The Pixel & Ink staff and I visited Los Angeles this Sunday for the debut of “Unveiled: Bridal Style Revealed,” an upscale wedding planning event showcasing high quality services, products, and information for today’s nearlyweds. What made this event so different than others I’ve attended, in large part, was its setting: outdoors along Melrose Place. The small stretch of road, located near Beverly Hills and Hollywood, is lined with trendy shops that opened their doors specifically for the show, and the road itself was set up with tented booths of participating vendors. The weather was warm and sunny, perfect for spending a day outdoors. Shops showcasing their 2010 collections throughout the day included Carolina Herrera, Monique Lhuillier, and Vera Wang.
After arriving in the morning, I sipped coffee, reviewed the show program, and enjoyed the weather at a streetside cafe, letting the attendee crowd gradually build up. This and window-shopping were perks to the event venue being an actual city street. It never became overly-packed, by the way, which was nice. Nothing worse than being at an event where you have to elbow your way up to every booth. The crowd was always pleasantly manageable and dispersed enough to enjoy walking the booth-filled street and trying the food and beverage samples, or chatting with vendors.
By the time the “State of the Union” address began at noon, the heat had picked up a bit. While the panel of wedding experts shared their thoughts and advice regarding the latest bridal trends, attendees re-arranged the seating by moving chairs into the shade. On hand to speak were Mindy Weiss of Mindy Weiss Party Consultants, Eden Rodriguez of End Design, Marc Friedland of Creative Intelligence, Inc., and Chef Joachim Splichal of Patina Restaurant Group. Harmony Walton of the Bridal Bar moderated the talk. All of these folks are pretty heavy hitters in the industry, so attendees had a chance to hear from the best. No questions were asked, though. Shy crowd, perhaps…a bit of a lost opportunity. I noticed that a common thread running through all the speakers’ talks were the state of the economy and how couples today are cutting back, lowering their budget, and getting creative in doing more with less.
Later, Patti Stanger of Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker fame made an appearance to speak about how best and most efficiently a gal could find the perfect guy. While such a talk’s relevance at a wedding-planning event is debatable, I guess it packed some entertainment value; I’d assume the brides-to-be in attendance had already overcome this tricky social feat, but there were plenty of single ladies on hand, I’m sure…bridesmaids-to-be, et al. The audience appeared to enjoy Stanger’s antics. For guys like myself, it was mildly entertaining to hear the ways we are apparently classified by such social intellectuals (alpha provider males, nonproviders, passive-aggresives, metrosexuals, and so forth). Who knew there was such a science to it.
I wrapped up my visit with the event’s cake collection sampling and champagne-tasting session. I have to say, I was already fairly full by the time this took off, and I don’t think I’ve ever been to a weddings show with this many cakes to taste.
The variety of dessert types, designs, and flavors was impressive, from a light take on strawberry-shortcake with drizzled strawberry sauce to a heavy, rich chocolate raspberry. Nicely done.
Lots to see and sample, all in all. A successful debut by all accounts–and with all the chic style involved, definitely an event made to be reviewed and highlighted.