Last August when I photographed Historic Boydville Mansion for our Vendor Spotlight (check out that post here), I was talking to the owner, Jonathon, about bridal shows. He mentioned that he had thought about doing one there, and I jumped at the chance to push him to do just that! I have been secretly planning to do a different kind of bridal show since 2008 when I was disappointed by the cattle herding type of show that has been plaguing our industry for so long. If you ever attended a bridal show, you probably know what I’m talking about. A bunch of vendors setting up at a table or booth and you go around getting their marketing materials not really knowing much about how they performed on the wedding day. As a vendor myself at many shows in the past, I see many wonderful wedding vendors perform poorly at a bridal show, simply because they are not great sales people and know nothing about marketing. I’ve also seen mediocre-at-best vendors come in to a show and knock the socks off every bride there, booking up their year and making those of us who strive to be the best just cringe at the sight of this “show”. So, I started envisioning a show where you actually see vendors in action. A show that you can see right through the marketing and get right to the heart of what the vendors do. Over the last few years, these types of bridal shows have been popping up all over the country, and I was so excited to be a part of the first of it’s kind in this area. We started putting together a team in December, and we gathered the BEST of the BEST of the area’s wedding vendors to make sure it was amazing. And AMAZING it was! Not only did we have some of the most well-respected and uber-talented vendors in the area, but we also found a wonderful and GORGEOUS couple to do a real vow renewal to make the event even more special. Hans & Barbara also own several vintage vehicles that they will start renting out to local couples who want to add some vintage flair to their event (I can’t count how many times a bride has asked me if anyone in the area has a vintage car for their getaway vehicle after the ceremony).
Enough of my rambling… I’m breaking this event up into two blog posts: one for the bridal show side of things, and the other for the actual wedding pictures of the day (see that post here!). First, let’s take a look at the bridal show! We had the wedding/vow renewal ceremony, a cocktail hour, tours of the house, a mini-reception surrounded by the typical bridal show setup, and lots of prizes given away all throughout the day.
Venue: Historic Boydville Mansion ~ www.boydville.com
Flower Design & Arrangement: Flowers Unlimited ~ www.flowersunlimitedwv.com
Event Coordinator: Tara Sanders Lowe Event Planning & Promotion ~ www.eventplanningandpromotion.com
Event Designer: Bloomed To Last ~ www.bloomedtolast.com
Cake: Frosted Fantasies ~ www.frostedfantasiescakes.com
Men’s Formals: Dana’s Tuxedo ~ www.danastuxedo.com
DJ: GS Productions ~ www.gsproductions.net
Catering: Gourmet Cooke Catering ~ www.gourmetcooke.com
Makeup: Sokel Makeup & Skincare ~ www.sokelmakeup.com
Hair: Nikki @ Studio M ~ www.facebook.com/StudioM.SalonSpa
Hair Jewelry: Garnished Addiction ~ www.etsy.com/shop/GarnishedAddiction
Chalk Art: Chalk It Up ~ www.facebook.com/ChalkItUpWV
Photo Booth: Snapped Memories Photo Booth ~ www.snappedmemoriesphotobooth.com
Tent & Other Rentals: Jefferson Rentals ~ www.jefferson-rentals.com
Printing: Progressive Printing ~ www.progressive-printing.com
Photography: Swadley Studio ~ www.swadleystudio.com
Some of the behind the scenes of the day…
Some of our amazing vendors…
Some of the amazing prizes included gift certificates for wedding items, a bridal portrait (by us of course!), gift baskets and the grand prize of a complete venue rental from Historic Boydville!
I loved some of the creative ways that prizes were given. The person who caught the bouquet won the gift certificate for Flowers Unlimited. How fun!
Brides and their crews were able to partake in some ridiculously amazing food, drink and dessert!
I love that some of us are actually real married couples! Here’s Greg & Jessica with GS Productions, Shannon & Angelo of Frosted Fantasies, and yours truly (Jon & Lori of Swadley Studio).
Check back for the follow up post with some beautiful images of Hans & Barbara’s vow renewal!