Monday, April 12, 2010

Bridal Faires - Walnut Creek, 3/28/10 and Foster City, 4/11/10

My google calendar is full of upcoming bridal fairs in the Bay Area, thanks to the listing on HereComeTheGuide.com. I follow them on Twitter.com so it was nice that they reminded me of these upcoming shows. I just read a post on BridalTweet.com regarding people’s takes on bridal fairs/shows. Being an Event Planner, it’s sort of difficult to sell or present a service versus physical final products such as invitations, chair and fabric rentals, photography, cakes and catering. You have five minutes tops before they don’t want to listen anymore and move to the table that has free apps and a drawing to win a spa basket. I don’t think I’ll spend any marketing dollars at these bridal fairs.

I do enjoy going to them and meeting potential vendors I may or may not work with in the future. There are more photographers in my database of vendors than any other service provider. I also go to network, see what people have to offer, taste their food, flip thru their beautiful photo books, feel their fabrics and to provide my information as well. I follow up with them via email, add their information to my database highlighting the range of how many the venue can accommodate, what their packages range from, what I think of their photos, and basically what makes them stand out from the rest. From a previous post, I mentioned Rose Woods florist. After my follow up email to her, she wanted to meet me. From a mutual friend, I know an owner of Ajooba Events, which had a beautiful booth at the Dolce Hayes Mansion last year. It’s all about starting relationships. I go to learn more about the industry, what vendors are like and to build relationships.

I went to the bridal fair at Boundary Oaks in Walnut Creek on March 28th. It was quite windy and the vendors were spread out thru five different rooms. I picked up quite a bit of information and business cards but they lacked in providing a bag to hold all this information. With the delicious apps and complimentary champagne, I was surprised that I didn’t drop anything. Vendors that stood out in my mind at this fair was Especially Yours Chair Covers, a photographer named Gustavo Fernandez and hair stylist, Stephanie Martin.

Especially Yours’ representative, Beverly Yip, was so personable I’d probably want to have her energy as my own wedding coordinator. She was funny, helpful and her leave behind marketing pieces highlighted beautiful photos.

Gustavo Fernandez’s photos were so crisp and vibrant that they’re almost captivating. There’s a photo of a bride and groom kissing at the alter in a church and I stood there waiting for them to move. On the back of his marketing piece is a couple underneath a large tree on a hill and it completely reminded me of one my favorite movies, Gone With the Wind. I told him what it reminded me of and he has never heard a response like mine before.

Stephanie Martin is a hair stylist in Walnut Creek. Her table was one of the first that I visited. She was very friendly and had a great book of beautiful hair styles. I don’t have many make-up artists or hair stylists in my database so I’m looking to add more.

Boundary Oaks is a nice spot nudged against the hill leading up to the California State University, Hayward extension. It gets a bit windy and the building looks a bit dated but there are two areas to have a wedding ceremony that was mocked up for the fair. One was near the first tee and the other was on the balcony overlooking the pond. The balcony was a nice place to watch the putting green and drink the free champagne. And not to mention, the fair was free, which is always a bonus.

Yesterday’s fair at the Crowne Plaza in Foster City was not free ($10) but if you pre-registered you were given a form to receive a voucher for two nights free at the Riviera in Las Vegas, only for arrival from Sunday thru Wednesday. I think it’s worth it. Hopefully I don’t have to sit thru a seminar of how great the Riviera is… well actually, it might be beneficial to know about what the Riviera has to offer. I would love an excuse to go to Vegas for business and a little bit of pleasure.

When I first walked into Crowne from the double decker parking structure, you have a sushi restaurant to you left and shortly afterwards, across from guest check-in, an atrium serving a Sunday brunch fills the air. As you walk down towards the fair, you pass elevators to your right and possibly a pilot in uniform awaiting his ride. (Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can comes to mind.) You register, pick up your voucher and a bag (thank goodness) to put all the collected vendor’s materials. There’s a harpist, a group of beauticians getting the models ready for their fashion show, limo services, DJs and of course, photographers. Vendors that caught my eye was My Wedding Day, Rizza the photographer, C3 Café from Castro Valley, and Patricio of Oye Productions.

I was blown away by the prices Steve was quoting me for My Wedding Day. They’re a one-stop shop and have a lot of experience with Asian weddings. It was pretty impressive with what they have to offer.

Rizza had such photos displayed. I went to her website last night and even more photos were displayed. She explained to me how she/photographers typically work when travel is involved. I told her that I was thinking of having a destination wedding for myself.

C3 Café is right in my backyard. According to their website, they offer rentals and staffing, on top of catering. I’ll have to check out the café sometime.

Oye Productions was pretty cool. Patricio was extremely friendly and Oye has plenty of musicians to choose from for Latin-originated music. They also offer cigar rolling! That’s the first time I’ve seen this sort of vendor with this service. I’ve only seen a cigar rolling station on Platinum Weddings on WeTv.

Next wedding fair:
Saturday, April 25, 2010
4PM – 8PM
Craneway Pavillion
1414 Harbour Way
Richmond, CA
Cocktail attire requested.
Should be fun!

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