Expert advice from Bride: The Wedding Show at BIC exhibitors

02 Dec 2019

Bride: The Wedding Show is set for its second year at Bournemouth International Centre from February 22-23. Here, some of the exhibitors share their top wedding planning tips...

Featuring a wealth of wedding businesses who cover Dorset and further afield, Bride: The Wedding Show at Bournemouth International Centre from February 22-23 is the perfect place for local couples to plan their wedding day. 

Find dresses, cakes, stationery, floristry, venues, photographers, entertainers, transport providers and more, allowing you to book all your wedding essentials in one place. 

Enjoy show-exclusive offers, deals and discounts, as well as amazing competitions to enter from the show's suppliers. There will be complimentary copies of Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex & Wiltshire Bride magazine available to take home and that's not all...

The awe-inspiring catwalk show is not to be missed and will showcase the latest fashions in bridalwear, menswear, bridesmaids' dresses and occasion wear. Follow up with the businesses taking to the stage after the show and book your appointment on the day. 

Ahead of the two-day wedding extravaganza, a number of the exhibitors set to feature at Bride: The Wedding Show at Bournemouth International Centre share their expert advice for planning your wedding to perfection. 

"Plan early to avoid disappointment." Helen Jalim, owner of Cakes by Helen

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Above: Cakes by Helen, who offers an attention to detail in the wedding cakes that she makes

"Pinterest is a great way of getting ideas." Emma Coleman, events manager at The Cottonwood Boutique Hotel in Bournemouth

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Above: Cottonwood Boutique Hotel, a wedding venue based in Bournemouth

"Decide on a budget, and try your best to stick to it. Then make a list of your priorities e.g. venue, caterer(s) and go from there." Oliver Markas, owner of The Pour Pony

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Above: The Pour Pony, a Hampshire-based horse box mobile bar business

"Start planning early, book as much as possible as soon possible, so that nearer the date you can sit back and enjoy the final stages." Michelle Harrington, owner of Dream Cakes by Michelle

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Above: Dream Cakes by Michelle, who aims to keep her prices low all year round

"Get organised at the beginning. You don’t need to necessarily have everything booked in the first few months (don’t leave it too late though). Have a good idea of what you want as a couple and your budget and try not to be swayed by loving family and friends trying to help." Lauren Griffiths, group weddings manager at FJB Hotels

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Above: FJB Hotels has three wedding venues in Poole and one in Bournemouth

"Research wedding ideas that suit your theme, follow suppliers online and then meet them at wedding shows for advice." Lisa Oliver, owner and lady chauffeur at Just Married Beetle Hire

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Above: Just Married Beetle Hire covers Dorset and Hampshire

"Your wedding is all about you and your partner, so every now and then stop and ensure your plans truly reflect you both. Incorporate things which are special and unique to you and make it a more memorable day for all to enjoy and celebrate you both." Amy Reid, wedding co-ordinator at Kingston Maurward

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Above: Kingston Maurward, an award-winning wedding venue set in the Dorchester countryside

"It is always good to plan well in advance and not leave things to the last minute as this prevents disappointment." Carol Slark, owner of Laurel Designs

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Above: Laurel Designs is a Southampton-based stationery and venue styling business

"Attend wedding shows with an idea of what it is you would like and if you see something you love, go with your instinct, be decisive and go for it." Matthew and Collette Corica, business directors at Michael Matthews Jewellery

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Above: Visit Michael Matthews Jewellery in Bournemouth

"Set a budget, for everything. Prioritise what’s most important to you both. Your wedding is YOUR wedding." Charlotte Bright, director and owner of Pop Goes the Weasel

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Above: Pop Goes the Weasel specialises in laser-cut wedding invitations

"Make lists and tick off things as you complete them." Jessica Joyce, owner of The Big Canvas Company

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Above: The Big Canvas Company creates artwork for beautiful backdrops on your wedding day

"Approach wedding shows with a completely open mind and be prepared to look at all possible options to make your special day the perfect occasion you have in your mind." Jack and Alex Mackenzie, general managers of Summer Lodge Hotel 

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Above: Summer Lodge, a five-star hotel and wedding venue in Dorchester

"Make sure you choose a catering company that truly understands what kind of wedding you want. At Crumbs we always listen to the couple and make them feel special, so we can help them make their day unique to them." Erika Sloper, food service manager at The Crumbs Project in Bournemouth 

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Above: The Crumbs Project, a catering company with a heart

"We recommend sitting down with your partner and/or family and looking at the total wedding budget by breaking it down into categories for example: venue, food, drinks, flowers, decorations/props, photography, entertainment, invitations etc. Based on that, set a realistic budget and remember to factor in all the little extras which can soon add up." David Chruches, director at Themes Incorporated

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Above: Themes Incorporated is a hire service for themed props, furniture, bars, dancefloors, draping, staging, sound/lighting equipment and more

"Our tip would be not to panic or rush into anything without a calm and relaxed approach. Take all the ideas for venues, dresses, cakes and transport but don’t add further stress to an already stressful situation. Everything that needs to be done will be done once you can get your thought process in order." Dawn Devine, specialist transport manager, PRC Streamline Executive & Specialist Travel

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Above: PRC Streamline Executive & Specialist Travel offers wedding packages, which include a chauffeur driven car with ribbons and bows to match the colour scheme. 

"At wedding shows, take your time to talk to every exhibitor and take away lots of business cards and promotional material from everyone." Peter Goddard, co-owner of Amber May Wedding Films

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Above: Amber May Wedding Films is a premium wedding videography service covering Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire, which creates cinematic films. 

"Take your time. Make a list of your wants, your needs and your potential preferences, plan your budget and then start shopping around. Visit some wedding fairs and decide on your likes and dislikes. Finally, be organised." Jojo Cooke-Best, owner of La Boutique Blanche

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Above: La Boutique Blanche is an online lingerie boutique focusing on brands that are not obtainable on the high street. 

"If you've made your mind up on something, then book it and save the date. Everyone hates having to settle for second best, so when you see what you want, book it there and then. And in terms of wedding trends, paddle your own canoe by setting the trend yourself... innovate, don't imitate." Mark Self at Dekkabus

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Above: Dekkabus was created to up the standard of wedding bus hire in Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire - founded by Trevor R Shore MBE.

"Enjoy the process, try not to stress." Helena, Sian, Kate and Rachel, wedding co-ordinators at Holbrook Manor, an exclusive weddings and events venue in Somerset

Bride: The Wedding Show at Bournemouth International Centre runs from February 22-23 (10am to 4pm). Tickets are £5 each or £15 for a group of four adults when booked in advance (booking fees apply). Under 16s go free. Buy tickets at the Bride: The Wedding Show website

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