About 4 months ago, I sent an email to The Great Bridal Expo website inquiring about getting a booth at their San Jose show at the Fairmont Hotel. I received a call back from Wendy about a week later and she asked, “Have you ever done a bridal expo before?” Uhh, my answer was a big ol’ drawn out, “Noooo.” To which she replied by stating, “Well, you have contacted one of the largest bridal expos in the country!” Saweet! I guess I know how to pick ‘em! Three days later the contract was signed, deposit made, and my brain was churning out ideas.
On the good advice from fellow photographer Melissa Crain at Arken Studios, I decided to make the booth look somewhat like a living room. Instead of having gobs of product, I decided instead to show only limited number of my best images, and create a comfortable environment for brides and their guests, and work on creating some new marketing materials. Since making that decision, things have been a little crazy, errr more like a LOT crazy. New brochures, new business cards, a few BIG prints, couches, chairs, slide shows, coffee tables, lights, the WORKS!
So how was it you ask? (You might not have actually asked that question, but I am going to pretend you did). AWESOME! I really did not know what to expect, but I walked away with a great feeling about the day. I met so many fantastic brides… Brides getting married near volcanoes in Costa Rica, on Catamarans near Carmel, Wineries in Livermore and backyards in Los Gatos, such a great mix. Somehow I scored a booth right near the entrance to the Expo, which was great. Everyone was fresh and ready to chat! My help for the day was so on top of it, I could not have possibly asked for more. My good friend, Pat Killen, was at my house at 7:00 AM to get the trucks loaded and help haul a living room worth of furniture up three stories and across a hotel. Meghan MacAskill and Katherine Krueger were my self proclaimed “booth babes” for the day. At times there were 4 or 5 people waiting in line and they both just stepped right up to answer questions like they owned the place! Im so thankful they offered up their Sunday afternoon to help me out. Without them it would have been a mad house!
I have to give special thanks to John and Fred at Flowers by Yip for helping complete the booth by adding the floral arrangements and of course, the amazing chandeliers! I can’t actually count how many people came up and asked me where those chandeliers came from… people were just in awe with them. At one point I joked with someone that I brought them from my room, right next to the silk sheets…. Ha! Riiiiight. Can you imagine?!?! In all seriousness, John offers an eye for perfection resulting in flawless floral arrangements and fantastic service that makes his business such a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend talking with him if you are planning a wedding!
Annnd finally, for all you sassy, sexy, ladies out there, you must check out Denise Birdsong’s work at Sweet Cheeks Boudoir. I met her in the morning while everyone was moving in… and THAT was an amazing booth my friends. She had so many classically beautiful images of women in their, well… not most covered states. She is able to capture the femininity and the beauty of a woman in ways that I can only hope to achieve! Such an amazing photographer, and classy person to meet.
Wow… okay, I’m done with the writing!… on with the pictures!