Sun., 8/7 • 12-4 p.m. • $10
Brooklyn Arts Center at St. Andrew’s
516 N. Fourth St.
My friend Ocean (yes, Ocean—but that’s another story entirely) is planning a wedding for October 2012. She’s marrying her middle-school sweetheart, Mike, on their 10th anniversary. Their story is the epitome of devotion, companionship and support.
Sometimes I wonder if any wedding, no matter how grandiose, could capture their love in only one day. I sense Ocean has the same reservations as she and Mike take on the ordeal that is selecting a location, a color scheme, catering and so much more. Just last week I caught her flipping through a friend’s wedding album with a furrowed brow, despite the “oohs” and “aahs” others were making.
Needless to say, planning a wedding is like balancing a decadent cake atop the bride’s head, expecting her to simultaneously go to work, do the laundry, walk the dog and not drive her future hubby crazy through it all. Brooklyn Arts Center’s Wedding Showcase on Sunday, August 7th, from noon to 4 p.m., will arrive just in time for Ocean’s endless calendar of decision-making. Five wedding planners—Orchid Island, Eventz!, Design Perfection, Kickstand Events, and A Boxed Event—will be on hand, displaying their best work to date. However, this is not a standard pipe-and-drape wedding show.
Kate Matthies and Courtney Shaver of Kickstand, the inventive outfit behind the event, explained that each planner will have free rein within a designated area of the arts center. On the stage, the main floor, the balcony and the courtyard—all of which host weddings frequently—the five design teams and their preferred vendors will present a decorated space, providing ideas and advice for all brides-to-be. Guests will be able to leisurely peruse the five areas, as well as interact with Style Girl Jess James and cohort Zach Hanner, the frontman for local band Da Howlies, both of whom will emcee the event, interviewing planners and vendors.
As for designs, there will be plenty of variety. Brittany Koontz, the owner of Orchid Island, is pursuing a classic, polished look. “My floral designer Jennifer Wilson and I are beyond thrilled with the design we have created for the courtyard,” she exclaims. “Our space, titled ‘Wedding at the Palace of Versailles: A European Garden Affair,’ will feature tall vases with sumptuous garden roses and orchids, place settings and stemware regal enough to fit a true king and queen, and a soft color palette of whites, creams and ivories, offset with splashes of green and gold. To sum it up in three words: lush, elegant and refined!”
On the other hand, Jeff Bryant, the owner of Design Perfection, wishes to achieve a fun design with modern flair—following the inspiration of a peacock feather. “Our color scheme includes moss green, aubergine, turquoise and chocolate brown; these rich jewel tones will look wonderful in the BAC,” he says. “We are also incorporating more natural, rustic elements into the design with tree branches and moss. It is sure to be a show-stopper!”
Bryant has teamed up with Beatty Cakes, the owner of which is Marshall Beatty, a graduate of Johnson and Wales and once the executive pastry chef of the Country Club of Landfall. Dessert samples will also be provided by Nye’s Cream Sandwiches, which offer designer ice cream sandwiches for an unexpected twist at the wedding reception, among other bakers.
The caterers won’t let guests down, either, as Shaver raves about Milner’s Catering. If they can satisfy a life-long Southerner, their cuisine must be delish! Between Milner’s and the other four caterers, brides might even be able to convince their fiancés to attend this wedding show.
Attendees can enjoy the cash bar, open in the front of the arts center. The manse attached to the BAC, which acts as a retreat for the bridal party when weddings are booked, will feature a dress shop, hair accessories, jewelry and experts from Ideal Image Laser Hair Removal. Plus, swag bags will be given to attendees.
Photographers will be on-hand, including Theo Milojevich of Theo Milo Photography, who has seven years of experience. “People and their interactions with one another is very much art to me,” he explains. “Photography, if done right, can tell a whole story in just a few clicks of the shutter. This is why I enjoy wedding photography so much!”
The beauty of love stories seems to be the driving force behind all vendors participating in the wedding show. “I love the process of getting to know someone and matching their personal style to a design concept,” Bryant says. “The ultimate satisfaction comes right after the bride and groom have said, ‘I do.’ I get to take a deep breath, relax, look around and enjoy everything that was created just for them. The end result is what I enjoy most: a beautifully designed and executed event—and a happy couple.”
Koontz easily sympathizes with brides, and also believes the reward comes at the end of the event, when the clients are “glowing, ecstatic and relaxed.” “Wedding planning has to be one of the most rewarding, challenging, aggravating and exhilarating professions there is, and it is for all these reasons that I enjoy it,” she muses. “From a design standpoint, it is simply amazing to be able to transform a space into a masterpiece based on a bride’s thoughts and to watch her eyes light up as she sees the manifestation of her ideas. From a heart standpoint, there is nothing like witnessing two people dedicating their lives to each other, for better or worse.”
The ladies behind Kickstand Events have also planned a Wilmington weekend giveaway, to take place at the end of the wedding show. It includes a two-night stay at Hotel Tarrymore, and certificates for Press 102, The Basics, The George on the Riverwalk, the horsedrawn carriage tour, Battleship N.C., Cameron Art Museum and more. Tickets for the showcase are available for only $10 at BAC’s website, www.brooklynartsnc.com, or at the day of the show.