what (exactly) is bridal market?

Starting this week and through part of next week you’ll hear the term ‘bridal market’ a lot in wedding related press and it’s all in reference to the New York International Bridal Week. Bridal market is when the wedding world descends upon NYC to view the latest collections from designers across the globe.

So what (exactly) is it? Bridal market is what it sounds like – a giant marketplace where designers, manufacturers, and buyers meet, show off their looks, order sample gowns, and host amazing runway shows.

Backstage at Claire Pettibone / Kat Harris Photography / @thekatharris / http://www.katharrisweddings.com/

While the National Bridal Market in Chicago has been around for a while, the New York International Bridal Week is actually pretty new. Despite being such a young event (it launched in 2010) it draws designers from across the world as opposed to only the U.S and has been commended for pulling together a previously fragmented industry.

NYC’s bridal market (aka: The New York International Bridal Week) happens twice a year – once in the fall and once in the spring, and it is always an exciting time for anyone who is remotely interested in the wedding industry. Why? Because it’s when thrilling new bridal fashion related things happen.

Things like when Claire Pettibone changed everyone’s idea about what a wedding dress can look like, or when one of my favorite bridal boutiques decided to carry one of my favorite designers, or this past spring  when Vera Wang broke the mold again and added bold black stripes and gloves to all of her looks. Like I said – it’s exciting!

Claire Pettibone / Kat Harris Photography / @thekatharris / http://www.katharrisweddings.com/ Claire Pettibone / Kat Harris Photography / @thekatharris / http://www.katharrisweddings.com/

The actual ‘market’ part of bridal week occurs at Pier 94 in NYC. Unlike most markets that might come to mind when you hear that word, Pier 94 is glamorous. White carpets, sparkling chandeliers – the works.

Designers and brands set up booths with their newest gowns & accessories and boutique owners and retail buyers come, look, touch, examine, and decide what wedding dresses they’ll carry. That’s why bridal market is important to you – your local bridal boutique owners are probably on their way to NYC right now!

Backstage at Bridal Market / Kat Harris Photography / @thekatharris / http://www.katharrisweddings.com/ Backstage at Bridal Market / Kat Harris Photography / @thekatharris / http://www.katharrisweddings.com/ Backstage at Bridal Market / Kat Harris Photography / @thekatharris / http://www.katharrisweddings.com/ Backstage at Bridal Market / Kat Harris Photography / @thekatharris / http://www.katharrisweddings.com/

There’s also a Fashion Theatre (aka: runway) next to Pier 94 where designers can showcase their collections to both buyers and press outlets. A lot of brands not only book a booth at Pier 94 and/or show at The Fashion Theatre, but they’ll also produce invitation only exhibits and host parties in various hotels and ballrooms across the city. Photographers, bloggers, and editors go, gawk, and then report all the excitement back to you.

Reem Acra / Kat Harris Photography / @thekatharris / http://www.katharrisweddings.com/ Reem Acra / Kat Harris Photography / @thekatharris / http://www.katharrisweddings.com/ Reem Acra / Kat Harris Photography / @thekatharris / http://www.katharrisweddings.com/

Unfortunately I won’t be attending Bridal Market this weekend (I live really far away from NYC) but I do have a photographer (Kat Harris, whose exquisite images from last fall’s bridal market are gracing today’s post) standing in for me and attending the show I would most love to see: Sareh Nouri, who is showing in collaboration with Enchanted Atelier.

So follow along on Facebook and stay tuned! Starting Friday I’ve got a jam-packed bridal fashion weekend planned for you here on Burnett’s Boards and next week, once bridal market has concluded, you’ll get a first look at the new Sareh Nouri 2014 Collection!

Update: the shoot has arrived! Go behind the scenes at bridal market here


Photography: Kat Harris // Designers: Claire Pettibone // backstage at Kenneth Pool & Christos // Reem Acra.

About Sara Burnett

Editor of Burnett's Boards, which she founded to showcase global creativity in the wedding industry. Sara currently lives out of a suitcase while island hopping the Caribbean and beyond. Learn More // Follow on Instagram.


  1. I won’t be going either, sadly. I’m so close to NYC, so I really should go, but I just can’t make time for it. I’m so excited that you’ve got a photographer standing in for you, though! I can’t wait to see the first look at Sareh Nouri’s and Enchanted Atelier’s new designs! I’m sure those collections will be AMAZING! And Kat’s photography is just beautiful. 🙂

  2. Great post. So informative. I hope to be able to go next year! Looking forward to your posts.

  3. Thanks for sharing Kat’s images for those of us that can’t be there!

  4. Bridal market is definitely on my mind! I went last spring and it was amazing, but I can’t make it work this season, so I’ll be covering it from afar too! I’m so looking forward to your posts and seeing Kat’s images of the collections!

  5. I’m going to see Claire Pettibone and Sarah Nouri (along with some fab other designers). You are making me even more excited than I am!

  6. What a great post – my email has been flooded with invites to attend the runway shows and parties for Bridal Market but alas, two little kiddos are keeping me from attending in person. But, that’s ok as I’ll get to see the designs from the comfort of my own home and without everyone’s phones/cameras in-front of me blocking the view of what I am sure will be an amazing collection of wedding gowns.

  7. Hoping to make it to Bridal Week next year!

  8. Let’s go to Bridal Week next year together 😉 i would love to go!!!!!

  9. Great post! You always have the best information. I won’t be going this year either, but I’m hoping for spring or fall of next year. Looking forward to seeing your Sareh Nouri images from Kat Harris! 🙂

  10. Oh, the invites! I wish I could be there – but it just isn’t going to happen this year! So many fab parties and shows. Can’t wait to read (and swoon over) all of the coverage.

  11. Great post! I did receive a lot of nice invites, but can’t attend due to some obligations with my kids. I was able to attend last fall and it was great. I can’t wait to see the amazing wedding collections coming out. I know they will be wonderful!

  12. So much to look forward to! Wish I could have gone as well.. Will be checking back in here to see what’s in store though!

  13. You always have such great information and amazing images! So excited for Bridal Market next year!

  14. I am so excited to see all the new designs for the upcoming year! NYC is such a magical place and having so many bridal designers in one place is sure to be epic =)

  15. LA needs a Bridal Market! That would be an easy trip for you, right? 😉

  16. Hi Sara-These photos are really beautiful and I especially love the backstage ones. Too bad you didn’t get to come. Bridal Market has actually been around for a very long time. I have been going since 2000 when I was working at Bridal Guide Magazine. It has changed a lot for sure, but designers have been having shows and press appointments in October and April continuously. Hope you get to come someday!


  1. […] Wondering what the heck Bridal Market is? Here’s some of my Bridal Market coverage from last year, as well as a great explanation by Burnett’s Boards. […]

  2. […] Last April at bridal market, I saw THE dress walk down the runway and I knew it was without a doubt the one for me. It has everything I had dreamed of all rolled into one. The gown reflects both of our styles and our wedding day perfectly.” […]