Whether you're newly engaged (congrats!) and just beginning the planning process or elbow-deep in seating charts and guests lists, the Twin Cities Bridal Show has something for every couple. Now in its second year, hundreds of brides and grooms will have the opportunity on Sept. 21 to meet with more than 150 vendors, gather ideas from the Inspiration Station, scout dress and tux options during the Aisle of Style Fashion Show, and do hair and makeup trial runs at the Glam 2 Go Makeover Zone. In preparation for the upcoming event, Mpls.St.Paul Weddings spoke with The Wedding Guys’ Matthew Trettel about what’s new, what’s trendy, and how to get the most out of the (sometimes overwhelming) bridal show experience.
The Twin Cities Bridal Show is now in its second year. What feedback have you received from the first shows that have impacted this year’s event?
One of the major things that brides and grooms tell us is that one of their favorite features is the Inspiration Station. The basic concept behind that was to bring Pinterest to life. What we do is we pre-curate six trends in advance on Pinterest so people can see us working on the actual Inspiration Station concept, and then it comes to life at the show as kind of a store window–styled display. Each station is a combination of décor, flowers, stationery, and fashion. We pull an entire wedding concept together. The Inspiration Stations for this upcoming show will be hipster, farm-to-table, ice hot, English manor, new vintage, and Gatsby.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s event?
I love the Aisle of Style Fashion Show. That’s one of the things that Bruce [Vassar] and I really enjoy putting together. It’s basically a combination of fashion week, bridal fashion, and a little MTV because we actually have a DJ who spins during the show, so there’s this really great vibe to the overall environment. It’s very New York inspired. Bruce and I always go out to the couture bridal market in New York in the spring and the fall to see everything that’s being released. It’s always nice to see what’s hot out there and bring it back to our fashion show here. We’re trying to push the trends forward here. Everyone thinks the Midwest is a fly-over state, but we really work hard to showcase new things that aren’t even happening on the coasts. We’re really trying to do something different here than what brides and grooms are typically seeing at shows.
What are some trends you’re seeing in the wedding industry?
When I entered this industry, couples basically did what their family or friends did. Their weddings all looked the same because they all replicated what everybody else did. So now the antithesis of that is they want their wedding to be entirely different, which I think is really cool.
Receptions: It seems like couples are reaching out beyond what they see happening in weddings and are trying to do some things that are unique, trying to bring experiences to their guests that are outside of what we think of with traditional Midwestern sit-down receptions. We’re seeing a lot of receptions that have more of a cocktail feel, with small bites and extended mingling.
Stationery: Letterpress just seems to be getting bigger and bigger on the stationery front. Spark Letterpress has just returned to Minneapolis. They were based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and have relocated their headquarters here. We’re really excited about that; they’re featured in Martha Stewart all the time.
Fashion: It’s great to see sleeves coming back in and there are definitely some more interesting silhouettes. Also, illusion necklines. I’ve been in the industry now for close to 20 years, but when I first entered, illusion necklines were really popular, and then they went away for a really long time. It’s interesting because designers have now brought them back and they’re so different from what they were before. They are really sheer, almost invisible, which is cool because adding embellishments, like a great jeweled necklace, almost makes it look tattoo-like.
What tips do you have for brides and grooms to get the most out of the bridal show experience?
We list all of our vendors online, so it’s really great for them to go and look at what we have to offer, you know, do a little research on the front end. Make a list of the people that you want to check out. Sometimes it’s hard to see everyone you want to see when we have over 150 vendors, so if they can prioritize a bit that’s one of the suggestions I have. Also, the best time to talk in-depth with vendors is when the fashion show is going on, because a group of the attendees are going to be off the floor. The vendors are really there to help couples through the process, so the more the couple can share with the vendors, the better they will be able to find the vendors who are the best for them.
For more information on the Twin Cities Bridal Show, taking place at the St. Paul RiverCentre from 12 p.m.–4 p.m. on Sunday, September 21, please visit twincitiesbridalshow.com.