It’s always been our dream to showcase our designs in an international setting. This year, that dream came true. Here’s a cute story about this American bridal designer's adventures in London.
Chapter 1: A Christmas Miracle of Sorts
Our story begins in December, a few days after Christmas. It was a snowy winter’s night. Or was it day? Either way, we were catching up with each other after Christmas when we got to talking business as we always do. That's when we realized we had the chance to take a trip to London. It wasn't going to be a trip for sightseeing, although that did happen, but it was foremost a business trip. It would be Edith Élan's debut at the White Gallery London bridal market show. We told each other that the deciding factor would be flights. If they were too expensive, we would have to postpone the trip. We searched together and waited for the other’s reaction. (Cue the suspenseful music as the main characters find out their fate.)
Call it a Christmas miracle if you like, but lo and behold: roundtrip flights for less than $400 per person! SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! We checked our passport expirations, slaved over a credit card, and booked our flights. It’s real, it’s really happening… We’re going to London… EÉ is going international!!!
Chapter 2: Busy Bees
To pass the time until May, we continued being busy little worker bees. We fulfilled orders for our new stockists. We prepared for London. And, we started work on the 2018 collection. (If you want to read more about creating a collection, check out our other blog post, but make sure to come back!) Before we knew it, it was time to pack our bags and hop on our flights.
Chapter 3: Welcome to London
Green fields and overcast skies greeted us when we landed on that Friday afternoon. Since we arrived separately, we decided our rendezvous point was our “über fancy hotel.” We rendezvoused as planned, and next on the list was finding sustenance.
Along for the fooding adventure was our friend and fabulous photographer Genevieve. We walked our famished selves to a nearby, river-front restaurant. There was nothing quite like the view of the Thames as we filled our bellies with food and drink.
Afterwards, Gretchen and I said goodbye to Genevieve for the day. We took the rest of the day to explore the streets of Battersea and over the bridge into Chelsea. Our ultimate destination was the Victoria & Albert Museum. We wandered the museum for a bit. Then we wandered some more towards the Kensington hotel for some cocktails at The K Bar. Between the jet lag and the warm-fuzzies from the drinks, we fell asleep fast that night.
Chapter 4: And It Begins
Saturday morning arrived and that meant it was time to get to work! We spent the first half of the day at the Battersea Evolution pavilion. That's where we turned our pumpkin into a beautiful carriage. By pumpkin we mean our booth, and yes, that does make us the fairy godmothers! We’d set aside a couple hours to complete our booth, but it took a little bit longer than planned. Someone (ahem, Lourdes) forgot the hangers back at the hotel. So she had to go back for them so steaming could start. Real magical powers would've been excellent at this point. Luckily, it was a small setback.
After setting up, we still had enough daylight to head back to the hotel, freshen up, and trek to Buckingham Palace to meet up with Genevieve. Our “touristy” evening included more food and wandering... Savile Row, dinner and a pint at a pub, and Carnaby street.
Chapter 5: Show Time!
Sunday through Tuesday were the show days. While they were long days, don’t feel bad - we had a great time both during and after the show! On Sunday night, there was a champagne party for vendors and buyers to mingle. (Twist our arms why don’t you!) And then, on Monday night Genevieve joined us for dinner at Sketch Gallery.
But like Time always does, he flew by. The clock struck four in the afternoon on Tuesday, and our booth was turning into a pumpkin again. We packed up our booth.
Chapter 6: All Good Things Must Come to an End
With only a few more hours left to explore the city, we dropped off our dress bags at the hotel. We hopped on the bus and headed towards the Westminster. There were still a few things to check off the list: Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.
The rain started to come down before we made it to Tower Bridge. We were also very hungry at that point. We decided to make our way back towards the bus stop, but not before getting a bite to eat. Our last meal in London was at Jamie’s Italian on Victoria Street.
The next morning we said, “See you later,” to the wonderful city that has captivated us forever.
That’s right, London, we’ll be back! There’s still so much we have yet to explore… so don’t miss us too much.
So, there you have it! Our story of how we managed a "last minute" trip to London. That said, is there anything you think we need to see or do next time we are in London? Let us know in the comments below.
Want more Edith Élan travels? Check out our 2016 trip to NYC!