National Bridal Market Report: Fall 2013

It’s that time of year again – Bridal Fashion Week! Last weekend, I attended the National Bridal Market here in Chicago, where designers converged on the Merchandise Mart to showcase new bridal fashions for the upcoming Spring 2014 season. (To get more of a low-down on what Bridal Market entails, check out my coverage of the Spring 2013 session here!)

Since this was my third time at Market, I knew exactly what to expect, making it much less of an overwhelming experience as opposed to past seasons. As usual, I went with my boss, Krista, as well as my coworker Sarah. The three of us had an amazing weekend checking out all the new, upcoming styles from our designers—not to mention we were extremely productive!

The most exciting thing, though… they allowed picture-taking this year! Which means I actually get to show you all the new trends instead of just talking about them!

So keep reading to see the latest designs from Maggie Sottero, Casablanca, and even new lines such as Aura Bridal by Andrew Adela . . .

(All photos personal. And picture-heavy—you’ve been warned!)

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Autumn Inspiration: Pumpkins, Apple Cocktails, and Gold

Remember this post and how I was adamant about wanting a spring or early summer wedding? Well, these fall trends are so stunning that they’re seriously making me reconsider the vision I had for my own wedding plans! Goodbye, bird cages and blush pink… It’s time to make room for pumpkins, cider, and elegance!

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Pumpkin Centerpieces
(white pumpkin & roses | pumpkin & cornucopia | white pumpkins & candles)

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Apple Cocktails
(caramel apple martini | apple cider cocktail | orange spiced cider)

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Gold Accents
(glittering gold heels | romantic gold cake | gold table setting)

Of course, there are so many more ways to impart the feeling of autumn in your wedding celebration! Between changing leaves, seasonal food favorites, and an array of warm colors, there are endless options for you to choose from. Perhaps you’ll forgo cake in favor of pie? Or maybe guests will enjoy a game of touch football on the lawn instead of the typical bean bag toss? Get creative and make this season part of your wedding, rather than just the backdrop!

Are you having a fall wedding? Feel free to share your ideas and inspiration in the comments! And a follow-up to that: have you ever been so inspired by something you saw online that it made you completely reconsider your wedding plans?

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Summer Inspiration: Mint, Fruit, and Frozen Drinks

As of 11:50 AM tomorrow morning, I’ll officially be done with my junior year of college. I’ve been waiting for this day all semester to the point where I thought it would never come, but now that it’s here, I almost can’t believe it. Do I really get to relax soon? Do I really get to go back home and eat mom-cooked food? Do I really get to spend hours doing nothing but lounging in the sunshine?

The answer must be yes, because I already did the last one today! After my management exam, I headed over to the Buckingham Fountain again to plant my rear on a bench and stay there for an hour and a half, baking in the beautiful 80-degree weather.

I swear, every single time I come here... (Personal photo.)

I swear, every single time I come here… (Personal photo.)

At some point I moved to the Bean, stopping to pick up a Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken Salad from Panera, because that salad is one of my absolute favorite things about summer. (If you’ve never had it, you’re missing out; just look at this glorious deliciousness.)

Once I was done eating, I stayed there for another hour or so, just people-watching. It seemed like the entire city was outside, enjoying the sun and warmth—even sleeping in the middle of the park!—and the excitement was honestly contagious. Hopefully, this is the true start of summer and we don’t get another cold spell like we did this past weekend! I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been more ready for summer.

Especially since there are so many fun wedding trends to look forward to!

For those of you with weddings to attend this season, here’s are three trends you may see. There are plenty more (such as Gatsby-themed weddings), but these are my three favorites!

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Mint
(bridesmaid dresses | cake | shoes)

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Fruit-Flavored Cakes
(mango cake | raspberry-lemon cake | berry cake)

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Frozen Drinks
(wine smoothies | frozen lemonade with rum | grown-up snow cones)

What’s your favorite wedding trend that you’ve seen lately? Are you planning to include it in your wedding, or do you know someone who did so or is going to this year?

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National Bridal Market Report: Spring 2013

As someone who attends a lot of them, I can be pretty critical when it comes to conventions. But as far as trade shows are concerned, the National Bridal Market is one of my absolute favorites!

For those of you who don’t know, Bridal Market is a bi-annual merchandise show for the bridal industry. Designers set up exhibits and retailers attending the show are able to view products for the upcoming season. From there, the retailers decide what they want to order for their stores. It’s pretty straight-forward – and also pretty fun.

(Hint: that’s an understatement. It’s unbelievably fun!)

This was my second season attending the show as an assistant buyer with my boss, Krista, from I Do Too! Bridal. Trish, our maids gallery supervisor, also attended this season. Even though the spring show is usually the slower of the two, it’s been a very busy three days for us! I’m exhausted and my feet are screaming after being in heels the entire time, but I’m so excited about what we saw from our vendors.

Legally, I couldn’t take pictures of anything on the showroom floor. That being said, I do want to share some trends that you’ll be seeing later this year, as well as what you can expect from some of the biggest designers! And also a peek at what attending Bridal Market is like, for those of you who are curious!

(All photos personal unless otherwise stated.)

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