The National Wedding Show: a weekend in Birmingham

This morning my train was delayed because the train before mine had hit a cow and completely broken down, you really can't make this kind of stuff up!  So I decided to take the opportunity to start writing all of my planned blog posts (always a silver lining!).  And here I am sat freezing away on my train stuck in the middle of nowhere thinking about all the fun times we had last weekend in Birmingham.

For Christmas my sister's fiance gave us VIP tickets for the National Wedding Show in Birmingham!  Cool right?  My sister had booked us an apartment in the Arcadian Center called StayCity and by pure coincidence it was a fantastic location, we soon discovered numerous restaurants, bars and clubs right on our doorstep.  AND best of all the Bullring shopping center was just across the road from us.  We arrived about 8pm, checked in dumped our bags and went off to explore.  Really all we ended up doing was going for a beautiful curry in James Dhal Indian and then many, many cocktails in las Iguanas - as it turns out they had a deal on where you buy one cocktail and get the same one for free.  I love English alcohol promotions!  Of course us Scots had to take advantage of this difference in licensing laws, but we only had about four cocktails each as we had a fun-packed day planed for the morning...

My sister being convinced
to buy more make-up.
And then it was the Wedding Show Day!!!  But after a small mishap (my sister realising she lost our tickets before we left Aberdeen - thankfully they printed more off for us) we were on our way. Well after a quick and indulgent lunch at Selfridges' champagne bar - The Balcony.  And I guess it wasn't so quick, but it was so relaxing and lovely and we definitely needed the fuel for the show and the bubbles to keep us going.  Then FINALLY we were on our way!

As soon as you walked in the NEC (the venue) and along the corridor you could just see the pink; and you just knew that was your destination.  As soon as you arrived you were given a goody bag and there were just so many people trying to get you to buy their products - it was like they saw us coming because my sister was an easy target and then somehow I got dragged in as well... oh well.  But there was just too much to look at and I tried to convince my sister to start trying on dresses but she sadly was not having any of it!  I honestly think a wedding show is a brilliant place to get some ideas and inspiration, but if we could do it all again I'd hope we'd be more organised and go earlier to take it all in.

And we had VIP tickets which meant we could enter the VIP lounge, get some bubbly get a cute goody bag and get a hair and makeup make over... but the make overs were fully booked out by 11am!  Oops!  So, so sad we missed it but there was plenty more to keep us occupied and let's be real the bubbly certainly kept us happy enough (apparently it doesn't take much!). And then there was the catwalk...

The wedding dress catwalk.

It was amazing to see and all of the models looked amazing; like something out of a fairy-tale.  But honestly, I was a little disappointed by how thin these models were, the dresses as a result did not fit them and really looking at the audience we were all real normal women of all different shapes and sizes.  I guess I just feel as though it was an unrealistic interpretation, but that's just my opinion.  My sister loved it, and that's what really matters, and overall I really enjoyed my first catwalk experience.  You can't take away the fact that these girls looked stunning no matter what their weight and the dresses were just beautiful!

I mean look at how beautufull this is?!

The show finished at about 5pm even though every time we walked around we saw something new.  So really we should have been there a lot earlier but even then I'm not sure we would have had time for everything.

We went back to our apartment, dumped all of our goody bags, purchases and brochures and headed out to find somewhere to eat; the Italian called Milano's.  I think the best thing about these places were the fact that they appeared to be privately owned places that was hadn't seen in Aberdeen before, well apart from las Iguanas.  And then we went back to the apartment with a tub of Ben and Jerrys to watch the Devil Wears Prada after our fashion show!

My sister's finances sister was joining us from Belfast!  This was also the first time I'd met any of my soon-to-be brother-in-laws family.  But of course we had arranged a day of wedding planning, coffee and cocktails!  And we had a lovely girly day in Birmingham, most of it back on the Balcony again, drinking far too much coffee.

And then of course we went shopping since we were in the Bullring already, and of course I spent far too much money but it was so worth it and I needed new clothes anyways... or so I keep telling myself!  Really the last of our weekend was spent the same way,  I think I've ate enough, drank enough coffee and done enough shopping that I'll be set for a while.  Sadly our weekend was over far too soon and we all went our separate ways at the airport - I had to fly by myself for the first time ever as my sister had to go to Edinburgh for work.  But I saw the northern lights from the plane, the northern lights!!! 

My sister and me after the show.

Really after our wee setback we had an amazing time, got there and back in one piece, had a lovely time together, managed not to kill each other, had no major disasters and got loads of new wedding ideas... So overall I'd say it was a really successful trip, and even though the big city really isn't for me it's nice to go there and experience it even for a little while.

Hopefully there will be many more blog posts to follow, so until next time,

Love, Lauren x