An Insider’s Look at New York Bridal Market

This is an exciting time in the bridal world: New York Bridal Market! Twice a year, bridal salon owners head to New York to see the latest and greatest in bridal gowns, wedding accessories, bridesmaid dresses, and more. Find out what happens behind the scenes with this insider’s look at New York Bridal Market…

I must say that attending the bridal shows is like entering a fantasy world. They are not open to the public, so you must work in the wedding industry to attend. Most of those there will be bridal salon owners who have come to see the new samples of wedding gowns. This happens in a few different ways. There is a large bridal market that will take place at Pier 92 in Manhattan from April 14-16, 2012. This is the show that houses the most exhibitors under one place, representing a wide range of price points.

Then there is the Couture show, which this year will take place at the Intercontinental Hew York Hotel. It has a smaller, more exclusive list of exhibitors, including some of the more avant garde and high end bridal retailers. A large number of the wedding gown designers do not exhibit at either of the main shows, preferring to host private events. Since many bridal houses are headquartered in New York, they may invite their current and prospective clients to view runway shows in their own showrooms. While it means a lot of running around New York, it is nice to go directly to the designer’s showrooms, because bridal shop owners may be able to peruse some of their older best-selling styles in addition to seeing the brand new collection.

After the shows are over, the hard work begins for the bridal store owners: decision time! The way the process works is that shops place orders for sample gowns, and yes, stores do have to buy those samples – they are not free. Every store will have a budget they need to work within, and it can be hard to limit the order to fit the budget after seeing so many fabulous choices! Stores have to balance stocking gowns that are likely to fit up-and-coming trends with ordering “safe” styles that are likely to sell over and over. It can take several months for the new samples to arrive in the bridal salons for real brides to see, and of course from there, it takes four to six months for wedding gown orders to come in. That is why the collection of bridal gowns being shown in April 2012 are called the Spring 2013 Collection – the brides who actually wear them probably will not be tying the knot until next year.

So what does New York Bridal Market mean for real brides? It means a chance to see what trends will be popular in the coming six to twelve months as pictures of the new wedding gowns start appearing on the Internet. For those planning to get married next year, it means a sneak peek at what you might be wearing when you walk down the aisle. And for brides getting married later this year, Bridal Market signals that sample sale time will be coming up in a few months as bridal stores work to clear out old inventory to make room for the new. All in all, Bridal Market is an exciting time for anyone who loves weddings!