Oh, what a week it was!
From our amazing stay at the Archer Hotel New York , to rubbing shoulders with some of the world's top bridal designers, and getting up close with (and trying on!) accessories, to partying the night away with inspiring wedding bloggers (and maybe even a celeb or two!) – our trip to New York Bridal Fashion Week was all kinds of epic.
(Claire here, BTW, and sorry, we don't mean to rub it in!).
And today, we thought we'd share a few of our favourite snaps (we only took a few thousand!), some behind-the-scenes gossip, and insider info from our time at Bridal Fashion Week.
Where We Stayed
So, when you get off a plane after a long flight, (I only flew from London, but Elizabeth had a loooong flight from the Middle East!) it's kind of important that you know you're headed straight for a nice room and a comfy bed.
To say I had some of my best nights' sleep ever, at Archer, is no understatement!
The welcome at the hotel is so friendly, and as soon as I entered our cleverly laid-out room (with Empire State Building views FYI!) I felt immediately at home.
The Archer experience is just packed with thoughtful touches. The turndown service, with a different local sweet treat awaiting us every evening, was perhaps our favourite detail. Though we were also partial to the Malin + Goetz cosmetics in the bathroom!
From the bustling bar and restaurant off the lobby (with a constant supply of homemade peanut brittle by acclaimed chef, David Burke!) to the swanky rooftop bar, Spyglass, with perhaps one of the best after-dark views in NYC, this boutique hotel, has just the right blend of coolness and character.
Oh and with a location bang smack in the centre of Midtown, Archer was the perfect base for all the busyness of Bridal Market.
What We Saw
We were lucky enough to attend some glamorous fashion shows and showcases while we were in New York, many of which were held in some fabulous hotels, warehouses, and studio spaces.
From Claire Pettibone at the Prince George Ballroom
We showed you Claire Pettibone's collection just last week, in the exquisitely decorated Prince George Ballroom, where we drank Moet Champagne, and looked at Claire Pettibone's gorgeous ring collection for Trumpet & Horn before the show.
Berta at the iconic Plaza Hotel was incredible – we'll have an exclusive look at the new collection in a few weeks. As always, it's just stunning.
Jenny Yoo, think bridesmaids in cardis, the most adorable flower girls, and some really beautiful gowns for brides.
Pronovias, with the most epic gowns and dramatic staging, we'll be sharing this one again soon.
The super-talented Claire Eliza Photography came along to Sareh Nouri with us, check out some of her gorgeous behind-the-scenes pictures…
Who We Met
One of the coolest things about Bridal Fashion Week is getting to meet some of the designers, and their teams in person.
Along with the runways and showcases, we also had lots of smaller meetings where we got to chat with designers about their latest collections, and get to touch and feel the gowns for ourselves – it's a pretty special thing to have the opportunity to do!
Highlights among our (many!) meetings with brands and designers included:
Donna Morgan – seriously, the range of colours and styles, when we say them all together, was pretty incredible, we'll be sharing their amazing new lookbook very soon.
Heidi Elnora – we could not have felt more welcome, this meeting was like sitting in a Southern living room in the middle of NYC. And her latest collection boasts some serious (and I mean serious!) showstoppers.
Bo & Luca – talk about the most fabulous bridal separates ever, we cannot wait to share their new lookbook (with a whole lot of sparkle!)
Temperley – this showcase made us realise we need to be featuring Temperley more on the blog, these gowns were just exquisite, and we'll be posting them very soon!
Enchanted Atelier by Liv Hart – we shared this new accessory collection a few weeks back, filled with glistening and gilded treats, and they're even prettier up close. Liv's new antique bronze finishes were among our favourites.
Twigs & Honey – always among our favourite accessories, it was so lovely to chat designer, Myra, about her beautiful creations.
Freya Rose – these shoes are on so many bride's wish lists, and we can definitely see why. Along with their classic styles, they have some really cool additions coming for 2016!
Sarah Janks – an all-too-brief pit-stop with Sarah Janks saw a collection of both clean and classic, and embellished and vintage inspired gowns. We also can't wait to share her new shapewear range with you – it might just be the answer all your backless wedding dress prayers!
Joanna August – not only does she have the most chic bridesmaid dress collection, but she's just launched her children's range, Babes of the Nile, it's so cool, and so cute!
Katie May – this meeting was such a fun one, we just adore Katie May's super sexy, cool California style. She's got some ah-may-zing things coming in 2016, watch this space!
Daughters of Simone – perhaps the most exciting one for me, I got to meet the awesome Brit and Ash from Daughters of Simone, who just so happen to be creating my wedding dress as we speak! I'll be sharing a bit more about it in my Real Bride Diary next week.
Claire (me!) with the Daughters of Simone sisters!
What We Did
And finally, the parties!
While we're all about the dresses, the shoes and the accessories, we're also rather partial to letting our hair down and indulging in a little bubbly as well. And we were lucky enough to go to some pretty great parties in NYC (we work hard, I swear!).
The Aisle Society party
The first was the incredibly exciting Aisle Society launch, which saw us join some of the most inspiring wedding bloggers from around the world to launch our brand new collective! It was held in the super cool 404 NYC, and let's just say, it was a rather swell event!
We also went to Tassels & Tastemakers, which was a really fun party thrown by the team at Inspired PR to celebrate their amazing clients and industry professionals. We hit the dancefloor for the most ridiculously good wedding band, Matchmaker Band – seriously check them out!
Flutter Mag – a very dreamy bridal magazine, that you need to pick up, if you haven't already! – held a lovely afternoon soiree, where we finally got to check out some pretty pieces from our favourite boutique brands like Plum Pretty Sugar, The Mrs Box, Silk and Willow and Trousseau & Co.
And finally, it was the biggest bash of the week, the Martha Stewart Weddings party, where, not only did we catch a glimpse of the most famous hostess on the planet herself, but we also got to let our hair down once again with all our wonderful fellow wedding bloggers.
Phew. Like I said, what a week!
One of the most unexpected things about Bridal Market was getting to sit in on meetings with buyers from wedding dress boutiques around the world. It was fascinating to hear what styles are most popular in their regions and hear about the industry from their side. We learned a lot of nifty shopping tips too, so we'll most definitely be sharing them with you soon!
We also gathered a pretty extensive scope of the biggest bridal trends for 2016 and beyond, so watch out for our big round-up next month.
We'll also be bringing you some gorgeous accessory finds – we discovered so many exciting new brands, and fell in love with some super chic collections, while we were in New York, so we'll be sure to share them all!
And finally you can still catch up on the collections we've shared so far, and we have many, many more to share over the next few weeks and months too – trust us, your dream dress is out there!