What it’s like to attend NY Bridal Market for the first time.
This post was updated as of April 13, 2021.
When you’re an indie bridal designer about to make your brand debut at a national bridal market, the month leading up to it is hectic, crazy, and fun. And that’s not even getting into how hectic, crazy, and fun the market days can be! So, what did it take to prepare and attend NY Bridal Market? Well, it all started the month before.
Preparing for NY Bridal Market: The Collection Photoshoot
The photoshoot for the second collection happened at the Governor Thomas Bennett House in Charleston. The day started early with hair and makeup. Our two models and photographer were lovely to work with! We moved from dress to dress and room to room with ease. Built in 1825, the property is beautifully historical in architecture and design. With the most gorgeous rooms, façade, and gardens, we used every inch of it that we could. We can’t thank Mackenzie of Mackenzie Clark Photography enough for the gorgeous photos.
The Market Prep Continues
Getting everything else ready for NY Bridal Market is what kept us busy between the photoshoot and arriving in NYC. Up first was figuring out the look of our booth. Our booth would be our first impression to bridal buyers. So, we had to think about what we wanted buyers to think of us with one glance. We went with gold-on-white herringbone wallpaper for a fun, yet sophisticated backdrop.
Once the feel of the booth and general layout was decided, it was time for market and outreach. We mailed “Save the Date” cards to bridal boutiques, and followed up with phone calls. All this in hopes of getting the boutique buyers to make an appointment.
After reaching out to stores, we had to make sure all the dresses were ready to go. This was an easy task since the photoshoot had happened not long before. Yet, one last look over was important to do. Of course, there were still little things to be done here and there. (I.e. paperwork, printing business cards, creating fabric swatches for buyers, etc.). Once all this was done, it was time to hit the road.
Arriving at NY Bridal Market
For a bridal designer, a national bridal market in the fall is the culmination of all the hard work. We didn’t attend Chicago market. So, NY Bridal Market was our grand finale for our brand debut.
Bridal market in New York City is actually a week-long event. The larger bridal brands start the week with runway shows across the city. The last three days are when “market” starts. During those three days, bridal boutique buyers make appointments with designers. At the appointments, the buyers get a closer look at the new designs. They also get to sit down and pick what bridal styles to bring into their stores.
We were only going to be showing during the last three days (Saturday through Monday). And what a crazy three days they were! The long weekend started on Friday afternoon. As luck would have it, we immediately ran into some challenges. After a trip to Staples and a hardware store, it was game on to set up our booth. We hung the wallpaper, steamed all the dresses, and made sure everything was in place.
Our Debut at NY Bridal Market
The next three days were a blur. We both took a moment Saturday morning to figure out where we would stand, how we would greet, and …err… “wrangle” buyers into coming in. As the time ticked by, we became a smooth operation and started having fun with it. There was lots of great people watching with great fashion of course! Lots of buyers were very nice and complimentary of our work.
In the fleeting spare moments, we walked around the rest of the show to see the other booths. We also took note of how others designers set up their booths. It was like being a kid in a candy store! We met such wonderful people and gained lots of insider deets about the show workings. We are already making lists for our booth next year. Being in such an amazing environment makes you want to do it all!
Packing up our booth at the end of the weekend was bittersweet. We wished there was more time to show buyers what we have to offer, but we were thankful it was over. At that point, we wanted nothing more than to get foot massages from standing for four days straight. We tore down our booth in about 1/5 of the time it took to put it all up, and each headed home.
All in all, we agree that market is important to our budding brand. It’s a way to gain lots of new information about the world of bridal, a great way to network, and so much more. We’re already looking forward to next year!!!
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