Bridal Recon, Part 3: Fellows Riverside Gardens Bridal Fair

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Another month down, and just over 8 months to go until our big day! Since we’re still in search of a DJ, I thought it would be wise to check out the Fellows Riverside Gardens Bridal Fair on August 11. It was also really nice to do wedding things and spend a beautiful summer afternoon with my mom and sister. The Fellows Riverside Gardens and the D.D. & Velma Davis Education & Visitor Center are both absolutely beautiful venues for an outdoor wedding and an indoor reception, overlooking Lake Glacier, just outside of Youngstown. Carmen served as my official photographer for the day, staging each shot just so for the best image, as I talked with various vendors.

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I ❤ my family.

We mostly spent the day looking a different vendors for inspiration for things that we might want to do. To save money, we’ve decided to do our own flowers, and I’m also making the invitations. Brian’s mother, who is an amazing baker, has offered to make our cake, so we’ve been talking about different possibilities for that, too.

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Cake from The Cake Baker, tablescapes by T.R. Party Centre.

The very first vendor we spoke with was The Cake Baker from Austintown, offering mini cupcakes to sample different flavors. (I always always try the Bananas Foster samples.) I marvel at the things that some people can do with fondant. Look at that bow! The pleating! Another vendor in that room was T.R. Party Centre, a party rental supplier from Youngstown. Not all venues include tables, chairs, linens, glass and flatware, or other necessary items for your wedding — always make sure you know exactly what your venue rental includes before you sign a contract!

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Delicious confections from The Cake Boutique — Where Style Meets Cake!

Another cake vendor we spoke to was with The Cake Boutique from Warren, displaying a wide array of their designs. (Bananas Foster, again.) The samples we tried were as delicious as the cakes were beautiful. My personal favorites were the two in the center: the wood grain cake is actually covered with flats of chocolate with white edible ink applied with a special stamp, and the ruffle-y cake is very pretty coral/peach ombre — very trendy right now.

The photo strip, which I made into a blog-friendly format, came from K.M.R. Photobooth, formerly Big Day, Little Booth, a preferred vendor of this blog and from Ruth & Robert’s wedding. My dear friend, Vicki, is moving with her fiance, so her mother is taking over the business. Other amazing vendors featured in the upper level of the visitor’s center included Leslie Cusano Photography, The Music Man DJ Services, and Affluent Travel by VIP Limousine, who had three of their party buses parked outside for brides to explore before going into the fair.

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In the lower level of the visitor’s center, more vendors were showing invitation samples, registry suggestions, and table decor. Center of Attention is another party rental supplier for the Mahoning Valley, offering silk bouquets and card boxes in addition to the standard needs, like tables and linens. My mom, sister, and I all instantly loved the burlap and lace-wrapped centerpieces, which would be perfect for a rustic chic wedding.

dickadgateDick Adgate Florists from Warren was one of two floral vendors at the fair, handing out roses to all the ladies in attendance. The bouquets and arrangements were all gorgeous, but I personally loved the cream colored roses with lamb’s ear and succulents best, which is the second from the right in the photo. While these are all lovely, we’re planning on doing simple, soft arrangements of gypsophilia and hydrangeas. Another featured vendor in that area was Bella by Nicci, offering on site special event hair and makeup services. I also encountered my first wedding cinematography vendor, Acclaim Wedding & Event Films. Their high definition videography was better than any wedding video I’ve ever seen, but… I’m not entirely sure I can handle seeing my face in HD.

The center of the room was set for the bridal fashion show, featuring dresses from Elizabeth Renea’s Bridal of Salem, OH, tuxedos from American Commodore Tuxedo, and bouquets by Full Circle Florist of Youngstown.

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One of the trends they were showing with several of the dresses is a dropped waist, where the dress is fitted throughout the bodice and then slightly lower to the hips. It isn’t fitted all the way through the thigh, unlike trumpet or mermaid style dresses. I love the lace covering the second dress, but I think the sweetheart is a little low for my tastes.

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As you can tell, I had a great seat for the show, right in the front row, next to a little girl who had come in with one of my brides who found a dress with me. I liked the simple sheath of this gown, and although several of their dresses were strapless, I think this one wouldn’t quite look right without the delicate lace straps.

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The other trend from this show was back interest. You want the dress to be beautiful from the front, but its always nice to have some surprise style in the back, too. While you’ll find more bridal gowns that have some special details in the back, its unusual to find bridesmaids and mother of the bride/groom dresses with extra flair. (This is a really pretty bridesmaid dress with unique style in the back.)

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The dress they used for the finale, however, was my favorite. It had mixed reviews from some fair-goers after the show, but I loved the grey ruffles. If there had been a grey wedding dress when I was shopping for mine, I would have had a harder time deciding. Here’s a video of the encore — be sure to check out the sequined flower girl dress! So cool!

I don’t know if there are any other bridal fairs coming up, but I think I have all the business cards and brochures I could possibly need. It was fun seeing some of my brides from work; I guess I had never really thought that I would see them out “in public,” but they’re brides in the planning process, too.

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