Pictured above, a bride creates a fun look with props during one of the games played at the bridal show.
By Katie Bohannon, Staff Writer
While wedding planning proves a stressful, time-consuming task for some brides, Chic Occasions strives to eliminate the anxiety before the big day. Established in Atlanta, Chic Occasions traveled to Gadsden on Feb. 23, hosting the “Queen for a Day” Bridal Show at The Venue at Coosa Landing that provided local brides-to-be with a fun afternoon filled with Alabama’s premiere wedding professionals, prizes and giveaways to make future couples’ special moment one step closer to perfection.
From florists to DJs to photographers to caterers, The Venue buzzed with 30 vendors who partnered with Chic Occasions for the Bridal Show. Clusters of engaged women and men drifted from booth to booth, exploring the venues, food and entertainment Alabama offers for weddings in the Etowah County area. Through the Bridal Show, brides and grooms met local business representatives, expanding their understanding of wedding planning options and determining whether or not certain vendors meshed with their personalities, themes or aesthetic. As the couples visited each booth, they collected stickers to enter into a drawing for a cruise, just one of the many major prizes given during the show.
“[Chic Occasions] tries to give [brides] a lot of things,” said Chic Occasions owner Nicole Alexander. “It’s just fun. We’re very interactive and we just want the brides to be engaged.”
Alexander has organized bridal shows for 15 years. While working at a rental venue, she hosted a bridal show to attract brides to the venue. Alexander’s first bridal show generated so much interest and excelled that the venue gave Alexander and the staff the money collected from the event. Alexander took the money and invested it into future bridal shows, creating Chic Occasions to serve brides and grooms ever since. Three years ago, due to Atlanta’s saturated community, Alexander expanded her services and brought her bridal shows to Alabama.
Though Alexander always possessed a deep love for weddings and event-planning, her bridal shows are especially dear to her heart. Alexander understands the realities of wedding planning, including how quickly costs add up and how expensive weddings can become. Her goal is to provide brides with affordable, quality services without compromising their vision for their dream day. Through pairing brides with vendors and educating fiancés on what to expect before they say, “I do,” Alexander helps couples avoid unnecessarily frustrating situations.
“Education is huge,” said Alexander. “A lot of brides think, ‘oh, I can do my own wedding.’ There are some things you can do, but with a lot of things, it’s probably just better to pay a professional and not worry about it. Networking [is also huge]. Meeting that perfect vendor today is the best thing ever [for brides].”
The Bridal Show featured a $5 Mystery Box, where brides could pay five dollars, select the box of their choice and win anything from a garter to a bouquet. After giving the brides and grooms the chance to explore all the vendors, Chic Occasions held a fashion show where brides viewed wedding gown trends. Brides were encouraged to participate in interactive wedding-themed games like dancing the “Wobble” on stage, creating toilet paper wedding dresses and designing bridal looks with a collection of props. Future wives won all-inclusive honeymoon trips and cruises to destination locations like the Dominican Republic, Cancun and Las Vegas, filling the afternoon with excitement, laughter and smiling faces that will soon walk down the aisle.
“Our brides have more fun,” said Alexander. “I get a really good feeling when I see them, when they win and they’re playing the games—it’s just fun.”
Chic Occasions will host another “Queen for a Day” Bridal Show June 7 at The Venue, from 1-4 p.m. The first 50 brides will receive a “Swag Bag” of $100 value. For ticket purchases or event information, visit www.chicoccasions.com.