Guest Post: Inspired by the Boutique Bridal Bazaar

Although I couldn’t make it to Something White’s Boutique Bridal Bazaar, I knew the ticket would go to better use after talking to my recently-engaged friend Ali. Today she shares what she saw, who she met, and what she learned at the Boutique Bridal Bazaar. Thanks, Ali!

Something White's Boutique Bridal Bazaar

Something White’s Boutique Bridal Bazaar

When my lovely friend Amanda allowed me the opportunity to take her place at the Boutique Bridal Bazaar hosted by Something White, my first thought was, “Well, I guess I SHOULD probably start planning my wedding…”

My wonderful fiancé asked me to make it street legal in September, after 5+ years of happily dating and cohabitating.  I tend to err on the side of “if it ain’t broke…” but in this case, I was very excited that we decided to take this next step together.

That being said, the wedding planning scene is daunting. I didn’t know where to start or who to ask, and the internet, in this state of confusion, is not your friend. So, upon reading Amanda’s post about the Something White event, I thought, “This is it… professional help!”

Ali (center) with her friends at Boutique Bridal Bazaar

Ali (left-center) with her friends at Boutique Bridal Bazaar

Accompanied by my three of my best friends (who are way better at this stuff), I went on Sunday, January 12 to the Tudor Arms Hotel, on the near east side.  For as many times as I’ve driven by, I had never been inside. I knew it was a historic Cleveland landmark, and that it had recently undergone a bit of a make-over, but I was still really surprised by the inside of the building.

It was really stunning, with huge ceilings (35 feet!), beautiful murals on the walls, lots of big, open spaces in the two separate ballrooms, and amazing windows that let in such wonderful natural light. It is a gorgeous space, and my friends immediately decided that I shall be getting married there, no questions asked.

When we talked to Michelle from Tudor Arms, she did tell us that they were already booked most of the summer and fall, with few Fridays and no Saturdays until November. Timeliness is key if you want a space like this, and since timeliness is my Achilles heel, we’ll see if that will actually work out for me.

Inside the Tudor Arms Hotel

Inside the Tudor Arms Hotel

The first thing we saw when we walked in was the “Etsy aisle”, which was basically Etsy sellers, bringing in all of their wares to see in real life. This was great for me, because although from time to time I am the epitome of the “Pinterest Fails” board, I am fairly crafty.

So while I will continue to buy lip gloss from professionals and not make my own everything, I did want a (semi) DIY approach to our fiesta, for a couple of reasons: 1) cost and 2) you only get to do this once, so might as well get down and dirty with it.  So, the Etsy aisle at the event was super awesome, because you couldn’t help but find cool inspiration.

Paper bouquets

Paper bouquets

The vendors ranged from calligraphy from Seaworthi Calligraphy & Illustration or beautiful paper flowers from Rose Gold Studio (along with a whole range of custom design options!).  And when talking with some of the sellers, they said that they are always glad to do custom work. Double bonus – small biz + local vendor = sweet deal.

The amount of culinary vendors there was honestly shocking, and incredibly filling (so much for that wedding diet…), but everything we tried was amazing, from the vegan cupcakes at Vegan Sweet Tooth or the mushroom risotto from Gatherings Kitchen.

If you are able to choose your own caterer once you find a venue, there is no shortage of amazing local chefs to make your wedding day snacks memorable.  Many of them were advocates of local and sustainable products, and embraced gluten free, vegan and vegetarian diets, which means all of your guests will have a delicious meal (because let’s be honest, the vegetarian options at most events are pretty sad indeed).

Packed house at Boutique Bridal Bazaar

Packed house at Boutique Bridal Bazaar

Finally – my two favorite places to pop by (hah!) were the Chill Pop Shop stand, and Urban Orchid florist.  At Chill Pop, they came up with these awesome flavors that include everything from avocado to all the usual suspects (I had strawberry cream), but they also make these “poptails” – i.e. your popsicle would be in a drink!

I worked in Brazil for a spell, and had a caipirinha made with a fresh pineapple popsicle that I sometimes still have dreams about. And now, right here, in good ole Cleveland, my dreams can come true! These would be adorable for showers, rehearsal dinners, or dessert on your big day, and it was such a fun idea – little artisan popsicles served in, for example, a little glass of champagne!  Be still my heart.

And if you need flowers, whether it’s just boutonnieres or the whole shebang, Brandon Sitler at Urban Orchid is your guy.  Mixing succulents, fresh flowers, plants and whatever you can dream up, I’ve never been disappointed by anything he’s done, for me or for others.

Beautiful flowers at the Boutique Bridal Bazaar

Beautiful flowers at the Boutique Bridal Bazaar

Located in Ohio City, he is a great addition to the neighborhood.  You could smell the fresh flowers from his stand from 20 feet away, and while I know flowers can be a large expense for your wedding day, I can’t imagine not having a fresh bouquet (although all the paper bouquets I saw were super cute too).

All in all – it was a great, somewhat overwhelming day, full of delicious snacks, beautiful inspiration and lots of happy brides. LOTS.  Much thanks to Something White Bridal and to Amanda for kicking me into gear and helping me get started to plan our big day.  There’s a poptail with your name on it.

Disclosure: I was offered one ticket to Boutique Bridal Bazaar in exchange for blogging about it. Because I was out of town attending my sister-in-law’s wedding, I was unable to attend. My friend Ali attended it instead. Her and my opinions are 100% our own.

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