Friday, February 5, 2010

New England Bridal Show: Ethan Allen, North Andover

The funny thing about walking into a New England bridal show at this point is that I recognize most of the wedding vendors personally, haha.  But I'm starting to compile a "favorites" list.  I mean, I have the dress and tuxes all set.  I have a photographer and cake person in mind.  And as of tonight I have a caterer in mind.  So the list of contacts in the favorites pile is progressing!  And a bridal show expo is a fun free night to enjoy mom's company :)

The caterer was the first one I’ve met at a bridal show expo other than at Spinellis.  Though I can’t say I MET them, more l like I just thanked them when they handed me food.  But once I tried this caterer’s food and told her I thought it was really good, it turns out she was very personable, so we talked a bit about my wedding day vision (the gorgeous vacation home on the lake) and dietary restrictions (two pescatarians and one very picky vegetarian).  She told me that she thinks the small garden wedding sounds REALLY fun for her; it will almost be like a dinner party.  And coincidentally, her business is in the city I grew up in (not too far from my current hometown).  But it’s so small I’d have probably never found her if not for this bridal trade show.

So now that I’m finding GREAT vendors like this at bridal trade show expos and I know what it feels like to find one, it’s made me realize something.  Previously I felt like I was doing a  wedding wrong.  They are supposed to be big.  I assumed vendors were writing me off because I wasn’t having a “real” wedding, just a little one, and I approached them apologetically.  But I was starting to find vendors that EMBRACE what I want.  And it makes me feel more justified.

Not that I felt like I had to give IN to the pressure before, and have a big guest list just for the sake of it.  It’s not what we wanted and it doesn’t make sense economically.  It’s just that my thinking at a bridal show expo has changed from, “I know it’s not what you vendors want, but it’s what works for our circumstances,” to “Yay, you GET me, and with your resources and my vision this wedding will be beautiful.”  The bridal trade show vendors who are standing out in my mind now as the top contenders are the ones who have made me feel like they are in awe of what my wedding is going to be, and acted as though they are confident and excited about helping me achieve it.

Case in point: I tried wedding cake sample at tonight’s bridal show expo, but the flier for the place said minimum of 75 servings.  So unless everyone at the wedding would like 3 pieces of cake I don't see that happening.  But again, it's fine because I found a cake place months ago I like (who let me know they can do a small one no problem, so if their price is right we're good).

The only other thing notable at the show were a few Massachusetts wedding venues that were recommended to me that are right here in Salem.  One was a function hall which is LOVELY inside, but no outdoor space!  I mean, there’s a public park nearby, but we don’t want a “public wedding.”  And the other is The House of Seven Gables, which is a famous historic home near the water, with gardens and everything.  But when I checked that out, the house is BLACK.  For anyone reading who’s had their wedding there, no offense, that just doesn’t fit my vision.  When you look at historic homes (which I do enjoy!) naturally a lot of times they have wear and tear.  There’s a balancing act between “preserved” and “updated.”  This seemed to err on the side of “preserved” and looked and felt just as old as it is, which isn’t the look I’d like.  Still thinking vacation home will suit my needs much better.  I’d rather something have a traditional look, but be new and clean looking than to be authentic.  And besides, I still think it would be very cozy for Adam’s family to stay at a home, we have all the time we want to set up and prepare and enjoy their company, and have the wedding there.


  1. I love intimate affairs. Ours is about 60 people and going to Bridal shows in Phoenix that's incredibly small. But talking to vendors in Sedona, where we're getting married, that's on the large end for them. It's all about getting to know who the vendors are and really developing a relationship! :o) Love this post.

    P.S. Thanks for the follow on my blog!

  2. Wow, I wouldn't have thought any wedding vendors would feel like 60 people is big! The bridal shows were intimidating at first, but now that I have more of a handle on what I want, I think they're fun :) I hope those great vendors I found are available once I'm able to book them!


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