If you know me at all, you know that I’m obsessive-compulsive about most everything. Colors have to contrast yet coordinate, everything has to be creative yet organized, and symmetry is a must!! So you can imagine that my OCD definitely kicked into high-gear as I started planning for the Shaadi Bazaar bridal expo, which was held this past Sunday at the Hilton Dedham. And yes, while I do have a trace of undiagnosed OCD, let me also backtrack and say that I simply LOVE planning for events like this!! It brings me back to the days of arts & crafts projects in high school, which (let’s face it) were always more exciting than the physics homework I always left till the last minute.
I’m very much a visual person (shocker!)… so when I wanted to come up with the concept and design for my show booth, I naturally had to sketch it out with pen and paper (yes, I sketched out my booth)!! I wanted my booth to be more than just a “booth” though… I wanted it to have a life, a vibe, a feeling… something contemporary, chic, fun and stylish!! When a bride approached my booth, I wanted her to feel like she was in Nordstrom not just Macy’s!! So that’s when I really started to think beyond just a “booth”, but more about ambiance, textures, designs and colors. I do have to give major credit to Elizabeth and Adrienne of Gracie Lou Events for helping me work with Be Our Guest for party rentals and Golden Gate Studio for custom designed florals. Without the right linens to set the tone, and the right florals to bring out the accents, my booth just wouldn’t have looked the same!
And now for the technical stuff… I knew that I needed 2 monitors, one for a photo slideshow and one for my cinematic video presentation. But if I slapped both those 37″ TVs onto the only 6-foot table provided the hotel, where would I put my “other stuff”?! So my sketch expanded to include 2 high cocktail rounds, perfect for giving each screen a life of its own. I also knew I wanted to include some enlarged canvas prints into my booth. I wanted to hang them on a “wall” and give my booth a little bit of a trendy, chic gallery feeling to it. I knew I wouldn’t be able to just hand my prints onto the hotel wall, so I did the unthinkable… I asked the hubby to construct 3 wall panels for me. After several trips to Home Goods, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Home Depot and Lowes, we made it happen (I use the term “we” very loosely). And to top it all off, I had the audacity to ask for 3 individual spotlights on each of the panels… kinda like you would see in an art gallery!! Eekk… I’ve asked for too much, but the hubs is awesome and totally exceeded my expectations!! ….
To add to the trendy-chic theme, I also knew I wanted to add a customized seating area for my prospective clients. I wanted people to come, sit, relax, look through the albums and feel at ease while they were at my booth. In retrospect, having a personal seating area was a really smart move, because this allowed me to entertain more than one prospect at a time. While one bride was sitting and looking through albums, I could be chatting with another.
A big huge thank you to Raina and Jaime at Indigo Albums for always delivering the best quality albums to my doorstep. Your albums knocked it outta the park!!
And I’m all about adding that personal touch. Here’s a sneak peek at my personalized bridal goodie bags, full of fun treats for any bride-to-be!! Not only do I think it’s important to give brides a little something something because they deserve to be pampered, but a bride is probably going to visit about 10-12 different vendors at this expo… so what’s to keep her from forgetting me the second she walks out the door?! Something as simple as a little goodie bag gives the bride a fun and exciting reason to remember me!!
A big thank you also goes out to my sister, who usually watches Anya while I’m at these shows OR ends up playing booth-tender for me Couldn’t have done it without you!!
A little candle-lit romance never hurt anyone
And a big thanks also goes out to Nicole Chan for taking some photos of me in “action”.
I have no idea what I’m saying here, but clearly it must be very important
And now let’s move on to the other fabulous exhibitors at the event! Here are the wonderful Wali ladies of Shadi Ke Cards.
Neelam Wali has a spectacular collection of cards to suit any bride!!
A totally wonderful display by Elegant Affairs. This team had me totally impressed. I’m not even lying when I say the total setup AND breakdown time for this entire show piece didn’t exceed 1 hour!! The team was so well organized and coordinated, that they had this whole structure up and back down after show in no time flat!
A beautiful entrance courtesy of Elegant Affairs.
Sometimes, I just see stuff at these shows and it makes me want to have another wedding. I think I would get married all over again just for this bouquet alone. The exquisite combination of roses and black calla lilies by Golden Gate Studios just stole my heart!
Another gorgeous display from Golden Gate Studios.
Anju Pathak of Bridal Beauty did some quick and elegant up-do’s for some of the brides, right on the spot!
Here’s one of Anju’s models, all dolled up in couture from Seema Kapoor’s Choonri Collection.
Seema had a whole array of dresses and saris for the brides to choose from.
And DJ Deewane kept the event alive with the latest Bollywood tunes!
Mmmm… yummy goodness from Sweet Streams chocolate fountains. Alan Rappoport had all kinds of goodies for chocolate fountain dipping!!
A little bling from Rachna Dhir’s Mughal Splendor Collection. If you missed her at Shaadi Bazaar, be sure to check her out at next week’s bridal expo at the Double Tree in Westborough.
And with all the HOTTNESS in the room, I’m surprised these two fabulous ice sculptures from Brilliant Ice didn’t melt. I particularly love the fun drink luge on the right!! As Donald Chapelle of Brillant Ice said to me, “this isn’t just your ordinary frat house luge”!
Tons of fun nick-nacks and trinkets from the India Showroom! Perfect for those wedding goodie bags or favors.
And last, but not least, the oh-so talented Manisha Trivedi of Henna Cafe. Her talent never ceases to amaze me!
And I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten a few other vendors and a few other things that went down at Shaadi Bazaar. Be sure to check out the Shaadi Bazaar Facebook page for more photos, details and a full recap of the event! Happy Thursday!!