Once again, it was really nice to put in some face time with this designer – Katie is obviously skilled at her craft but was also very focused on fostering good relationships with her stockists, which I always appreciate. Overall, the meeting definitely had me feeling positive about our future partnerships!
Next on the agenda was another amazing accessory company called Hushed Commotion. Thea, the designer and owner of HC was another talented human who absolutely loves what she does. You could really tell from the way she spoke about each piece. She knew the name of each item from the expansive collection without hesitating and could describe every detail to a T. With such a large collection of veils, jewellery and hair accessories, it’s definitely going to take us a while to go through the look books and make our selections.
The Kimpton Eventi Hotel was a unique setting for the Fringe Collective Market as each designer held their meetings in private suites. Although I didn’t get the opportunity to see more from this venue, it was very much a great start to Day 3 of Bridal Market.
Earlier I mentioned my friend Meg from Norde Bridal. She’s actually one of the first people I asked for guidance when I was considering starting a bridal shop. She has been a great friend, mentor and business coach throughout this first year of business, and I’m not sure what I would have done without her in my corner! It was so nice that she was also in New York for Bridal Market this year and I’m so happy we got to explore together for a while on this last day!
My next stop was the London Hotel to meet Meg and see our fellow Ottawa designer Zarucci. Nora Zabarah Pucci, the head of the brand, is another sweet soul who happens to design gorgeous wedding gowns as well as formal wear worn by the likes of Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau (the wife of Canada’s Prime Minister). You can instantly tell how passionate Nora is about her creations because she describes each element of her gowns with the utmost detail. Her designs are exquisite and Meg is lucky to carry her at Norde Bridal!
Sunday afternoon was super rainy in New York so we decided the rest of our day would be spent doing non-Bridal Market-related things… i.e., food and shopping! While it was my first experience at Bridal Market, it surely won’t be my last. I had a fabulous time and I’m already looking forward to next year!
Scroll down below to see some of my BTS pictures of NYC Bridal Market :)