Collinsville Gateway Center Perfect Wedding Guide Bridal Show

This was my first year NOT attending the Collinsville Gateway Center Perfect Wedding Guide Bridal Show.  I have attended every year for the past 3 years. *tears*  I am not going to say I have a positive reason I did not attend, it’s just sometimes we make decisions that we think are best, whether they are or not.  And I am actually walking around feeling like I made a good decision!

Bridal Shows are ways for wedding professionals to connect with brides.  If we don’t have a way to connect, it is our way to market and get right in front of them.  I believe it is by far the best advertisement, besides referrals.  Well, in the last few weeks, referrals have been on my side.  It’s possibly what my dear friend Ashlee Erlinger from Signed Sealed Delivered Events says is my awakening.  She says I am on top right now, and it shows.  It’s when we are on top of our lives that things come in to place.  And I truly believe it.  I am focused and driving forward to make the best with what I have, and plan to do my best and be my best.

Anyhow, I did not attend the show this year with my fabulous furniture and beautiful photos on my big blue wall.  I believe I am taking a step back to see what I can make of it, and maybe build something new and amazing. (maybe)  But, I decided I wanted to attend as an outside viewer and observe the booths.  But really what am I talking about…I got busy chit chatting with everyone and getting preoccupied with long conversations and hugs. lol  What can I say, I’ve attended for the last 3 years.  It’s usually the same wedding professionals.  Or at least some of them are, and then some new ones each year in and out.

So, I walk in…no introduction, they know who I am, I’m famous! lol  Excitement, hugs, “where ya been?”.  I already feel at home.  I just love bridal shows.  These are my people!!  It’s where I feel I will always belong.

So, I tell them…I’m here to blog everyone!!  Yay!  So, pictures!  Of course, everyone loves pictures at their best.  And of course, at a bridal show, we are always at our best.  Before I even get a chance to walk inside, I walk right into Jeremy Bowman…one of the co-owner’s of The Perfect Wedding Guide, St. Louis.  Ugh, what a fashionably exquisite guy.  First thing I notice, his pink bow tie, matching his name tag!! OMG! He is too cute! Man, I shoulda taken his picture.  He looked so cute.  That tie was divine!

Ashlee, with Signed Sealed Delivered Events also did not have a booth.  I was shocked.  And saddened.  I was so looking forward to taking pics of her booth again, she always has such a creative space.  She did however get her hair done by The Mane Attraction that morning by the owner Carla Hall.  I kinda wish I took the time to take a better photo of her hair too.  Man, I just got caught up with all the excitement of seeing my peeps that I forget about what I was there for. (blogging, not gossiping)  Now this photo was taken last minute before I was saying goodbye to my loves because I had to run around after I said my hello’s to everyone, and try to find her.  She was at the run way show getting her drink on with Michelle Lee, checking out the last minute dresses on the stage.

So, my favorite cake of all time is always Artistry on Cakes in Belleville, IL.  This is Nancy, the baker.  She is the sweetest lady you will ever meet.  My first year at the show, she walked up to me and grabbed my hand and said you have to see my cake.  It is your cake.  She had a cake that had the same damask design as my booth did.  And ever since then, she has remembered me.  I just love her.  She has the most delicious, moist cake ever.  Never have I been to a wedding and been disappointed with her cakes.  Always beautifully designed and well put together.  She is a true artist!

Nancy Robinson, Owner of Artistry on Cakes

Have you tried to figure out who designs and prints wedding invitations?  Or makes those cute bride/bridesmaid t-shirts?  Or what about those fun cooly cups for your wedding guest?  Unique Moments had some awesome samples of some of the invitations that they have printed and designed from past clients.  And they also gave out free “Bride” cooly cups to all the bride attendants.  What a great attendant gift!  I wish I was getting married! lol  They are so cute.  I worked personally with Amanda Schwent with Unique Moments to get my decals done on my van.  I had my logo and information put on my two side windows and my very back window for a very low price.  And she put it on herself.  So I didn’t even have to worry about putting it on.  I LOVE IT!

So, I do have a partial obsession with Unique Moments.  I was introduced to them from my friend Ashlee Erlinger with Signed Sealed Delivered Events.  I tell you, she knows everyone!  But, for real, they have everything!!!  Anything, you name it.  You must check them out.

Unique Moments

And now for my favorite stylist.  Carla Hall, Owner of The Mane Attraction in Collinsville, IL. does the styles for almost all the bridal shows for the St. Louis area.  And of course, that always includes the Illinois shows in the St. Louis metro areas.  Another awesome fact that I love saying…The Mane Attraction now does the styles for the St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders during the home games and tryouts.  UGH, okay I got that off my chest.  My almost 12 year old son has been begging me to ask, so last night I finally asked if he could tag along next time. lol (I’m hoping they say YES…cause I really wanna go)  And if you also remember, Carla also did Ashlee’s hair too.

OMG, I want to mention a certain billboard, but I can’t remember if it’s on the highway or in town.  I think it may be on the interstate actually but I could be wrong.  I was gonna say…Have you ever driven on the highway and seen a billboard and seen a beautiful bride with her hair done and it saying “The Mane Attraction in Collinsville”…OMG, that’s them!  They have a billboard! lol  They are famous.  They are that awesome.  Yes, Carla is that awesome.  I don’t have a billboard. 😦  Well, they also have more than one photo, because they are that awesome.

The Mane Attraction Girls
The Mane Attraction Girls                                 

And last but not least is another Collinsville business owner, Champagne & Lace Bridal.  Debra Payne, the owner of Champagne & Lace Bridal is also the wife of Willard, owner of Willard’s Formal Wear.  So business owners for a very very long time.  Debra has always been a seamstress, and a fabulous one at it.  She worked with many costumes on Broadway.  As the owner, she does the alterations for her brides dresses.  And she alters them in record time.  She travels around the country to all the dress shows to see the latest styles.  She keeps the newest and latest additions in her shop.  Every show I have attended, Champagne & Lace Bridal was the host of the runway show.  Her dresses were always showcased by models at the bridal shows.  And of course, the hair and makeup done by The Mane Attraction.

Below you will see, the two best friends.  Carla Hall and Debra Payne, long time BFF’s!  And my ABC friends!

Debra Payne & Carla Hall, BFF’s                            
Debra Payne, Owner of Champagne & Lace Bridal            

Thank you so much for attending this bridal show with me.  And I hope to all my brides, that they have found something to take home with them to help them plan their wedding.

XOXO  Dana


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