Kicking off the start of wedding season, the 2010 New York Weddings Event is one of the biggest and best of the year. Hosted (obviously) by the always chic and trendy New York Magazine, the event boasted a myriad of vendors ready to share their products, ideas, and insights with brides, grooms, and industry professionals — in short, as they say, anyone planning a wedding, now or in the future.
This year's event took place in the Metropolitan Pavillion, an event venue in downtown Manhattan renowned for its large open floorplan and clean white walls. The venue size was important since over 100 companies participated; everyone from florists to photographers, cake makers, dress sellers, and wedding planners.
Wedding attire seemed to lead the pack, including a variety of dress sellers, as well as jewelry, menswear, and the unexpected: gorgeous heirloom veils from Monvieve. The Monvieve rep explained the technique behind her company's beautiful offerings. Unlike traditional veils where the lace is appliquéd on top of the netting, Monvieve seamlessly integrates the netting with the lace so that the lace begins where the netting ends. With this kind of exquisite construction, it is no wonder they refer to their veils as "heirloom" quality.
Anthony Micari of Bridal Reflections, a bridal and evening wear shop with locations on Long Island and in New York City, confirmed my suspicion that brides are increasingly opting for short dresses these days, for either the full event or just for the reception. His booth had incredible pieces, including a dramatic short dress encrusted with silver, beading, and grey feathers.
Caterers, restaurants, and cake makers were also well represented at the event, although less than at other industry events. Ron Ben-Israel, a mercurial cake-maker and artist, was in rare form as he encouraged guests to try his ample samples of lemon vanilla cake — and then come back for an equally sizeable piece of double chocolate. Betsy Thorleifson of Brooklyn-based Nine Cakes also wowed crowds with cupcake samples of her simple red velvet and simply divine chocolate raspberry rosewater cakes.
Two catering stand-outs were Del Posto, a Mario Batali restaurant in Manhattan, and Landmarc, a restaurant with multiple locations in and around New York. Abby Samolis, head of private dining at Del Posto, had the burden of describing the multiple event spaces at her restaurant, each with unique characteristics and sizes; it did not help that she had to maintain guests' attention while they noshed on bites of Del Posto's otherworldly lobster salad sandwiches.
Reps from Landmarc Catering used their table to maximum advantage: they had plenty of time to describe Landmarc's versatile offerings as guests loaded up plates of chunky blue cheese, thin-sliced salami, and crunchy artisanal breadsticks from their abundant display.
Lounge seating and tables were provided by Taylor Creative, a modern event rental company. Christina Therrien from Taylor said one of their most popular new items is a lightbox-based table topped with square glass infused with a swirling black floral print. The table was elegant, but Taylor's traditional glass chandeliers encased in modern reflective shades were simply cool.
Several florists and floral artisans held court around the room at both their booths and with samples placed on high top tables, but the most beautiful flowers came from Bridget Vizoso at the Designers Co-op. Bridget's is a small shop but her work is clean, elegant, and exquisite. This image is from her catalog.
After aisles of sweet and savory indulgences and extravagant displays of sparkling dresses, it was refreshing to happen upon Annie, owner of the Blue Ribbon General Store in Brooklyn. Annie was affable and her offerings of favor gifts and welcome-basket stuffers ranged from sweet to quirky to downright goofy; each more charming than the last. Annie's table was certainly unique for the event, but a little chat revealed her motivation: after one of her store's offerings was featured in New York as a perfect wedding favor, she simply figured why not participate? I said it then and I'll say it now: smart.
The departing gift bag was reason enough to attend the event. Stuffed to the brim with discount certificates from show vendors, as well as samples ranging from vodka to chocolate, the hefty sac was well worth its weight. One of the best enclosures was a stylish catalog from Bloomingdales, with recommendations for gift registries as well as useful information for what to actually do with the items you buy.
All in all, the New York Magazine 2010 Weddings Show was once again a great success. The magazine did an excellent job of coordinating and organizing the event, and the vendors did a great job of featuring and explaining their incredible products and services. In general, this annual offering is one wedding event that truly can't miss.
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