By Emily Williams
As owner, publisher and editor-in-chief of Alabama Wedding Magazine since 2001, Michelle Van Every is using everything she knows about the wedding industry to give Alabama brides a new resource for choosing their vendors.
In the spirit of the magazine, Van Every is hoping the Believe Bridal Showcase will introduce future brides to the professionals who can make the wedding they dream about a reality. Unlike the trade shows she has attended over the years, Van Every said, the show she has created will showcase the talents of each vendor.
“It will be a boutique bridal show experience,” she said. “Unlike a trade show, where they have those large booths … vendors will set up these vignette scenes that will show their work come to life.”
Van Every, who described the showcase as a gallery, said the idea is to keep the show as interactive and visual as possible. Brides will enter and pass a gallery that displays the work of photographers. A beauty bar will highlight makeup artists and hair dressers, and a runway show will feature fashions for the wedding party.
“This just brings everything together for a bride,” Van Every said. “They have so many ideas and then to actually have to bring those ideas to life is overwhelming.”
Not only does she hope that the conversational setting will help the brides understand the ins and outs of wedding planning, she also hopes it will shed new light on the abilities of local vendors.
For wedding planners, such as Christopher Confero designs, Van Every said, it’s harder to create a visual representation of their abilities, so they will create a wedding or reception scene and explain how the look was created and where the pieces came from.
“They will bring their ideas to the brides, as well as educate them on what it takes to create the look,” she said.
Van Every said brides often are unaware of the work and money it takes to create “the dream wedding.”
“Things change from the moment you see them on Instagram to the moment you see it in person,” she said. “You see flowers at Publix or Winn-Dixie and think it costs that much to make an arrangement, but you don’t take into account creating the design and the work it takes to bring it all together.”
While her publication sparks ideas and spotlights the abilities of local vendors, providing a forum for her readers to interact with the people who create the work displayed on the pages of her magazine is the purpose of the showcase.
“I love bringing the girls’ dreams together,” she said.
She believes her favorite part of the showcase will be the same as her favorite part of planning each issue of Alabama Weddings – the look on a bride’s face.
“Even the models in our photo shoots – they put on these beautiful gowns and you see it in their faces, they just fall in love,” she said.
The showcase is just another way to show brides that, even if the planning seems overwhelming, there are professional people available to help make everything possible.
Van Every has teamed up with the Grand Bohemian Hotel to host the Believe Bridal Showcase on Feb. 19 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door for $20.
“The Grand Bohemian is one of the vendors we are showcasing and the space they have given us is perfect for that boutique feel we are trying to create,” Van Every said.
As for the looks a bride can expect to see in the vignettes, Van Every feels it will be similar to the theme of the January issue of Alabama Weddings – traditional.
“We’re taking it back to our roots this year,” she said. “Everything is feminine, Southern, classic and traditional,” Van Every said.
For more information, visit alabamaweddingsmagazine.com or check out the Believe Bridal Showcase Event Facebook page.