I had never been to a bridal show until our daughter got engaged in 1998. We began making the rounds, checking out the vendors, and deciding what would be the best choices. The shows were okay — nothing to brag about for sure.
Jan. 25 of this year, I helped with a Blue Ridge Bridal Show at Millwood Station in the Shenandoah Valley. Boy did I have my eyes opened. It was chock full of vendors who were interactive with the attendees, demonstrating and offering their products with samples and freebies.
This show brought the bridal industry into the new century with interactive connections and the latest technology. In addition, many grooms came along with their future brides and actually took part in the activities.
But that was only half of it. Dance demonstrations, groom’s bingo for great prizes, a fashion show, a DJ (Hampton Thomas from Special Occasions) on site, a videographer with a fun photo booth from AATR Video, food and cake samples, and prize raffles continued throughout the afternoon so no one would dare go out the door. Plus the first 100 brides received a gift bag of goodies from the vendors.
First off, representatives of a local dance studio, Social Graces, Berryville ballroom.com demonstrated some basic moves that any bride and groom could use for the first dance. Then later that day, volunteers were solicited to come forward and actually try out some of the steps. So if you are a reluctant dancer, this was your chance to get some expert instruction.
Hair and makeup demos by Lavish Hair Salon and Boutique wowed the future brides with tips and suggestions to make the special day even more spectacular. These were held twice during the afternoon for the whole room while individual help was ongoing.
Grooms were certainly not left out as special emphasis was given to them during a Grooms Roll the Dice activity sponsored by Go Blue Ridge Travel and Alpha Voyages. Taking over the red carpet, the grooms kept on rolling until winners were finally decided — one lucky couple even won a honeymoon! And other great prizes were given to the runners-up.
Then a local bluegrass band, Bud’s Collective, performs, getting the crowd of a couple of hundred tapping toes and singing along. The group of pickers entertained with several songs as a sample of what a reception would sound like.
Just when you thought it was winding down and people were getting ready to leave, an amazing fashion show begins. Potomac Bridals prepared an array of bridal gowns, bridesmaid, prom, and cocktail dresses, as well as mother-of-the-bride ensembles. It was like watching fashion week in NYC with high fashion models and the latest international styles. If brides had no idea what to wear, this certainly would have jumpstarted them into making a final decision.
Nancy Craun and Mary June Williams, assisted by Beth Drummonds, really know how to put on a bridal show. If you are in the market or just want to see the latest in bridal trends, including foods and cakes, don’t miss the next Blue Ridge Bridal show– April 25.
For the Spring Destination: Blue Ridge Bridal Show. Win a $1500 Romance Adventure Getaway in the Shenandoah Valley. Meet the travel destinations, wedding venues, and learn about the great travel experiences here in the valley.
And if you want to see more of the January show, visit Blue Ridge Bridal Show You Tube page.
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Frances C. Lowe