As a bride, I hated bridal shows. I am alllll about free stuff and love the wedding industry, but there was something so cheesy and frankly, phony-feeling about YourTownHere’s BIGGEST Bridal Extravaganza! I ended up skipping every one and regretting giving a viable email address to the first and only one I went to.
So as a vendor, when Ashley Vause, of the wonderful Ashley Vause Events asked me to be part of a bridal show she was planning, I cringed a little.
It wasn’t the tabling that had me concerned. I work full-time in marketing and can table like a boss. It was the “swag” I was dreading. The people who were only interested in talking to me to see what I was giving away for free.
I don’t do free.
But I was offered a spot with a wedding planner I respected. Since I’m new in town, I figured it would at least be a good way to get my name on the map and meet some of my fellow wedding pros as well as some brides. I toiled over my giveaway though…literally thought about special cookies, foil stamped pencils, bottles of champagne, free digital downloads, I was stressing.
DESIGNING FOR 1779 MEETS 2017
When Ashley told me that she was interested in having me design an invitation for the event, something shifted. I learned more about the personality of the venue as I would a client, and it had depth. Person Place is a historic estate that dates back to the 1700s. It was built and expanded hand in hand with Louisburg College, a school dedicated to an intimate and personal approach to education.
I decided to create a two layer invitation, one with watercolor florals printed onto a meaty watercolor stock. I decided on deckled edge paper to highlight the raw nature of this element. I wanted it to feel organic and warm. The top layer was vellum. This transparent paper integrated some modern elements into the traditional suite. I love how the watercolor background peeks through the text design, obscured just enough to add visual interest.
The invitations were bound together by metallic brad fasteners, promoting movement of the elements and showcasing peeks at the different pieces. I thought tying the traditional and warm aspects of the design to fresh and contemporary stock married the history of the preservation society to 2017 brides.
A rich burgundy envelope with a bright gold liner tied together the warmth and brightness of the April event and tied back to the colors of the watercolor flowers on the invitation’s background.
MEETING BRIDES AND FRIEND-DORS
The difference with the bridal open house versus a bridal showcase [extravaGANZA KASEY!] is that the whole vibe is different. Wedding professionals came together to hang out and meet brides that wanted an intimate and cozy approach to wedding planning.
I met one bride who told me that she and her fiancé were getting married for the second time since preschool. They had actually held a wedding ceremony (white dress, gloves and all!) back in pre-k where the two of them got married with photographic evidence to prove it. How adorable is that? What a great memory to be able to show during cocktail hour and throughout their reception.
Another bride and groom were theming their wedding around video gaming, as that was how they came together. They saw my starfish invitation and saw an opportunity to create a Mario star adaptation for their own invitation.
I learned from Laurel Calligraphy, who brought her older sister to support her, that creativity runs in their family as Laura practices hand calligraphy and her sister photography (with a much-anticipated photo tour of Italy in a few weeks!). I met Oscar of Oscar William Cotton Candy and learned his newborn was fighting back after the ease of his older brother’s sleep patterns and Oscar knew this second son was going to give him a run for his money. Hilarity ensued when Amber of Images by Amber Robinson told us about how her daughters love to give each other cheek-smooshing kisses day and night, but never wanted to be on camera (the irony!).
I always enjoy getting to know more about the personal side of the people I meet. I’ve said it before, I love learning your story. The bridal open house at Person Place taught me about the brides of North Carolina as well as the wedding professionals that support them. It wasn’t anything like the “WIN A FREE HONEYMOON” offer I was dreading.
ALL ABOUT THE EATS
You guys, I’m half Italian (The greek last name is courtesy of my husband). The way to my heart is food. And the eats that Cannon Catering, Love Cake NC and Oscar Williams Cotton Candy provided was DIVINE. Since moving to NC I have had so many surprisingly fantastic experiences with food, and this was no exception. I tried killer pasta primavera from Cannon Catering, Kahlua fudge chocolate cake from Love Cake NC and Oscar had pumpkin pie flavored cotton candy! I would recommend any/all of these vendors if you are in need of some good eats. Definitely meet them somewhere to try their delicacies. Seek them out at future shows.
BRIDES THAT WORK WELL FOR PERSON PLACE
The Person Place is a great venue if you’re seeking an intimate venue full of authentic history. The green space outdoors is perfect for a larger outdoor ceremony while the parlors and interior rooms would make for a great cocktail hour or hors d’oeuvre reception.
I can see a roaring 20’s bride taking this space back in time, or a couple that loves lace and victorian inspiration for their wedding day. The wide plank wood floors and bronze doorknobs on charming double doors bring a lot of character to the space.
Because Louisburg College is built on the same property with majestic brick buildings with columns and 250-year-old facades, a couple that is looking for rich history to be the backdrop of their future would mesh very well here.
I wanted to thank Ashley for inviting me to be part of this event. She was an absolute dream to work with and truly cares about her events. She is helping Person Place restore the upstairs space for a future bridal suite, brought together vendors as friends to spotlight each other’s talents, and worked hard to build this event to be successful. I know I found the open house to be valuable as the type of bridal show I’d prefer to participate in. The personal quality was better than any extravaganza.
If you’re seeking a wedding planner, especially if you’re looking for a wedding for your closest friends and family, I’d recommend Ashley Vause Events one hundred times.