Who: Bubbling brides-to-be with their eager mothers, sisters, and friends in tow
What: Mpls.St.Paul Weddings Magazine presents The Bridal Party
When: Sunday, September 19
Where: Metropolitan Ballroom in Golden Valley
Why: Why wouldn’t we want to spend our Sunday lost in a wedding-lover’s wonderland?
Maybe I’ve seen one too many romantic comedies, but when I headed to the Metropolitan Ballroom on Sunday for Mpls.St.Paul Weddings Magazine’s The Bridal Party, a part of me expected bride wars. Torn tulle, flinging veils, hurling bouquets—with nearly 500 guests, I was prepared for a show.
When I arrived at the ballroom, however, I found not a war, but a wedding wonderland. The room was elegantly dressed with décor and draping by Festivities, flowers by Bachman’s, and small vendor tables filled with baubles, treats, flowers, and sweets while soft jazz played in the background. Models, glamified by Root Salon, stood on small stages spattered throughout the room donning white works of art (courtesy of some of my faves: Priscilla of Boston, Che Bella, Bridal Accents Couture, and Our Shop, to name a few). The elegant combination of music and bridal musings was beautiful.
But it was the brides-to-be who truly stole the show. The excitement and anticipation amidst the enthusiastic mix of ladies was immeasurable. Everywhere I turned giggling girls were tasting treats from Sweet Retreat, listening intently to an expert from Videon Productions, smiling for the picture wall courtesy of Mobile Photo Wall, and sipping the complimentary wine from Piattelli. Engagement ring-clad ladies roamed the room with a Medium Brown Bloomies bag in tow (swag for the brides) in search of the perfect centerpiece, registry advice, jewelry tips, and invitation inspiration. Most were accompanied by eager MOBs (mother of the bride), some had envious MOHs (maid of honor), and I even encountered the rare but brave groom (most were disgruntled about missing the Vikings game, but scored major points in their bride’s eyes). All seemed in search of ideas for the big day, and after three hours of posing as an inquisitive partygoer, my breadth of local vendor knowledge doubled.
As the afternoon and the sugar high from the amount of sweets I “sampled” began to unwind, I joined the rest of the bridal party near the front stage for the bridal blogger introductions and the grand prize giveaway. Four brides were introduced to the audience as finalists in mspmag.com’s Bridal Blogging contest. Voting began after the party and starting October 1, two summer 2011 brides will document their wedding planning experience for the magazine. We heard about Danielle Stork’s sister drama, Kate Johansen’s love of Minnesota, Kristin Gast’s excitement about sharing her stories, and Jennifer Dahl’s romantic long distance love.
And then it was time for the grand finale: The $5,000 Honeymoon giveaway by Carrousel Travel, El Dorado , Karisma, and Funjet Vacations. The package included airfare for two and accommodations at the El Dorado Royale, an all inclusive beach resort in the Mayan Riviera, Mexico.
Despite the fact that I was merely a bride-to-be poser for the day, I couldn’t help but share in the excitement the reverberated around the room. After a drum roll and one faux pick (bride’s had to be present to win), the winning bride literally screamed for joy when her name was called. Shocked, Kate Kizer from Cottage Grove took to the stage to tearfully accept her gift. And I must admit, as I watched the rest of the brides excitedly cheer her on, I realized that this drama-free day was better than a chick flick—it had a real-life happy ending.