Disclaimer – I heard about the Ottawa Bridal Party early in January and inquired about being a vendor. Unfortunately they had already filled up and I wasn’t able to have a space. I was a bit heartbroken, but nonetheless vowed to see what it was all about. After my visit this year, I am already looking forward to next years show, and maybe I’ll be lucky enough to be a vendor.
The show debuted this year at the relatively unknown, but absolutely wonderful Sixty Four Hundred Celebration Centre in Stittsville. The Centre will soon rebrand as NEXT, adding Chef Michael Blackie as a partner. I had never visited the Centre, but was optimistic after perusing the website. It looked chic, clean and well laid out. I was not disappointed in the least. The facility is a hidden gem in the NCR, but I fear it won’t remain hidden for long.
Dora Dalietos, a close friend and fellow Event Planner, and I arrived and were greeted by complimentary valet provided by Responsible Choice, which is a great option for couples looking to ensure that all the guests get home at the end of the celebration in a safe manner. In the entry to the building the first thing I noticed was the singer Kimberley Dunn performing in front of the sweeping staircase. It was a great place to showcase a musician, and her sweet melody could be heard upon registration.
Due to the size of the venue, this show felt much more intimate and less intimidating than the larger wedding shows held at the Ottawa Convention Centre and the Ernst & Young Centre (formerly the CE Centre). The vendors didn’t have “booths” per se, and it didn’t feel compartmentalized.
Dora and I took several trips through the venue to make sure we didn’t miss any of the details, and ensuring that we got a chance to sample all the wonderful food and speak with the knowledgeable vendors.
Speaking of food – I must say I fell in love with the popcorn bar provided by the flour shoppe! My favourite was the Chili Lime Tequila, followed closely by the Sweet & Salty. It was genius to add potato chips to the popcorn and toffee.
The wedding desserts – because today it’s so much more than just cakes – ranged from whimsical to elegant to novel to pieces of art. Gone are the days of a small round cake for the happy couple and a sheet cake for the guests. And I say that it’s about time!
the flour shoppe
Auntie Loo's Treats
Dora and I enjoyed sampling the treats provided by the aforementioned bakers, but what really made our knees weak were the truffles from Crazy4Chocolate.ca. If there were a local branch of Chocoholics Anonymous, I would be a founding member. Once, while on vacation in France, I brought back an medium sized suitcase filled with this lovely product. The 70% cocoa truffle is pure simplistic excellence.
As I’ve visited several wedding shows this season, I’ve seen a few trends in wedding flowers. I love the simplicity that some florists are showcasing, and I love the use of succulents. They add a great bit of texture and uniqueness.
This simple use of baby’s breath by Petals and Paint provided a stunning centrepiece that provides a sense of elegance without breaking the bank.
In The Bespoke Lounge we found Stratis Marketing tucked away in a corner. It was really an unfortunate placement, as the items the were showcasing were top notch. I spoke with Aimée Dupuis, the owner for a good 15 minutes about her high-end gifts that are designed to be personalized. I would love to receive one of these leather frames with a picture of the wedding party if I was a groomsmen, bridesmaid or family member.
Dora & I did spend some time goofing off at the Professional Entertainment Group booth. We donned some feather boas and took some memorable shots that made us laugh and smile.
Dora insisted I meet Jenna Majkot, the owner of Dahlia Event Design and Luxury Linen. They graduated from the Algonquin College Event Management Program together. I loved the simplicity and purity of her booth. It’s amazing how much can be said with white and silver.
Situated next to each other in the largest room of the Sixty Four Hundred Celebration Centre were Everlovin’ Press and Play I Do Weddings. I found it fitting that these two vendors were next to each other, as they were the only vendors I saw with direct marketing to the LGBT niche.
Left – Vincent Perez, the Owner and Pressman at Everlovin’ Press produces high quality invitations and stationary – by hand. This isn’t a push and print operation. Hi beautiful invitation for Xavier & Phillipe’s wedding caught my eye and stole my heart.
Right – Not only can Renée and Craig play classical and jazz like no one’s business, they value diversity. At Play I Do they value it so much it’s in their mission statement: “We are open to the needs of our clients, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability or income level.” These are the kind of people I WANT to do business with.
Overall I thought the show was a great addition to the NCR. It showcased vendors I hadn’t seen before, had a luxury feel to it, and was fun! I did find a few drawbacks: parking – there wasn’t enough of it; coat check – the facility didn’t have a dedicated area & that surprised me; The Bespoke Lounge – the publicity for the event advertised cigar rolling and scotch tasting, neither of which were present. Even with these drawbacks, I was impressed by the organizers and vendors. BRAVO
I wonder, is it time for a groom centred wedding show?
The one thing I like to remember about every weddings is that they are all about the same thing: