Brides and Vendors Courted at Bridal Expo

 In blog

At a recent Bridal Expo, many prospective brides met with industry vendors in the hopes of
checking off important items on their wedding wish lists. The Expo was held at The Restaurants
at Maison Martinique, and featured vendors that specialize in all areas of wedding planning. Vendor services included bridal registry, wedding dresses, and formal wear for grooms, as well as wedding cakes, bouquets, wedding/event coordinators, DJs, photographers, and more. Designed to offer something for every bride, the Expo vendors were eager to discuss their services, along with wedding industry changes and current trends as well.

Among the numerous vendors at the Bridal Expo, a popular table with attendees was the Dillards bridal registry, where Lisa Brooks, Home Manager at Dillard’s in Vero Beach, shared that post-pandemic brides are still scaling down their guest lists and registry requests; however, wedding registries are still recommended and is used regularly, even in smaller weddings.

Brooks pointed out, “Wedding registries aren’t just for kitchen appliances anymore, but include items for every room in the house.”

Dressed for Less Excess

Smaller weddings are also influencing how the bride and groom dress for the wedding, with trends and costs dictating wedding choices. According to Kristine Palsis, Owner/Bridal Stylist at Elda’s Bridal Boutique in Melbourne, current trends in wedding dresses show more requests for ivory- or champagne-colored dresses versus all white, and brides are more interested in fitted dresses versus fairy-tale gowns.

Palsis added, “We’re also seeing more brides looking for cost-effective dresses so they can save more money for their honeymoon. Our dresses run from $200-2,000, so we have something for every bride and budget.”

When it comes to the groom, cost-effectiveness is also a key factor when considering options for additional wear after the wedding. Tristan Oliver, Tailored Business Manager at Dillard’s in Vero Beach, noted, “Current trends show more requests for plaids and non-solid-colored suits; however, the most-requested suit colors are still grey and blue because they can be used with other trousers after a wedding.”

Oliver added that tuxedos are being chosen less for weddings due to the rental or purchase cost for the groom and groomsmen, along with the lack of additional use after the wedding. Men’s suits at Dillard’s range from $399-2,000, with 36-300 clothing swatches available, Oliver said.

Savory and Sensory Styles

According to Staci Dunn, better known as the owner of The Cake Lady in Fort Pierce, wedding cakes are not just plain white and vanilla-flavored anymore.

Among the biggest changes, she has seen is an increase in new cake flavor requests. Flavors such as pink champagne and lavender lemon (as well as Butterbeer for Harry Potter fans) have surpassed traditional flavors in popularity, in much the same way that hexagon-shaped cakes are gaining preference over traditional multi-tier, round cakes. Dunn added, “Cupcakes are popular with younger brides, but a lot of older brides still want a multi-tiered cake for their wedding.”

Dunn also reported that “naked” cakes – those with only a crumb coating – continue to increase in popularity due to their rustic look. Naked cakes are considered a perfect complement at barn weddings, which continue to increase in popularity. At The Cake Lady, Dunn offers 80 cake flavors and delivers cakes locally, as well as from West Palm Beach to Orlando.

Another trend that reflects the minimalism many brides are embracing is found in wedding bouquets. Jill Frost, owner of Pink Pelican in Sebastian, said, “We are seeing an increase in popularity with bouquets that have more greenery/less flowers or all greenery.” She noted that all-greenery bouquets are often a preference for eco-friendly or allergy-related reasons. As such, Pink Pelican offers pre-made greenery bouquets, into which brides can insert a few of their favorite flowers, resulting in a cost-effective bouquet.

As an added service option, Pink Pelican works with officiant Brian Keith Ihnen for wedding and celebration of life services. One of the most popular requests Ihnen receives for beach weddings is an exchange of floral leis as part of the ceremony.

Dream Designs and Realistic Results

In an attempt to achieve their dream wedding décor, some brides may have to lower their expectations when considering the budget they have available. Grandiose wishes and décor vision boards (which brides often change many times) brought to wedding designers can be met with the reality that expectations are higher than budget. In such cases, wedding designers like Kaydi Devlin of Kaydi Devlin Events, located in Vero Beach, work with brides to create their dream wedding for a realistic cost.

Devlin noted the current trend and design influence of the television show Bridgerton and said, “If a bride wants a Bridgerton-themed wedding, but really can’t afford high-end décor, I work with vendors to create the theme a bride wants at a cost within her wedding décor budget.”

Perhaps more important than wedding designs, however, Devlin said the best piece of advice she can give prospective brides is, “Never leave your guests hungry or bored, and your wedding will be a success – no matter how much money you spent on the décor.”

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Feature Photo courtesy of Captured Memories by JFV PhotographyPhotos courtesy of Jo Bradbury Photography / Kelli Boyd Photography