NYC Bridal Market {how we buy wedding gowns} - Part 1

It's almost April and while for some April may bring showers, here at anna bé, April is much more fun. April is the time that we get to go to bridal market (and depending on the designer it can also be when we are FINALLY receiving the dresses that we picked out in October). Lots of people ask us how we pick the dresses and although there's no exact formula, over the next few weeks we'll share a behind-the-scenes peek of this past October market. 

First up, just what is market? Bridal markets happen multiple times a year at different locations, but in our opinion there are only two markets that truly matter. Twice a year the top designers head to New York to show their latest designs. Stores (or stockists if you're not stateside) fly in from all over to see the latest and greatest. We're shopping side-by-side with the buyers from Kleinfeld, Neiman Marcus, as well as all of the boutiques from New York to Los Angeles and everything in between.  

And the big question, who goes from anna bé? And how on earth do we decide on what dresses to bring back? Well, from the beginning the two owners, anna and breanna, have attended every single market. Generally speaking, we have a similar aesthetic (it's what rings true to the entire store), but that doesn't mean we always love the same dresses. When we agree it's easy, but when we don't...watch out there may be some thumb-wrestling involved in the final decision. As we've grown, we've been lucky enough to invite some of the stylists from anna bé to join in the fun (albeit exhausting) few days of market and voice their opinions on trends, styles, and new looks that we should add to the shop. This past October it was Chelsea and Melissa. 

Phew... just writing this reminds me how much goes into what is a few days of shopping, but we know that the goods we bring back matter so we want to make sure that we're bringing back the very best for our brides. 

Day 1: New York Bridal Market

Many of the designers that are New York based tend to user their showrooms for bridal market, so for all of the designers that are based elsewhere there is the option to show in a more traditional trade show format. It's a long day where literally every way you turn it's just dresses, dresses, and some accessories thrown in there. If you've ever been to the Great American Beer Festival (and if you haven't, well that's worth it too) it's like that but with the most gorgeous gowns. Keys to making it here are: comfortable shoes, a giant bag for collecting catalogs and contact information, your fur (a la Chelsea), and tunnel vision when trying to get to an appointment on time. 

Day 1: Who We Saw 

Well we saw way more than what we brought back (we're curating a collection so you don't have to weed through it all), but highlights included Ivy and Aster (they have some of the most creative booth space ever!!), Nicole Miller, local designer Sara Gabriel (funny that we travel to New York to see a Denver designed collection) and Watters. So many great dresses!! PS - for those of you loving Nicole Miller don't forget we're having a trunk show April 5&6 that includes EVERYTHING we saw at this market! 

Coming up soon... Appointments outside of the trade show format!