Bridal Show Recon, Part 1: Eastwood Bridal Extravaganza

I’m truly beginning to understand why the industry in which I work calls the the first few months of the year “Bridal Christmas.” Apart from helping a solid handful of brides (and by that, I mean five) find the most important dress they’ll ever wear, I attended one of the first bridal fairs of the season this past weekend at the Eastwood Expo Center. With me were two of the ladies who will be standing up with me on my own big day: my little sister, Carmen, who will be one of my maids of honor, and one of my Brides-Dames, Jeannette. I’m really glad she was able to come with us since she’ll be working on her master’s/doctorate degrees and might not get to be here for other planning/deciding/making sessions. 🙂

Since we truly haven’t started doing any “serious” planning, I was open to looking at all kinds of vendors, and there were several to visit that afternoon. I was surprised to see some types of vendors there, including a church offering its various chapels and sanctuaries as ceremony venues, eyelash extensions, and a kind of random H&R Block booth. I also didn’t expect to eat so much tortellini; that was more or less the main thing that catering vendors were offering, as well as bruschetta. (I’m not complaining by any means, though. I love tortellini and bruschetta. I was just surprised so many vendors were offering samples of the exact same food.)

clarencedale cakes

There were also plenty of cake samples to be had, and we tried no less than five different flavors from the different vendors. My favorites, by far, were from Clarencedale Cakes, a very popular local designer cake company. They’re responsible for making these creative cakes; I just had to show the insane detail on this Nightmare Before Christmas cake — love it! They were offering four types of cupcakes, including Sex on the Beach, Red Velvet, Strawberry Cream, and…. something else. Doesn’t matter though, because everything they make is delicious!

lightingOne of my favorite things from the show was the “centerpiece,” so to speak. I really loved how this lighted ceiling by Ruthann’s Elegant Decor helped create a new visual space and I think it could be pretty neat around/above the dance floor at a reception. However, I’m not sure I would go with so much fabric draping. Instead, I like the idea of doing multi-colored ribbons going across the floor.

bridal show

There were two back-to-back shows on the main stage towards the end of the bridal show. The first featured Dominic Tocco & The Brotherhood, a live band showcasing their wedding reception skills. Ok, to be completely honest, I expected them to be fairly cheesy and do a lot of Tom Jones or something, but they were actually really good. Tocco, The Professor, The Rock, and Italian Santana (not my names for them… the lead singer said it) performed great covers of reception staples (Earth, Wind, & Fire’s “September” and Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love”), as well as a Ne-Yo/Justin Timberlake/Pitbull medley. I know you’re probably thinking “tacky,” and yes, there is a certain cheese-factor to wedding bands, but I was impressed by these guys and they seemed to truly enjoy entertaining the crowd. At the end of their set, Tocco brought out of American Commodore Tuxedo Dancers (shown in the bottom picture) for their cover of “Gangnam Style.” Yep. He sang in Korean, or at least his version of it. The dancers were fantastic and probably received most of the applause that afternoon… of course, they’re a bunch of good-looking guys in suits with decent dance moves. That pretty much explains it.

David’s Bridal hosted a bridal fashion show to close out the day and I was especially excited knowing that my dream dress was going to be coming down the runway. That is, what I thought was my dream dress… until I saw a very similar version of it come out two dresses later. Oh man. (More on that in a future post. I thought it was going to be so simple to find my dress… crap.) I loved so many of the dresses they showed, even if they weren’t particularly my style. One of my favorites is a satin wedding gown by Oleg Cassini, featuring a beaded jacket, giving it an illusion-style neckline. (Gorgeous, isn’t it? It’s the one in the top-left; my picture doesn’t do it justice.) The other dress in the picture has a dramatic high-low ball gown with a ruched bodice. Not for me, but it is very “in” right now.

This is just the first of a few bridal shows I plan to attend in the next couple of months. It was a good start, but I need to see much, much more.

photobooth

Part of our photo strip by Photo Magic Express. The viking helmet was calling my name…

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