The Wedding Party – New York Bridal Show

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New York Bridal Wedding Show

Last week I flew to New York City for The Wedding Party Bridal Show, put on by The Wedding Library along with Martha Stewart Weddings. I met up with a few of my colleagues from the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada and we hit up the bridal show V.I.P. style!

Wedding Show VIP Passes{our gold VIP wristbands!}

The event was held at the gorgeous New York Palace hotel in Manhattan. The atmosphere and grandeur of the foyer totally put you in the wedding spirit!

Elegant Hotel Lobby Palace

While waiting in line to register (with almost 600 other attendees!), we were treated to some classical music from a string trio…and of course I had to grab a photo of myself with my registration bag!

Wedding Sting Trio

Edmonton Wedding Planner Sweet Bliss Weddings

When the time arrived for the Bridal Show to start, the doors opened to the grand ballroom where we were to take our seats for a presentation by Darcy Miller, editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings and a Q & A by the celebrity panel. Once inside the ballroom, we were treated to another musical performance.  This time it was an amazing “revivalist jazz” band called Carte Blanche, complete in period costume. (Personally, I LOVED them! I felt like I was an a 1920s Paris speak-easy!)

vintage jazz french band

amsale mindy weiss sylvia weinstock amsale aberra peter callahan matthew robbins

The celebrity panel consisted of: (from left to right) Darcy Miller (editorial director for Martha Stewart Weddings), Amsale Aberra (Bridal Fashion Designer),  Mindy Weiss (Celebrity Wedding and Event Planner), Matthew Robbins (Event Designer), Peter Callahan (Celebrity Event Caterer), and Sylvia Weinstock (Celebrity Cake Designer).

After the Q & A, we were able to roam around the exhibitor halls. While wandering around, I was able to snap some photos of some of the celebrity vendors, close-up:

Martha Stewart Weddings Editor{Editorial Director of Martha Stewart Weddings, Darcy Miller}

celebrity cake designer{Celebrity Cake Designer, Ron Ben-Israel}

Celebrity Cake Designer{Celebrity Cake Designer & Wedding Cake Guru, Sylvia Weinstock}

Stay tuned for next week’s post: Up and coming wedding trends from New York!bridal show attendees


Bridal Show Tips + Tricks

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Edmonton has 3 main bridal shows every year: The Edmonton Bridal Fair, Bridal Fantasy and Bridal Expo. Seeing as there are 2 bridal shows this month, I have been getting a lot of questions about what to expect at a bridal show and (more importantly), how the experts handle them.

Bridal Fair Wedding Show Booths

{ epicevents.ca }

So, I decided to do a little blog post to help you out!

  • Bring Comfortable Shoes

I can’t help but snicker at the girls I see at the bridal shows in their 4 inch, thigh-high boots, walking around with this look of sheer pain on their faces. (Sorry!) A bridal show is not a runway – unless you’re one of the models actually hired for the fashion show. There is a lot of walking and an awful lot of standing! Your best bet is to wear comfortable shoes with little to no heel – something that you know you could stand in for 2 hours and not be too bothered by.

  • Leave Your Entourage At Home

Bridal shows can be crazy and very crowded. There is no need to bring your entire wedding party or all of your bridesmaids with you. The main purpose of a bridal show is to acquaint yourself with vendors and their services, and to get design ideas for your wedding. If you have 6 people in your entourage, that’s a LOT of opinions! Plus it is very easy to lose track of people. I would recommend bringing no more than 2 people along with you.  If your fiancé is not that interested in the planning process, then leave them at home. (Most bridal shows do have a sort of “Man Den”, but really, I equate it to the ball room at Ikea –you know what I’m talking about. Believe me, your man would much rather be at home than waiting 2 hours for you in a fenced off area with other men!)

  • Bring Water and Snacks

As I mentioned before, bridal shows can be very crowded places with thousands of people in the hall at any given time. This means that line ups for the concession stands are long and prices for food and beverage items are high. There is also not a lot of variety. Where possible, bring a bottle of water for each person and bring some granola bars or other snack items to last you through the day.

  • Come Prepared to do Business

Vendors pay to exhibit at bridal shows in order to get new business. And fortunately for you, you are there to HIRE vendors! :) Make sure to bring a notebook and pen with you as well as your calendar so that you can make appointments with vendors that you are interested in. If you are unable to speak to the vendor directly, grab their business card and contact them at a later date.  Try to only take business cards from vendors that you are interested in. (i.e.: If you are looking for a florist, don’t grab the card of every florist at the show). By the time you get home, you will have forgotten which vendor made that bouquet you loved and you will have more business cards to try to rifle through to find the florist you wanted. Also, bring along a bag to keep all your pamphlets and freebies in!

  • Brace Yourself for Contact

Lots of exhibitors will have contests and prizes that you may want to enter. In order to save yourself time and some serious hand-cramping, make some printed labels and bring them along with you. Information you should include on these labels are: your name, phone number, email address, full mailing address and wedding date. You may also want to sign up for a free email account just for this reason and forward emails from this new account to a current email account. The reason for this is that the bridal show will release a list of attendees to each vendor (remember that info you filled out when you bought your ticket…yup! That’s what it’s for!), and these vendors will send you emails from now until a year and a half AFTER your wedding (in some cases). Having a separate email address just helps you control the barrage of emails a bit better.

  • Take Pictures

If you see something that you like, take a photo of it in order to help you remember…but ask the vendor for their permission first! If they allow you to take a photo, try to include the vendors name somewhere in the photo as well, or position their business card in the shot. That way, you will remember which vendor created what and who to book later!  If the vendor doesn’t allow you to take photos, check out their Facebook page (if they have one). They most likely will have photos of their booth uploaded there for you to look at.

  • Expect to be Bothered

As you walk through the event centre, you will be hollered at, called out, etc. by people trying to hand you pamphlets or get you to view their booth. This is especially true of the bride (believe me, vendors LOOK for that ring on your finger!) Just be prepared for this and don’t take it personally – this is the way it’s done. If you have already booked a vendor for that service, politely say, “I already have my DJ. Thank you”. And leave it at that.

  • The Fashion Show

Either you will be interested in the fashion show, or you won’t be. If you are interested, snag a seat approx. 15 minutes before the show starts. If you aren’t interested, take advantage of this precious time to speak to vendors that you weren’t able to speak to before. The fashion show draws a lot of attention and the exhibitor booths are pretty near empty at this time, which is perfect for the bride who wants to have more one-on-one time with the exhibitors!