10 years of Bride: The Wedding Show at Norfolk Showground

14 Jun 2018

As Bride: The Wedding Show gets set to celebrate its 10th anniversary at Norfolk Showground from February 23-24 2019, we take a look at the businesses who have supported the event from the start

The 2019 edition of Bride: The Wedding Show at Norfolk Showground is a cause for celebration. Marking a decade of the annual event, the show which runs from February 23-24 (10am to 4pm) will be celebrating its milestone birthday with a host of festivities.

There will be show-exclusive deals, discounts and offers as well as amazing competitions to enter, not to mention a jam-packed itinerary of entertainment and the sensational choreographed catwalk show – considered the best in the business. The 2019 event will be an unforgettable occasion and promises to delight both visitors and the show’s ever-supportive exhibitors. 

Here, we take a look back at the wedding businesses who have featured at the event since its debut in 2010 and will be back for the 10th year.

Pure Brides & Grooms, Sponsor of Bride: The Wedding Show at Norfolk Showground 2019

Soft grey walls, painted furniture, private bridal suites and a warm welcome await you at Pure’s store in the heart of Norwich’s historic Lanes. The beautiful building is home to a wonderful collection of bridal gowns, bridal accessories, multi-way bridesmaids’ dresses and award-winning men’s hire wear.

Owner Anna Hare comments: “I could not have imagined that 10 years on we would be where we are today. Back then we were based in our original store on St Benedict’s Street, selling bridalwear, bridesmaids’ dresses and mother of the bride outfits. We’d already been trading for almost four years and even though we had taken on the shop next door, we had still outgrown the building and so were on the lookout for our ‘perfect, forever store’.

“It took a couple more years,” continues Anna, “but eventually everything fell into place and we moved into our current premises on the stunning pedestrianised street in Norwich’s city centre, Lower Goat Lane. By this time we had realised that mother of the bride was too seasonal to be sustainable and so we introduced menswear to our range, and this has gone from strength to strength.

“We love our gorgeous three-story building and the bustling vibe of our street. Since moving in the retail environment has changed dramatically, and of course Brexit has come along.  But the great thing about where we are and our brilliant team is that we are never afraid to evolve, change and react to the demands of the modern bride and groom.  There are so many exciting things in the pipeline here at Pure and we can’t wait to share them with you. Watch this space.”



Dreams Bridal

Dreams Bridal in Norwich has an extensive stock with more than 800 gowns, 400 bridesmaids’ dresses and 750 outfits for mums, up to size 34.

Gwen Bye, proprietor of Dreams Bridal, says: “My, how things have changed. All our brides are lovely but they certainly have far more defined ideas about the look they want to achieve and have normally done their research. The internet has opened their eyes to a whole new world, however nothing beats the in-person experience of trying on dresses and feeling the fabrics.

"More often than not, once they’ve tried gowns on and with our guidance, they come to realise all that glitters isn’t always gold and you can achieve a fabulous look without breaking the bank. With creative designers such as Madeline Gardner, the world is your oyster; she has such flare and a discerning eye that all of her unique designs for Morilee are in a class of their own.

“We are a one-stop shop who can cater for all of the wedding party and guests, excluding the men. We have a wealth of experience with a team of dedicated girls to look after your every need.”



Dunston Hall

Dunston Hall is a spectacular venue in Norwich, featuring beautiful reception rooms, mouth-watering catering and a team of attentive, caring and professional wedding organisers.

Rachel Couzins, sales director at Dunston Hall, says: “In the past 10 years the wedding market has grown incredibly. Dunston Hall has kept the pace and remains the ideal location for any wedding.” Looking back on the last decade, Dunston Hall has unearthed the following findings:

  • Today more than 50% of couples theme their wedding, compared to 10 years ago when only 17% of couples chose a theme
  • Today 92% of grooms dress in formal attire, while 10 years ago 31% of grooms opted for a casual suit for their wedding
  • Today couples spend approximately £28,000 on their wedding, compared to £16,000 10 years ago
  • Today 31% of couples hire a wedding planner; only 1% did 10 years ago
  • Today 72% book a photographer, compared to 34% 10 years ago
  • Today non-traditional food options such as pizza vans, ice cream stations and sweetie stands are ever popular, whereas only 14% chose this catering 10 years ago
  • Today 64% use social media to plan and inspire their wedding, compared to 18% 10 years ago



I Do Photography

Capturing the emotion, magic and excitement of each couple’s big day, Matt Brasnett of I Do Photography loves to document these special moments for couples and their families to treasure forever.

He says: “I have been exhibiting with Archant for more than 10 years now and was at the first Norfolk Showground wedding show back in 2010. I remember that first show well and can see how the show and my own business have grown and improved over the years. It is interesting to see how fashion and trends have changed. For myself, it is about creating a product that my couples will cherish forever. The quality of my albums and my service are at the forefront of everything I do. The show has allowed me showcase my business and I look forward to the next 10 years.”



Hats Francise

Offering hats and accessories for hire or sale, Hats Francise is located on Holt Road in Norwich and offers a personal service to create that special look for your occasion. By appointment only, the shop is open during the day and evening as well as on weekends.

Margaret Sims, owner of Hats Francise, says: “Hats Francise has been trading for 20 years and over that period headwear has changed. Hats are made mainly with sinamay but fabric is now being introduced. We still do a lot for the formal side of dressing but the fun and dramatic headwear is now in great demand. Our stock, along with this trend, has changed and to fulfil this need we have more than a thousand hats, cocktail headwear and facinators.

“We provide a service by appointment which enables you to bring in your outfit so we can show you the different ways to complement your look. We also have the facility, weather permitting, to take you outside and ensure there is no discrepancy in colour… this is a fun hour.

“Hats are an English tradition and the Queen has taken this forward in the amazing colours she wears. The young Royals are also following with their fun and flamboyant headpieces so hopefully headwear will always be part of our English dress code. The difference between a woman with a hat and without is enormous and the secret to wearing a hat is ‘wear the hat, don’t let the hat wear you’.”



La Belle Angèle

As one of Norwich’s premier bridal boutiques, La Belle Angèle provides a first-class, friendly, personal and professional service including in-house alterations – all designed to ensure that everything is right for the most special day of your life.

Owners, Kirsty and Melanie Fletcher, comment: “La Belle Angèle opened in 2007 and quickly established itself as a go-to bridal boutique renowned for its superb collection of bridal gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses and excellent personal service. Our second shop focused on bridesmaids and prom dresses and opened in 2010 to cater for the growth of the business.

“This year we won the 2018 EDP Bride: The Wedding Awards accolade of Outstanding Customer Service and our sister company, Aurora Designs, won Bridal Accessory Designer of the Year. Now, in our eleventh year, La Belle Angèle continues to grow and is on the verge of another exciting development which will be announced later this year.

“Over the last 11 years wedding dress styles have changed from mainly strapless gowns in satin and taffeta to illusion topped dresses with amazing backs and long trains in a fabric of choice (mainly lace). Looking ahead to 2019 we’re seeing less lace and fitted gowns, becoming more risqué in style.”


Image: Blue by Enzoani (Amsterdam) popular in 2010 vs Blue by Enzoani (Kalypso) popular in 2018


Park Farm Hotel

Park Farm Hotel is an exclusive country hotel siutated on the outskirts of Norwich. 

Sue Dedman, wedding co-ordinator at Park Farm Hotel, says: “We are proud to have supported Bride: The Wedding Show for the last 10 years. I’ve seen a significant change in weddings over this time with the happy couples wanting ‘something different’ to the normal. Weddings are getting smaller for the wedding breakfast and larger for the evening functions; couples seem to be having a more intimate day reception and a big celebration in the evening.”




Jarrold in Norwich is a store full of ideas for your wedding. Jarrold’s highly rated Personal Styling Service, Beauty Hall, The Retreat beauty rooms, and The Wedding Gift Registry offers a complete experience for the bride, groom and members of the wedding party. 

Emma Covey, wedding list co-ordinator, says: "When it comes to planning your wedding, here at Jarrold we aim to make it an unforgettable experience. With more than 800 brands to choose from you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the perfect pieces to begin your married life together. From the latest kitchen gadgets, beautiful dining sets, glassware and home accessories to stationery and our Jarrold gift cards, you’ll be able to make the perfect gift list.

"And of course we also have outfits for the mother of the bride, the groom and wedding guests from brands such as LK Bennett, Ted Baker, Karen Millen, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, as well as our made-to-measure suit service from Gagliardi.

"Over the last 10 years we have seen an increase in business for the Jarrold Personal Styling service and we have recently re-launched our Personal Beauty Consultant service so that you can get expert advice on what to wear, along with tips on bridal make-up and skincare. Our Personal Beauty Consultants can even do your make-up for your big day. Here at Jarrold we aim to offer you a personal service for all your wedding prep and planning."



Slater Menswear

Stuart Graham, hirewear manager at Slater Menswear, says: “Here at Slater Menswear we are celebrating more than 45 years in retail. The family-run company now has 25 stores with a new store opening in Chelmsford in Autumn 2018. We know a thing or two about suits and are renowned for our excellent personable customer service, value for money and fantastic selection of suits.”

“Throughout the last 10 years we have seen many trends come and go but one that has always been a firm favourite with grooms is our navy and blue three-piece suits. However, wedding suits have modernised over the last few years but we are glad to day that traditional morning suits are also back on trend for 2018.”



Grice & Foster Marquee and Banqueting Hire

As well as beautiful marquees, Grice & Foster has all associated event hire equipment available including furniture, glassware, chair covers, dance floors, floristry, lighting, generators, toilets and so much more. The Fakenham-based team works closely with every couple to suit their needs, taste and budget.



Tickets to Bride: The Wedding Show at Norfolk Showground from February 23-24 are £8 each, £14 for two or £25 for four when booked in advance (booking fees apply). For more information, visit http://www.bridetheweddingshow.co.uk/wedding-show/norfolk/.

Wedding businesses, would you like to be a part of this amazing event? Contact Fiona Jackson on 01603 772248 or email fiona.jackson@archant.co.uk

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