Our White Gallery bridal show debut and exploration of London.
This post was updated as of August 18, 2021
One of the goals from the beginning has been to showcase Edith Élan designs in an international setting. In 2017, we were able to head across the pond to attend a London bridal show: White Gallery. It was an incredible opportunity to not only introduce European boutiques to the brand but also explore a new city.
Planning the Trip to London
A few days after Christmas in 2016, we were catching up with each other when we got to talking business as we always do. That’s when looked at our goals and budget for 2017 and realized we had the ability to participate in a London bridal show. The deciding factor would be flights. If they were too expensive, we would have to postpone the trip. We searched together and waited for the other’s reaction. Lo and behold roundtrip flights for less than $400 per person! Call it a Christmas miracle if you like. We checked our passport expirations, slaved over a credit card, and booked our flights. It was really happening. EÉ was going international!!!
To pass the time until May, we stayed busy: fulfilling orders while simultaneously preparing for London, and starting work on the next collection to debut in the fall. (If you want to read more about creating a collection, check out this other blog post, but make sure to come back!) Before we knew it, it was time to pack our bags and hop on our flights.
Day 1: Arriving in London
Green fields and overcast skies greeted us when we landed on a Friday afternoon. Since we arrived at separate airports, we decided our rendezvous point was our Travelodge hotel in Battersea. After passing through customs and getting a ride, we met as planned. It was getting into the late afternoon, and we were hungry. Next on the list was finding food.
Along for the food adventure was our good friend Genevieve of Genevieve Lauren Photography. We walked our famished selves to a nearby, river-front restaurant. There was nothing quite like the view of the Thames as we filled our bellies with food and drink. We of course used the river backdrop to take the first selfie of the trip. It was the first time either of us had been in London so we needed to commemorate it.
Afterwards, we said goodbye to Genevieve for the day. We spent the evening exploring the streets of Battersea and over the bridge into Chelsea. Our ultimate destination was the Victoria & Albert Museum. We wandered the museum for a bit. Then we wandered some more towards the Kensington Hotel for some cocktails at The K Bar. Between the jet lag and the warm-fuzzies from the drinks, sleep came quickly that night.
Day 2: Getting Show Ready
Saturday morning arrived and that meant it was time to get to work! We spent the first half of the day at the Battersea Evolution pavilion. That’s where we turned our pumpkin of a booth into a beautiful carriage. In that sense, that sort of makes us the fairy godmothers! Anyhow, we’d set aside a couple of hours to complete our booth, but it took a little bit longer than planned. Real magical powers would’ve been excellent during this time to get the hangers that were accidentally left at the hotel to the pavilion without having to run there and back. Luckily, it was a small setback.
After set up was done, we still had enough daylight to head back to the hotel, freshen up, and trek to Buckingham Palace to meet up with Genevieve. Our “touristy” evening included more food and wandering… Green Park, Piccadilly Street, the Burlington Arcade, peeking in windows at Savile Row, dinner and a pint at a pub, and Carnaby Street.
Days 3-5: London Bridal Week
Sunday through Tuesday were the show days. While they were long days, don’t feel bad – we had a great time both during and after the show! On Sunday night, there was a champagne party for vendors and buyers to mingle. (Twist our arms why don’t you!) And then, on Monday night Genevieve joined us for dinner at Sketch Gallery.
But like Time always does, it flew by. The clock struck four in the afternoon on Tuesday, and our booth was turning into a pumpkin again.
With only a few more hours left to explore the city, we dropped off our dress bags at the hotel. We hopped on the bus and headed towards Westminster. There were still a few things to check off the tourist list: Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. We made it to both, but because of the time of day, the abbey was not open. The rain then started to come down before getting to Tower Bridge. We were also very hungry at that point so we took it as a sign to head back towards the bus stop. On the way back, we made a pitstop for one last dinner in London.
The next morning we said, “See you later,” to each other and to the captivating city.
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